Wicked Celebrates 1,000th Broadway Performance March 23

News   Wicked Celebrates 1,000th Broadway Performance March 23
Wicked, the hit Stephen Schwartz musical that opened at Broadway's Gershwin Theatre Oct. 30, 2003, celebrates its 1,000th performance there March 23.
Eden Espinosa in the current Broadway cast of Wicked.
Eden Espinosa in the current Broadway cast of Wicked. Photo by Joan Marcus

Nearly every performance of Wicked has sold out since its opening more than two years ago. The Chicago company and the national company of the musical are also solid hits, and the London production, which will open in the fall, sold £100,000 worth of tickets during the first hour tickets were on sale.

The New York company is currently headed by former Brooklyn star Eden Espinosa as the green-faced Elphaba and Megan Hilty as the curly locked Glinda. Ben Vereen co-stars as the Wizard with Carol Kane (Madame Morrible), Derrick Williams (Fiyero), Jenna Leigh Green (Nessarose), Sean McCourt (Dr. Dillamond) and Robb Sapp (Boq). David Garrison will become the new Wizard April 4.

With a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, Wicked began previews on Broadway Oct. 8, 2003, after a summer tryout at San Francisco's Curran Theatre. When the musical officially opened Oct. 30, the original cast featured Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Joel Grey as The Wizard, Carole Shelley as Madame Morrible, Norbert Leo Butz as Fiyero, Michelle Federer as Nessarose, Christopher Fitzgerald as Boq and William Youmans as Doctor Dillamand.

Both Chenoweth and Menzel were nominated for Tonys for their performances, with Menzel nabbing the award for Best Actress in a Musical. The musical garnered ten Tony nominations in all, including one for Best Musical. The Oz-themed show also won Tonys for its lavish set (Eugene Lee) and costumes (Susan Hilferty).

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. The Broadway company - directed by Joe Mantello - plays the Gershwin Theatre. Tickets are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.

The Gershwin Theatre is located at 222 West 51st Street, between Eighth Avenue and Broadway.

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