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Out Actor David Kaverman Swings into Atlanta on ‘WICKED’ National Tour

New York-based actor David Kaverman is four months into his contract as a swing performer on the second national tour of the hit Broadway musical WICKED. During the Houston stop, Kaverman took a break from his grueling schedule and the triple-digit heat index in Texas to chat with Georgia Voice. He jokingly recalled his first night in the hit musical and the advice he received from the show’s dance captain before his first performance: “The only thing you have to do today is just not fall down,” he recalls being told. “Don’t fall—just get on and get off stage. That’s all you have to do.”

On July 5, Kaverman and the cast of WICKED opened at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre for an extended three-week engagement through July 30. The fifth longest-running Broadway musical in history, WICKED looks at what happened in the Land of Oz…but from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, another young woman, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possesses extraordinary talent. When she meets an exceptionally popular bubbly blonde, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships…until the world decides to call one “good” and the other “wicked.”

With three months of rehearsals completed, Kaverman is exhaling deeply, settling into performance mode, and embracing his role as a swing, a first in his professional career (“Kinky Boots,” “In The Heights,” “Motown: The Musical”) that requires him to cover six tracks in the show, sometimes hours before the curtain rises.

“Last week, during the show, somebody had to call out, and so then that was a chain of events that put me on,” Kaverman tells Georgia Voice. “So we just have to be ready at a moment’s notice. So, it’s good practice for just living in the moment. And for trying to focus on what you need to do.”

It’s almost impossible to believe that until a year ago, Kaverman had never seen WICKED on stage and thought the window of opportunity to be in the show had passed.

“As actors, we send so many things in, and so you’re not always attached to everything,” Kaverman says, referencing his audition video for WICKED.

“I love touring, and WICKED is such a great show and has such a legacy,” he says.

“I sent in a tape. I sent in the sides they asked for, and then I got a callback,” Kaverman says. “That was in person. I did that and found out I had two weeks to pack up and be on the road.”

While swing performers usually perform in the absence of principal cast or ensemble members, Kaverman’s feet travel to OZ eight times a week. Still, you might miss him if you’re in the audience despite his character being in front of you.

“I do have an onstage track every show. But if I’m not covering somebody else, I’m always the center flathead, which is a fully enclosed costume character that comes out during Emerald City,” Kaverman says. “And so it’s fun because I’m always technically in the show every day, but you don’t see my face unless I’m on for another track.”

Similarly, LGBTQ fans never see the actor’s natural face portraying Elphaba (by the incredible Olivia Valli), the emerald green wicked witch of the west, a role made famous by Tony award-winner Idina Menzel, but identify with the character who is a social outcast and a target for rejection and discrimination.

“There is kind of a cult following with the show,” Kaverman says. “However, they feel othered. I think that’s why people love the show so much.”

WICKED is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. WICKED has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. The production is directed by Tony Award winner Joe Mantello with musical staging by Tony Award winner Wayne Cilento. WICKED won over 100 international awards, including the Grammy Award and three Tony Awards. Since its opening in 2003, WICKED has been performed in over 100 cities in 16 countries and seen by over 60 million people worldwide.

WICKED will run at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre from July 5-30.

Tickets will be available at the Fox Theatre box office at 660 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30308, by visiting foxtheatre.org/wicked or by calling (855)-285-8499. Group orders of 10 or more may be placed by calling the Fox Theatre at (855)-285-8499.