Desi Oakley Debuts on Wicked Broadway for the “universal swing” role in the Broadway production of Wicked.
Desi Oakley, who grew up and attended school in Wichita, Kansas, started appearing on stage at age 8 with the Music Theatre of Wichita. Following high school, Oakley studied theater at the University of Michigan. According to Annie Thomson (Oakley’s mother), the school receives more than 5,000 applications annually. Only 20 students are accepted each year, 10 boys and 10 girls. The program is elite and regarded as one of the best musical theater schools in the nation.
“It’s really neat, a great accomplishment,” Annie Thomson said. “I know I just sound like a proud mom, but it’s a great thing for her. I wouldn’t be surprised if she keeps going for bigger and better things.”
During her career, Oakley has played the lead roles in Evita and The The Little Mermaid. After graduating from Michigan last year, she headed straight for the big show, Wicked Musical.
She was soon picked up by a casting agent, which led to her “universal swing” role in the Broadway production of Wicked. “My Broadway debut was the best night of my life,” Oakley said. “I had so much energy and adrenaline, I felt like I got shot out of a cannon.”
Being a “universal swing” means Oakley fills in for other actors both on the national tour and in New York. She has learned 16 different parts in the play — the roles of every female character in the cast. Currently in Jacksonville, Florida, on tour, Oakley says she could never see herself doing anything else.
“I’ve though a lot about it,” she said. “I can’t think of anything I would rather do. I love being confident in who I am. If you have the passion, nothing can stop you. And I personally feel like I have a duty to share the gifts I was given.”
Wicked is one of the most successful Broadway musicals of all time. Wicked musical has grossed nearly $2.5 billion and has been seen by 30 million people worldwide. Wicked is currently playing on tour in Los Angeles, CA and Jacksonville, FL. Buy Wicked Tour 2012 Tickets, Use Code AFF$10 to Get $10 OFF on Orders over $350!
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