Wicked is a musical with songs and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. The story is loosely based on the best-selling novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, a parallel novel of the 1939 film of L. Frank Baum's classic story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz.
The show celebrated its 7th Anniversary on October 30, 2010. It is currently the 25th longest-running show in musical theatre history and the 17th longest-running Broadway show, having played over 2,870 performances to date.
Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West, and her relationship with Galinda, later Glinda, the Good Witch of the North (in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel, Glinda is the Good Witch of the South). Their friendship struggles through their opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, their reactions to the Wizard's corrupt government, and, ultimately, Elphaba's public fall from grace. The plot is set before and during Dorothy's arrival from Kansas, and includes several references to well-known scenes and dialogue in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz as a backstory.
Wicked premiered at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco in May 2003. In October 2003, the show premiered on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre. It was produced by Universal Pictures and directed by Joe Mantello, with musical staging by Wayne Cilento. The original stars were Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, and Joel Grey as the Wizard.Although the production received mixed reviews and was panned by The New York Times, it has proved to be a favorite among patrons. The Broadway production's success spawned productions in Chicago, Los Angeles, London's West End, San Francisco, as well as international productions in Japan, Germany and Australia, and two North American tours that have visited over thirty cities in Canada and the United States.
Wicked has broken box office records around the world, holding weekly-gross-takings records in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis, and London, and the record for biggest opening in the West End (£100,000 in the first hour on sale).Both the West End production and the North American tour have been seen by over two million patrons.The show was nominated for ten 2004 Tony Awards, winning those for Best Actress (Menzel), Scenic Design and Costume Design. It also won six Drama Desk Awards and an Olivier Award.