Inside the Emerald City: Wicked's Glinda

By Playbill Staff
October 25, 2013

Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman's international hit musical Wicked celebrates its 10th anniversary on Broadway Oct. 30 at the Gershwin Theatre. To mark the Broadway milestone, Playbill.com is looking back at the magical and mysterious characters who inhabit the untold tale of the witches of Oz.



Each week Playbill.com will highlight a different leading character from the hit musical and a selection of the actors who have filled his or her shoes. (Read more about Wicked's 10th anniversary here.)

Playbill.com has also highlighted actresses who played Madame Morrible and the actors who have played the Wonderful Wizard of Oz,  Fiyero and Boq.

This week we look at Wicked's Glinda.

Click through for a tour of Oz's Wicked inhabitants:

Kristin Chenoweth
Photo by Joan Marcus

Kristin Chenoweth, a Tony Award winner for You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown in 1999, received a 2004 Best Actress Tony Award nomination for creating the role of Glinda in Wicked. She helped shape the role during workshops of the hit musical that first premiered in San Francisco prior to its October 2003 Broadway bow. "About a year-and-a-half ago, Stephen Schwartz called me and said, 'I've got this show, and there's a part that I kind of wrote with you in mind, and I can't imagine anyone else doing it,'" Chenoweth said in a 2002 interview with Playbill.com. Her numerous credits include the Broadway productions of Steel Pier, Epic Proportions, The Apple Tree and Promises, Promises. The actress is also known for her award-winning film and television work, including "Glee," "Pushing Daisies" and the recent ABC series "GCB."

Jennifer Laura Thompson
Photo by Joan Marcus

Jennifer Laura Thompson succeeded Chenoweth as Wicked's "good" witch in 2004. Thompson has also appeared on Broadway Nice Work If You Can Get It, Lend Me a Tenor, Footloose and her Tony-nominated performance as Hope Cladwell in Urinetown.

Megan Hilty
Photo by Joan Marcus

Before she was the star of NBC's "Smash," Megan Hilty made her 2005 Broadway debut as Glinda, a role she also played on tour and in the Los Angeles company of Wicked. On stage Hilty played Lorelei Lee, the diamond-loving blonde made famous by Carol Channing, in New York City Center’s Encores! run of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She also played Doralee Rhodes in Broadway’s 9 to 5: The Musical. She can also be seen on the new television series "Sean Saves the World."

Kate Reinders
Photo by Joan Marcus

Kate Reinders was the first actress to play Glinda in the original 2005 Chicago production of Wicked. She repeated her performance on Broadway in 2006. On Broadway, she starred as Dainty June in the 2003 revival of Gypsy with Bernadette Peters, as well as Little Red in the 2002 revival of Into the Woods. Reinders has also appeared in Good Vibrations and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Her screen credits include "Work It," "Sherri," "Kinsey" and "While You Were Sleeping."

Annaleigh Ashford
Photo by Joan Marcus

Before she was a Tony nominee for Kinky Boots, Annaleigh Ashford was Broadway's Glinda from 2007-08. She also played the role in the final Chicago cast of Wicked. In addition to stopping the show nightly at Kinky Boots, Ashford earned acclaim for her performance in the Off-Broadway musical Dogfight. Her other Broadway appearances have included Hair and the original cast of Legally Blonde. Off-Broadway she received Drama League and Clive Barnes Awards nominations for her performance in Rent.

Erin Mackey
Photo by Joan Marcus

Erin Mackey has played Glinda in the Chicago, Los Angeles and Broadway casts of Wicked. Her Broadway appearances also include Sondheim on Sondheim, Anything Goes and, recently, Oona O'Neill in Chaplin.

Clarke in Wicked.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Katie Rose Clarke made her 2005 Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning musical The Light in the Piazza. She returned to Broadway as Wicked's Glinda in 2010-11, and she also played the "popular" role from April-September of this year.

Laura Bell Bundy

Laura Bell Bundy was the original Broadway understudy and performed the role of Glinda numerous times from 2003-04. Prior to Wicked, Bundy originated the role of Amber Von Tussle in Hairspray and later earned a 2007 Best Actress Tony Award nomination for creating the role of Elle Woods in the Broadway musical adaptation of Legally Blonde. Bundy has also appeared in Gypsy, Ruthless, "Jumanji," "How I Met Your Mother," "Guiding Light," "Hart of Dixie" and her series "Oh My Country."

Kendra Kassebaum
Photo by Joan Marcus

Kendra Kassebaum played Glinda in the 2005 first national tour launch of Wicked and later starred as Glinda on Broadway from 2007-08. On Broadway she has appeared in Rent, Assassins and, most recently, as Sam Nightingale in the 2012 musical Leap of Faith. Earlier this fall she appeared in the world-premiere musical Secondhand Lions.

Patti Murin
Photo by Joan Marcus

Patti Murin starred as Glinda from 2012-13 in the national tour of Wicked. On Broadway she has been seen in Xanadu and in the title role of the 2011 Broadway musical Lysistrata Jones. This summer she played the Princess in the acclaimed Shakespeare in the Park musical adaptation of Love's Labour's Lost.

Chandra Lee Schwartz
Photo by Joan Marcus

Chandra Lee Schwartz has portrayed Glinda in both the first national tour and Broadway productions of Wicked. She also appeared in the 2003 Broadway revival of Gypsy with Bernadette Peters. Off-Broadway she was seen in What's That Smell: The Music of Jacob Sterling and appeared in Forbidden Broadway.

Alli Mauzey
Photo by Joan Marcus

Alli Mauzey has a long history with Wicked. She has appeared as Glinda in the national tour and San Francisco run of the musical, as well as a Broadway engagement in 2008-09. Mauzey returned to the Broadway cast of Wicked in September. She currently co-stars with Lindsay Mendez, who plays Elphaba. Mauzey's other Broadway credits include Lenora in Cry-Baby and Brenda in Hairspray.

PHOTO ARCHIVE: Celebrating Wicked on Broadway

View the Entire Photo Gallery
Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel and company
Photo by Joan Marcus