The New York Times' Ben Brantley gave the show a mixed review. "Yet despite the flashes of grace and inventiveness in Ms. Stroman's choreography and the modest melodic appeal of the work's songs," he wrote, "Steel Pier is insulated by a fuzzy cover of blandness."
The production was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, but won none, and closed after 76 performances. Chenoweth received a Theatre World Award for her role as Precious McGuire.
The musical opened at the Ambassador Theatre Feb. 4, 1999. Critics raved about Chenoweth's portrayal of Sally; the New York Times' Ben Brantley claimed she gave "one of those break-out performances that send careers skyward" and was "the only significant reason for adults unaccompanied by children to sit through this mild-mannered, sticky evening of skits and songs."
Chenoweth received the 1999 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her work. Other accolades included a Drama Desk Award and a Clarence Derwent Award for Most Promising Female Performer.
Directed by Joe Mantello, the production opened Oct. 30, 2003, at the Gershwin Theatre. In his review for the New York Times, Ben Brantley called the production "bloated" and a "Technicolorized sermon of a musical," but praised Chenoweth's work. He wrote: "But for aficionados of the American musical, it's Ms. Chenoweth who's the real thing, melding decades of performing traditions into something shiny and new. Wicked does not, alas, speak hopefully for the future of the Broadway musical. Ms. Chenoweth, on the other hand, definitely does."
Chenoweth received a Tony nomination for her performance, but lost to costar Menzel. Despite the initial negative response from critics, Wicked celebrated its tenth anniversary on Broadway last year and is currently the 11th longest-running show in Broadway history.
Once again, the general consensus from critics was that Chenoweth's performance was the highlight of an otherwise lackluster production. Variety's David Rooney wrote: "Chenoweth has the timing and physical comedy skills of a classic screwball star like Carole Lombard, and her airy, effortless soprano makes enchanting work of songs such as 'Here in Eden'...but even with her delectable turn, the material is too thin to support an entire act."
The revival ran for 99 performances before closing March 11, 2007.