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Posted: Apr 24th 2003, 3:00 am
by Natasha (candygirl)
Wicked, a new musical, premieres at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco May 28th and runs through June 29th before going on to Broadway.

The show stars Tony Award winner Kristin Chenowith (for You're a Good Man Charlie Brown - also recently seen in ABC's The Music Man with Matthew Broderick) , Tony nominee Idina Menzel (for her portrayal as the original Maureen in Rent, starred as Amneris in Aida - aka wife of Taye Diggs), and legendary two time Tony winner (out of five nominations) Robert Morse (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Tru).

Music and lyrics by celebrated composer Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell, Prince of Egypt, Pocahontas).

Book by Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life, Thirtysomething).

Based on the best selling novel by Gregory Maguire (author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister).

Musical staging by Wayne Cilento (Aida, The Who's Tommy) and Joe Mantello (Love! Valour! Compassion! and Dead Man Walking).

Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the land of Oz. One, born with emerald green skin, is smart, fiery, and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious, and very popular. How these two unlikely friends end up as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch makes for the most spellbinding new musical in years.

Posted: Apr 24th 2003, 9:13 am
by Megs
Ok, I am sick, so my head is fuzzy. I don't understand. It says book by Winnie, and novel by someone else... so what did Winnie write? The play? Or a book based on the novel that the play is based on?

Be gentle. I don't feel good. Thanks!

Posted: Apr 24th 2003, 1:26 pm
by Natasha (candygirl)
Gregory Maguire wrote the novel that the musical is based upon.

In theatre terms, writing the book does not mean "I made up this whole story all by myself and it's completely original."

In theatre, the book is the script of a play. In musicals, the book refers to the part of a musical show conducted in dialogue.

So in other words, not every single line of dialogue from the novel was used in the play word for word, for whatever reasons. In addition, sometimes more dialogue is needed as exposition to convey the non-dialogue portions of the book.

The words of the songs were written by the lyricist (Stephen Schwartz), while the spoken dialogue was written by Winnie Holzman.

Posted: Apr 24th 2003, 1:42 pm
by Megs
Perfect. Thanks. :lol:

Posted: Apr 24th 2003, 5:25 pm
by fnordboy
Nows I cans pretend I am one of dem dere cultured people :wink:

I gots the knowledge now.

Thanks candygirl.

Posted: Aug 17th 2003, 6:15 pm
by Natasha (candygirl)
Wicked will be opening on Broadway this October - more info available at


Posted: Aug 17th 2003, 8:04 pm
by fnordboy
candygirl wrote:Wicked will be opening on Broadway this October - more info available at

:shock: :lol: :shock: :lol: all I can think of is Spaceballs...

Posted: Aug 17th 2003, 11:56 pm
by Natasha (candygirl)
Hahaha - "I see your schwartz is as big as mine!"


Meet Winnie Holzman!

Posted: Oct 27th 2003, 5:19 am
by Sascha
This is very short notice, but everyone in NYC can meet Winnie Holzman tonight (Monday 10/27 2003) and get an autograph from her:

A WICKED Q&A AND BOOK SIGNING EVENT. This coming Monday, 10/27 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the Barnes & Noble on 66th & Broadway will host a Q&A session and book signing with WICKED's book writer, WINNIE HOLZMAN and with GREGORY MAGUIRE, author of WICKED; The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. It is Maguire's novel that inspired the musical. Stop by, say hello and enter-to-win a pair of tickets to WICKED.

Source: ... read=59559

Posted: Oct 30th 2003, 10:33 pm
by Natasha (candygirl)
the New York Times review of Wicked! You can view a video clip of Kristin Chenowith singing "Popular" here (requires registration, which is free).
There's Trouble in Emerald City

Published: October 31, 2003

HE'S flying! She's actually flying!

No, not that winged monkey who levitates over the audience. And not the slinky babe with green skin on the broom, though she definitely has her sky-scraping moments. No, the one I'm talking about is that improbably small woman in the white dress, the one who doesn't even need that floating mechanical bubble she uses for transportation.

That's Kristin Chenoweth, who is currently giving jaw-dropping demonstrations of the science of show-biz aeronautics in "Wicked," the Technicolorized sermon of a musical that opened last night at the Gershwin Theater. Playing Glinda the Good Witch in this equally arch and earnest show, a revisionist look at "The Wizard of Oz," Ms. Chenoweth must put across jokes and sight gags that could make angels fall.

Never for a second, though, does she threaten to crash to earth. Even lying down, Ms. Chenoweth — who performed similar magic in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" four years ago (and won a Tony) — remains airborne, proving that in the perilous skies of Broadway, nothing can top undiluted star power as aviation fuel.

