"The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz": Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth Look Back at Wicked Ten Years Later

By Michael Gioia
24 Oct 2013

Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked.
Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Tony Award-winning actresses Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, who created the respective roles of Elphaba and Glinda — the not-so Wicked Witches of Oz  — take a trip down memory lane and individually chat with Playbill about the long-running, hit musical that stormed Broadway ten years ago.

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"It was so good to be together again," said Kristin Chenoweth, who recently met with Idina Menzel — her co-star and comrade in Wicked, which opened on Broadway Oct. 30, 2003 — in celebration of the show's tenth anniversary at the Gershwin Theatre.

"I always knew it was something special in the beginning," admitted Menzel, "but I had no idea that it would become this phenomenon."



On Oct. 30, the Tony Award-nominated Best Musical Wicked hits a monumental milestone and joins the ranks of Mamma Mia!, Rent, Beauty and the Beast, Oh! Calcutta!, A Chorus Line, The Lion King, Les Misérables, Chicago, Cats and The Phantom of the Opera — musicals that have played for over a decade on the Great White Way.

Although Menzel did not suspect Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman's Wicked would turn into the mega-hit musical that it is now — with theatregoers still rushing to the Gershwin and the production still topping box-office charts — Chenoweth did.

"I just remember saying to Idina, 'Man… It's not going to matter what the critics say. Do you hear that? Do you hear that audience?' That's what I remember from intermission," Chenoweth recalled of opening night.

Menzel, on the other hand, "was probably out of my body a little bit" after taking flight Oct. 30, 2003, and "Defying Gravity" at the end of the show's first act. "I get like that," she admitted. "When I'm doing my thing — when I'm so involved in it — I can't remember what I did, so that's why you have people around you to tell you. You just lose yourself in what you are doing. And, those are the best moments."

 Continued...