"Popular": Wicked Celebrates Fifth Anniversary on Broadway Oct. 30

News   "Popular": Wicked Celebrates Fifth Anniversary on Broadway Oct. 30 The New York production of Wicked — the international hit musical based on the novel by Gregory Maguire that features a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman — celebrates its fifth anniversary at Broadway's Gershwin Theatre Oct. 30.

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To mark the occasion, the trademark yellow masthead of the musical's Playbill cover has been printed green for the 8 PM performance. The green Playbill banner marks the first time in the publication's history that the color has been changed for a particular production.

Those not attending the Oct. 30 performance at the Gershwin can purchase the limited edition Playbill by visiting PlaybillStore.com. Pre-orders are currently being accepted for the commemorative Playbill — priced $11.95 — which ships the week of Nov. 3.

Wicked composer Schwartz will also take part in an early-evening event at the Lincoln Triangle Barnes & Noble beginning at 5:30 PM. Entitled Stephen Schwartz at the Piano and in Conversation, the free program will feature a chat with the composer hosted by Carol de Giere, author of "Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz from Godspell to Wicked." The book store is located in Manhattan at 66th Street and Broadway.

Wicked began previews on Broadway Oct. 8, 2003, with an official opening Oct. 30, 2003. The original cast included Tony winners Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth as, respectively, the green-faced, misunderstood Elphaba and the curly-locked Glinda.

The cast is currently headed by Kendra Kassebaum as Glinda, Kerry Ellis as Elphaba, Cristy Candler as Nessarose, Ben Liebert as Boq, Jayne Houdyshell as Madame Morrible, Timothy Britton Parker as Doctor Dillamond, Aaron Tveit as Fiyero and P.J. Benjamin as The Wizard. To celebrate the fifth anniversary, Decca Broadway released a two-CD recording earlier this week. Entitled "Wicked [5th Anniversary Edition]," the first disc includes all the selections from the original 2003 cast recording, which features Tony Award winners Idina Menzel as Elphaba and Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda. The 19 tracks on the disc comprise "No One Mourns the Wicked," "Dear Old Shiz," "The Wizard and I," "What Is this Feeling?," "Something Bad," "Dancing Through Life," "Popular," "I'm Not That Girl," "One Short Day," "A Sentimental Man," "Defying Gravity," "Thank Goodness," "Wonderful," "I'm Not That Girl" (Reprise), "As Long As You're Mine," "No Good Deed," "March of the Witch Hunters," "For Good" and "Finale."

The second disc includes a pop duet of "For Good," performed by LeAnn Rimes and Delta Goodrem; a pop version of "I'm Not That Girl" sung by Kerry Ellis; a "dance mix" version of "Defying Gravity" performed by Tony winner Menzel; and "Making Good," a tune cut from the production performed by Stephanie J. Block. Songs from the German and Japanese editions of the cast album round out the bonus material." The tracks include "For Good," "I'm Not That Girl," "Making Good," "Solang ich dich hab," "Gutes tun," "Dancing Through Life," "Popular" and "Defying Gravity."

Based on Gregory Maguire's novel, which turned every Oz myth inside out, Wicked explores the early life of the witches of Oz: Glinda and Elphaba. The two main characters meet at Shiz, a school where both hope to take up sorcery. Glinda is madly popular and Elphaba is, well, green. By a misunderstanding, they wind up roommates and, after an initial period of mutual loathing, begin to learn something about each other. Their life paths continue to intersect through a shared love, entry into the Emerald City and interaction with the Wizard himself. Eventually, their choices and convictions take them on widely different paths.

Wicked features a score by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman, direction by Joe Mantello and musical staging by Wayne Cilento. The creative team also includes scenic design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Tony Meola, projections by Elaine J. McCarthy, wig and hair design by Tom Watson, music supervision and arrangements by Stephen Oremus, orchestrations by William David Brohn and dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott.

Wicked won 2004 Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical (Menzel), Best Costume Design (Susan Hilferty) and Best Scenic Design (Eugene Lee).

The Gershwin Theatre is located in Manhattan at 222 West 51st Street. For more information visit www.wickedthemusical.com.

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