Be grateful, very grateful, that Ms. Chenoweth, who spent a brief exile in the land of sitcoms, has returned to the stage with none of the routinized glibness associated with weekly television. She provides the essential helium in a bloated production that might otherwise spend close to three hours flapping its oversized wings without taking off.

Lightness of touch is not the salient characteristic of this politically indignant deconstruction of L. Frank Baum's "Oz" tales. Built on songs by Stephen Schwartz ("Pippin") and a book by Winnie Holzman (adapted from Gregory Maguire's novel of the same title), the show is steeped in talent.

There is, for starters, Idina Menzel, the vulpine vocal powerhouse who created the role of the omnisexual Maureen in "Rent" and who here brings her larynx of steel to the role of Glinda's dearest rival, Elphaba, a k a the Wicked Witch of the West. (Wicked, by the way, turns out to be a morally relative word, but let's not open that can of semantics.)

The director of "Wicked" is the understandably in-demand Joe Mantello ("Take Me Out," "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune"). The top-flight designers include Eugene Lee (sets), Susan Hilferty (costumes) and Kenneth Posner (lighting). And the overstuffed cast roster features both gold-standard veterans (Joel Grey, Carole Shelley) and bright rising talents (Norbert Leo Butz, Christopher Fitzgerald).

Yet it's hard to avoid the impression that whenever Ms. Chenoweth leaves the stage, "Wicked" loses its wit, while its swirling pop-eretta score sheds any glimmer of originality. There are visual and verbal jokes aplenty throughout this thorned re-creation of Baum's enchanted land, where Glinda and Elphaba get to know each other long before a little brat named Dorothy shows up. But more often than not, the humor brings to mind a slightly sweaty young college professor with a social conscience, hoping to win over his students by acting funky and cracking wise.

The story, as in Mr. Maguire's novel, is a tale of two witches: the superficial, self-adoring, cosmetically perfect Glinda and the restless, dissastified, highly intelligent Elphaba, who, having grown up with green skin in a white wizard's world, smarts from the stigma of looking different.

The contrast between the young women, who wind up as reluctant roommates at sorcery school, is used to examine a society that values surface over substance, the illusion of doing good over the genuinely noble act. It goes without saying that you don't have to squint to find parallels with a certain contemporary Western nation in which artful presidential photo ops win more votes than legislative change.

Take, for example, this declaration from the Wizard of Oz himself (Mr. Grey), who (as per Baum) is really an American émigré in Emerald City: "When I first got here, there was discord and discontent. And where I come from, everyone knows: The best way to bring folks together is to give them a really good enemy."

And remember those winged monkeys that were so scary in the 1939 movie version? In "Wicked," the Wizard plans to use them as spies to "report on subversive animal activity." Animals, by the way, once had the power of speech in the land of Oz, but they are fast falling victim to a persecution campaign that would transform them into, well, animals.

There's a similarly political backstory for many of the major elements of the original "Oz" tale, including the transformation of Dorothy's famous sidekicks, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. But the show's central focus is Elphaba, who soon discovers an affinity for the oppressed of Oz.

That's how Elphaba, the brightest student at Shiz University (which deliberately summons images of the Hogwarts school from the Harry Potter books), becomes a rebel with a broomstick. And how "Wicked" at moments bizarrely comes to read as an allegory of those privileged student dissidents from the 1960's and 70's who traded beer blasts for Molotov cocktails. (Think "Weathermen! The Musical.")

That's one side, anyway, of the lopsided equation that is "Wicked." The other side involves the ambivalent, ever-shifting relationship between Elphaba and Glinda, in which the adversarial women learn from each other and which recalls sobfests about female friendships like the movie "Beaches." (You keep expecting Glinda to start singing, "Did you ever know you were my hero, Elphaba?")

As a parable of fascism and freedom, "Wicked" so overplays its hand that it seriously dilutes its power to disturb. Much of the impact of Baum's original novel, like that of so many fantasy stories, came from haunting, symbolic figures that readers interpret on their own terms. Though there have been numerous literary analyses of Baum's "Oz" as a coded case for populism and agrarian reform, the book never feels like a tract.

"Wicked," on the other hand, wears its political heart as if it were a slogan button. This is true not only of the dialogue, but also of Mr. Schwartz's generically impassioned songs, which have that to-the-barricades sound of the omninously underscored anthems of "Les Misérables." Though the talk is festooned with cutely mangled words ("swankified," "thrillified," "gratitution") that bring to mind the language of Smurfs, there's a rock-hard lecture beneath the preciousness. Mr. Mantello reconciles the gap between form and content only in Ms. Chenoweth's performance.

