PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – For nine years, “Wicked” has traveled the country, thrilling audiences with its magic and music.
Since April, John Davidson has been part of the cast.
“This is what I will do until I fall over,” Davidson said.
When you are John Davidson, “this” is a little bit of everything. It’s been that way since an early conversation with his manager.
“You are going to have all these different prongs,” he said. “Singer, actor, host a beauty pageant, host a show, little bit of dance, you can do film, you can do Broadway, you can do television, a sitcom and I think I have accomplished that. I’m a pitchfork.”
His resume includes syndicated shows “That’s Incredible” and “The John Davidson Show” in the ‘80s and game show stints on the $100,000 Pyramid and Hollywood Squares.
Eighty times during his career, Davidson sat in for Johnny Carson as host of the Tonight Show. Now, he is the Wizard of Oz in the traveling Broadway smash, “Wicked.”
“You gotta have your own shoes and you gotta fill them as best you can and that’s a tremendous challenge,” said Davidson. “You can’t fill Carson’s shoes. You can’t, I can’t be Ben Vereen. I can’t be whatever. I’m the best that I can be.”
Davidson majored in theater at Denison College in Ohio. Despite everything else he did, his love for the stage never waned – and “Wicked” provides an outlet for eight shows a week.
“You are not just doing a carbon copy of it,” he said. “It’s never quite the same. You have to be there every night and you have to play it as if it were the first time and that’s the trick of live theater.”
A trick he’s perfected in more than five decades in the business.