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. Wicked will return to the Gershwin Theatre.
Based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked has become a global sensation. 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 win three Tony Awards in 2004, including Idina Menzel for her portrayal as Elphaba. Menzel 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 won the Grammy Award for best musical theatre album, with songs including "Defying Gravity" and "For Good".
A Wicked film adaptation is currently in the works. 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. Details on the Wicked film are still unknown though, but you can bet we'll be watching.
Catch all the wonder and spectacle of Wicked live at the Gershwin Theatre.
(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.”