The show comes closest to realizing its dark, admonitory vision in Mr. Lee's sets. An ingeniously arranged technoscape of wheels and cogs, overseen by the wondrous metal dragon that rests atop the proscenium, this Oz suggests a lite version of the futurist city of Fritz Lang's "Metropolis." And Ms. Hilferty has supplied costumes that transform the ensemble members into something like the creepy, mutating figures in Bosch paintings.

They are not an especially frolicsome bunch by Broadway musical standards. And the choreographer Wayne Cilento's "musical staging" registers as a series of spasmodic, disconnected poses that suggest that the dehumanization of the Ozians is already well under way.

Yet at the same time, "Wicked" just wants to have fun, and most of the cast members are hard pressed to find a balance between grinning ebullience and scowling satire. (It makes you appreciate the sharply honed double edge of "Urinetown.") Ms. Shelley, as the school's sinister headmistress, stays in high gargoyle gear throughout. As the craven, scheming Wizard, Mr. Grey struggles valiantly against his natural impulse to make the audience like him (and loses).

Michelle Federer, as Elphaba's wheelchair-bound sister, embodies a clunky psychological subtext with surprising grace. Mr. Fitzgerald's Puckish charm gets lost in the role of a nerdy Munchkin. And the quirky brilliance of Mr. Butz ("Thou Shalt Not"), who plays a pampered prince pursued by both leading witches, is drowned in standard-issue camouflage that recalls every hunky hero of the Disney musicals on Broadway. He even has to sing a throbbing "Aida"-style (that is, Elton John-style) duet with Ms. Menzel.

Despite the green skin, Elphaba is a bizarrely colorless role, all furrowed-brow sincerity and expansive power ballads. Ms. Menzel miraculously finds the commanding presence in the plainness of her part, and she opens up her voice in flashy ways that should be required study for all future contestants on "American Idol."

But even such committed intensity is no match for Ms. Chenoweth's variety. Though this petite, even-featured blonde would seem to have a set and familiar persona, it's amazing how she keeps metamorphosing before your eyes and ears.

Her voice shifting between operetta-ish trills and Broadway brass, her posture melting between prom-queen vampiness and martial arts moves, she evokes everyone from Jeanette MacDonald to Cameron Diaz, from Mary Martin to Madonna. And her precisely graded vocal and physical inflections turn even predictable one-liners into something so startling that you have to laugh.

Her vividness creates a balance problem, since "Wicked" is nominally Elphaba's story. Surely the show's creators didn't mean for audiences to root so ardently for a terminally superficial party girl, even before her political rehabilitation.

But, ah, when you have an actress who can so skillfully sell and send up her character, turning social vices into show-stopping virtues, how can you resist? What Ms. Chenoweth manages to do with the lyrics of a song of self-admiration called "Popular" is a master class in musical phrasing.

I was so blissed out whenever Glinda was onstage that I never felt I was wasting time at "Wicked." I just kept smiling in anticipation of her return when she wasn't around.

The talented Ms. Menzel will no doubt dazzle audience members whose musical tastes run to soft-rock stations. 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.

Posted: Nov 23rd 2003, 12:36 am
by GaryEA
Damn, I want to see this show, but ticket prices are steep these days...

(looks up)



Posted: May 10th 2004, 12:21 pm
by Sascha
"Wicked" just got nominated for 10 Tony awards!

Winnie Holzman also got a nomination...
Wicked," a quirky and fantasy-filled musical about those folks who live along the Yellow Brick Road, picked up 10 Tony Award nominations Monday.

"Assassins," the controversial Stephen Sondheim musical, followed with seven and four shows tied with six nominations apiece: "Caroline, or Change," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Avenue Q" and the Lincoln Center revival of "Henry IV."

Hugh Jackman, who will host the Tony ceremony on June 6, was among the nominees for outstanding actor in a musical for his portrayal of flamboyant entertainer Peter Allen in "The Boy From Oz." Kevin Kline and Christopher Plummer picked up nominations for best actor in a play.

"Anna in the Tropics," last year's Pulitzer winner; "Frozen," the chilling tale of a young girl's disappearance; "I Am My Own Wife," winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for drama; and "The Retreat From Moscow," got nods for best play.

Besides "Wicked," "Avenue Q" and "Caroline, or Change," the other best musical nominee was "The Boy From Oz."

