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'A dream role of mine' | 'Wicked' brings untold stories of Oz to Hobby Center

Tara Kostmayer, who portrays Nessarose, shared her excitement and insights about her role in this iconic production, now in its 20th year.

HOUSTON — The beloved musical "Wicked" celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and on May 31, Elphaba, Glinda, and the vibrant characters of Oz will land at the Hobby Center in Houston for a month-long run. 

Tara Kostmayer, who portrays Nessarose, took a moment to share her excitement and insights about her role in this iconic production. Ever since she saw the touring production in high school, Kostmayer said she knew this was a show she wanted to be a part of. 

"I absolutely adore playing Nessarose," Kostmayer gushed. "She's been a dream role of mine."

Nessarose, a character often overlooked in the classic movie "The Wizard of Oz," takes on a significant role in the musical. 

"'Wicked' tells the untold story of the witches of Oz," explained Kostmayer. "It's amazing to explore how these characters came to be, why they feel the way they do, and why the public perceives them the way they do."

The musical's exploration of the gray area between good and evil also fascinated Kostmayer, particularly with regard to her character's journey. Nessarose starts as an innocent and seemingly sweet girl, but as the story progresses, she undergoes a transformation that delves into deeper emotions and darker aspects of her character. 

"It is really cool to be able to play this sweet aspect of her, but then really kind of dig into the more intense acting and the darker side of her in the second act of the show," Kostmayer said. "I absolutely love it. It's so much fun to kind of like go through that very different arc."

Kostmayer's path to the stage also took an unexpected turn. While earning a bachelor's degree in neuroscience, she discovered her passion for musical theater while in college, eventually joining a musical club and landing a role in "Rent." Her interest in performing only grew, leading her to switch careers and explore the world of theater. 

"I was like, 'You know what? You're only young once. Let me see how far I can push this,'" remembered Kostmayer.

Her journey has been nothing short of extraordinary, with performances in productions including "A Chorus Line," "Chicago" and now "Wicked."

"There's nothing like that feeling of taking the final bow with your company and seeing all those people smiling in the audience," Kostmayer said. 

For more information about "Wicked" or to purchase tickets, click here

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