Wicked is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. The story is based on the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, a parallel novel of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and L. Frank Baum's classic story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It is told from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz.
The show celebrated its seventh anniversary on October 30, 2010. It is currently the 16th longest-running Broadway show in history,having played 3,187 performances as of July 8, 2011. In the week ending January 2, 2011, the London, Broadway, and both national touring productions all broke the record for the highest weekly gross.
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). The two women struggle 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 begins before and continues after Dorothy's arrival from Kansas, and includes several references to the events depicted in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.
After tryouts at the Curran Theatre in May 2003 as part of SHN (Theatres) Broadway series in San Francisco, Wicked premiered in October 2003 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 and San Francisco, as well as international productions in Japan, Germany, Australia and elsewhere, 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 three, including the Best Actress for Menzel. It also won six Drama Desk Awards and an Olivier Award.