Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth
Tonys Awards 2004
Best Actress in a Musical Idina Menzel
Best Scenic Design Eugene Lee
Best Costume Design Susan Hilferty
Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz is a Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. It is based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, an alternative telling of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and L. Frank Baum’s classic 1900 story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The musical is told from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz; its plot begins before and continues after Dorothy’s arrival in Oz from Kansas, and it includes several references to the 1939 film and Baum’s novel. Wicked tells the story of two unlikely friends, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (whose name later changes to Glinda the Good Witch), who struggle through opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, reactions to the Wizard’s corrupt government and, ultimately, Elphaba’s public fall from grace.
Produced by Universal Stage Productions in coalition with Marc Platt, Jon B. Platt and David Stone, with direction by Joe Mantello and choreography by Wayne Cilento, the original production of Wicked premiered on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre in October 2003, after completing pre-Broadway tryouts at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre in April 2003. Its original stars included Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, and Joel Grey as the Wizard. The original Broadway production won three Tony Awards and six Drama Desk Awards, while its original cast album received a Grammy Award.
Wicked celebrated its tenth anniversary on Broadway on October 30, 2013. On December 4, 2016, Wicked performed its 5,462nd performance with a 2:00 p.m. matinee, making Wicked the 9th longest-running Broadway show, passing Beauty and the Beast. A typical performance runs for approximately two hours and 30 minutes, plus a 15-minute intermission.
The success of the Broadway production has spawned several other productions worldwide, including various North American productions, a long-running Laurence Olivier Award–nominated West End production and a series of international productions. Since its 2003 debut, Wicked has broken box office records around the world, currently holding weekly-gross-takings records in Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis, and London. In the week ending January 2, 2011, the London, Broadway and both North American touring productions simultaneously broke their respective records for the highest weekly gross. In the final week of 2013, the Broadway production broke this record again, earning $3.2 million. The West End production and the North American tour have each been seen by over two million patrons.
In March 2016, Wicked surpassed $1 billion in total Broadway revenue, joining both The Phantom of the Opera and The Lion King as the only Broadway shows to do so. In July 2017, Wicked surpassed The Phantom of the Opera as Broadway’s second-highest-grossing show, trailing only The Lion King.
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