There have been moments in the history of musical theater when, like a twister, the sheer talent and whirling spectacle of a production have flattened any negative criticism that stood to get in its way. Take October, 2003 for example. That was the month that Wicked opened in New York to generally dour reviews.
UPDATE: This production is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay tuned for more information.
Tickets are on sale now to experience the theatrical phenomenon that is Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway... “One Short Day in the Emerald City” and you’ll be hooked for life!
Based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked has become a global sensation and arguably the most lavish and spectacular musical the Great White Way has ever seen. After completing its pre-Broadway engagement at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre in April 2003, the production officially opened at the Gershwin Theatre on October 30, 2003, following previews from October 8.
Wicked went on to pick up an impressive total of ten Tony Award nominations in 2004, including “Best Musical,” ultimately winning three. Eugene Lee and Susan Hilferty were rewarded for their grand and exquisite scenic and costume designs, respectively, with the third trophy going to original cast member Idina Menzel. Scoring the popular actress her first ever Tony Award, her portrayal of Elphaba and her co-star Kristin Chenoweth’s portrayal of Glinda, elevated the pair into Broadway superstardom and remain among the most identifiable and iconic performances in Broadway history.
Composed by musical theatre legend Stephen Schwartz, the score of Wicked has been celebrated the world over and also won the Grammy Award for “Best Musical Theater Album” in 2005. From its anthemic “Defying Gravity” to the more playful numbers such as “Popular” and “What is This Feeling?” to tear-jerking ballads like “I’m Not That Girl” and “For Good,” the music ticks every box of a musical theatre essentials list. The songs also tend to grow on you through repeat attending and listening to the cast recording over and over again, so sometimes one trip to Oz just isn’t enough.
Produced by Universal Stage Productions, the original plan was for Universal to adapt Gregory Maguire’s novel into a feature film, however, after a little persuasion from Stephen Schwartz, who had read the book and developed his own theatrical interpretation, Universal agreed to co-produce the property as a stage musical. That decision has become a fatefully profitable one with Wicked evolving into one of the top-earning brands for Universal. The original plan for an intended movie adaptation did come into fruition, however, with Universal announcing a release date for the film adaptation on December 20, 2019.
Until then, catch all the wonder and spectacle of Wicked live at the Gershwin Theatre! Your friends will be green with envy!
(Photos by Joan Marcus)
The Broadway sensation Wicked looks at what happened in the Land of Oz…but from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin, who is smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships…until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.”