Not Just "Popular": Wicked Creators Are Multimillionaires

News   Not Just "Popular": Wicked Creators Are Multimillionaires
The international hit musical Wicked, which is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire and features a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, has made its creators multimillionaires.

Producers and investors in the musical, which celebrated its eighth anniversary at Broadway's Gershwin Theatre Oct. 30, 2011, have enjoyed more than $300 million in profits from productions of Wicked worldwide, according to

Authors Maguire, Schwartz and Holzman have earned more than $95 million, while director Joe Mantello's take has exceeded $23 million. Others who have profited include set designer Eugene Lee (more than $6.6 million), choreographer Wayne Cilento (more than $6.3 million) and costume designer Susan Hilferty (more than $2.2 million). obtained its information from papers released by the New York State attorney general's office in June 2010. Because newer figures are not yet available, says its story "undoubtedly understates total compensation to date for the producers, investors and creative team behind Wicked." A production spokesperson could not confirm the figures to

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.

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

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