Steven and Mary Beth Branscombe loved the leafy canopy surrounding their home in Rockbrook and all the birds those trees attracted. It was tough when they moved to an acre of property in Cheyenne Country Estates near 168th and Cornhusker three years ago. The new landscaping didn’t draw the same crowd. “We loved our birds,’’ Mary Beth said. “We wanted to attract them out here.’’

For almost 40 years, the public slides near the intersection of 11th and Farnam Streets have served as a nostalgic enclave for many Omaha families, attracting generation after generation for speedy trips down to the crushed rocks below. Earlier this month, 20-year-old Jasmine Harris was killed in a shooting on the street near the slides after attending downtown’s Taste of Omaha festival.

In advance of the premiere of "Wicked," the hit musical that opens Wednesday at the Orpheum Theater, we talked with actor Mary Kate Morrissey, a Philadelphia-area native and graduate of Syracuse University who plays Elphaba, about how she gets green, what her role entails and other “Wicked” details.