In a world where everyone’s a critic, theatre fans know that every show has its audience. Take a look at our handy list of reasons Wicked might be just the right fit for you.
1. Brittney Johnson is making history as the first Black actor to play Glinda on Broadway.
Brittney Johnson, no stranger to being the “good witch,” steps into the role full-time after performing as the Glinda stand-by since 2019. This cast change elevates the story of two strong female characters navigating a complicated friendship, to new heights. Women of color, most especially Black women and girls, can walk into the Gershwin Theatre and see themselves on stage in a role that allows them to be seen as feminine, bubbly, brilliant, kind, valued, and greatly admired.
2. It remains a spectacular escape from reality while speaking to the current moment.
Wicked is a feel-good escape from the hardships of the world while drawing interesting parallels between the mythical land of Oz and real life. For a gentle 2 hours and 40 minutes, Wicked offers a trip to the Emerald City, while exploring the ways an invented narrative can turn the world against someone unfairly, but also the power of being able to look beyond your own preconceived notions, of friendship and hope and kindness.
3. It’s a Wizard of Oz prequel.
Based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 book of the same name, this musical starts before the popular tale of Dorothy and Toto, giving us the origin stories of Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West, along with some of the other characters from the L. Frank Baum novel and 1939 MGM film.
4. Nothing beats seeing Wicked live.
A Quick search on YouTube or TikTok will quickly bring up countless compilations of fans’ favorite “Defying Gravity” and “Popular” performances, and with good reason. The incredible group of women who have played Elphaba and Glinda over the years have shown how much of a unique spin an actor can put on Stephen Schwartz’s soaring score. Even if you know the Broadway cast album like the back of your hand, each Broadway performance is its own special, live, and the music is pulsates around the theater.
5. It’s a classic story about friendship.
Part of the excitement of the show is watching Glinda and Elphaba grow as individuals and then together as friends. The duo’s deep love builds until the closing number, which has become a favorite within many real-life friendships.
6. It’s the one time to see the inside of the Gershwin Theatre.
Wicked has played at The Gershwin Theatre since 2003—nearly 19 years ago. If you’re one eager to visit all Broadway houses, seeing this show is your only chance. Theatre fans can arrive early and peruse the Theater Hall of Fame, housed in the lobby of the Gershwin. See pictures and personal effects from such Hall of Fame inductees as Patti LuPone, Liza Minnelli, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and more.
7. The show’s physical designs are a sight to see.
Eugene Lee and Susan Hilferty’s opulent scenic and costume designs do not look like they were created nearly two decades ago. Their whimsical and steampunk version of Oz helps Wicked be as much a feast for the eyes now as it was when it premiered in 2003. No minimalism on display here; Wicked features a giant dragon head puppet atop the stage, a high-flying act one finale, and a host of other “magical” special effects.
8. Wicked continues to stand the test of time.
There’s no collective secret formula but many could learn from this show that has managed to surpass expectations, beat the odds, and continues to be produced and celebrated around the world. Wicked has stood the test of time because of its ability to adapt and change where and when necessary.