Wicked – The Untold Story of the Witches of OZ

Winner of 35 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards, Wicked is “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” (The New York Times). Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the land of Oz. One — born with emerald green skin — is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good makes for “the most complete — and completely satisfying—new musical in a long time” (USA Today).

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Wicked – The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a 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, a parallel novel of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and L. Frank Baum’s classic 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 includes several references to the 1939 film and Baum’s novel. Wicked tells the story of two unlikely friends, Elphaba and Glinda, 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 Pictures in coalition with Marc Platt and David Stone, the Joe Mantello-directed and Wayne Cilento-choreographed original production of Wicked premiered on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre in October 2003, after completing pre-Broadway SHN tryouts at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre in May 2003. Its original stars included Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, and Joel Grey as the Wizard. The original Broadway production won 3 Tony Awards and 6 Drama Desk Awards whilst its cast album received a Grammy Award. It has since celebrated its ninth anniversary on October 30, 2012, and played for 3,741 performances, making Wicked the 12th longest-running Broadway show in history.

The success of the Broadway production has spawned several other productions worldwide, including various North American productions, a long-running Laurence Olivier Award-winning 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 first week of 2012, the Broadway production broke this record again, earning $2.7 million. Both the West End production and the North American tour have been seen by over two million patrons each.

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