Jackman will compete with Hunter Foster, "Little Shop of Horrors"; Alfred Molina, "Fiddler on the Roof," Euan Morton, "Taboo" and John Tartaglia, a puppeteer in "Avenue Q."

Competing for best actress in a musical were Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel for "Wicked," Donna Murphy for "Wonderful Town," Tonya Pinkins for "Caroline, or Change" and Stephanie D'Abruzzo, who sings the part of a puppet in "Avenue Q."

Kline and Plummer were nominated for their roles in two Shakespeare productions, "Henry IV" and "King Lear," respectively. They face Simon Russell Beale, "Jumpers"; Frank Langella, "Match"; and Jefferson Mays, "I Am My Own Wife."

Nominated for best performance by an actresses in a play were: Eileen Atkins, "The Retreat From Moscow"; Tovah Feldshuh, "Golda's Balcony"; Anne Heche, "Twentieth Century"; Swoosie Kurtz, "Frozen" and Phylicia Rashad, "A Raisin in the Sun."

"Wicked," which tells the story of the witches in "The Wizard of Oz" before Dorothy arrived, was one of the season's most expensive musicals, costing $14 million. Despite some mixed reviews, it has been a consistent sellout, grossing more than $1 million each week.

Besides best musical and leading actresses in a musical, it garnered nominations for book, score, choreography, orchestrations, sets, costumes and lighting.

Joe Mantello, snubbed for his direction of "Wicked," still received a best director nomination -- for his other Broadway musical, "Assassins." The Sondheim-John Weidman musical, which deals with presidential assassins from John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, was nominated for best musical revival along with "Wonderful Town," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Big River."

"Assassins," panned by many critics during its original off-Broadway run in 1991, was much more favorably reviewed in its latest incarnation by the Roundabout Theatre Company. The show also picked up nominations for two of its featured actors (Michael Cerveris and Denis O-Hare), sets, lighting and orchestrations.

Sean Combs may have been passed over for an acting nomination for his work in the revival of "A Raisin in the Sun," but the landmark Lorraine Hansberry drama was nominated for its three actresses (Rashad, Sanaa Lathan and Audra McDonald) and revival of a play, along with two Shakespeare epics -- Henry IV" and "King Lear" -- and Tom Stoppard's "Jumpers."

A complete list of nominees follows:

BEST PLAY: "Anna in the Tropics," "Frozen," "I Am My Own Wife," "The Retreat From Moscow."

BEST MUSICAL: "Avenue Q," "The Boy From Oz," "Caroline, or Change," "Wicked."

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL: Winnie Holzman, "Wicked"; Tony Kushner, "Caroline, or Change"; book, Martin Sherman and original book, Nick Enright, "The Boy From Oz"; Jeff Whitty, "Avenue Q."

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (Music and/or Lyrics): "Taboo," Boy George (music); "Avenue Q," Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (music); "Wicked," Stephen Schwartz (music); "Caroline, or Change," Jeanine Tesori (music), Tony Kushner (lyrics).

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY: "Henry IV," "Jumpers," "King Lear," "A Raisin in the Sun."

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL: "Assassins," "Big River," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Wonderful Town."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY: Simon Russell Beale, "Jumpers"; Kevin Kline, "Henry IV"; Frank Langella, "Match"; Jefferson Mays, "I Am My Own Wife"; Christopher Plummer, "King Lear."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Eileen Atkins, "The Retreat From Moscow"; Tovah Feldshuh, "Golda's Balcony"; Anne Heche, "Twentieth Century"; Swoosie Kurtz, "Frozen"; Phylicia Rashad, "A Raisin in the Sun."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Hunter Foster, "Little Shop of Horrors," Hugh Jackman, "The Boy From Oz," Alfred Molina, "Fiddler on the Roof," Euan Morton, "Taboo," John Tartaglia, "Avenue Q."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Kristin Chenoweth, "Wicked"; Stephanie D'Abruzzo, "Avenue Q"; Idina Menzel, "Wicked"; Donna Murphy, "Wonderful Town"; Tonya Pinkins, "Caroline, or Change."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY: Tom Aldredge, "Twentieth Century"; Ben Chaplin, "The Retreat From Moscow"; Aidan Gillen, "The Caretaker"; Omar Metwally, "Sixteen Wounded"; Brian F. O'Byrne, "Frozen."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Essie Davis, "Jumpers"; Sanaa Lathan, "A Raisin in the Sun"; Margo Martindale, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"; Audra McDonald, "A Raisin in the Sun"; Daphne Rubin-Vega, "Anna in the Tropics."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: John Cariani, "Fiddler on the Roof"; Michael Cerveris, "Assassins"; Raul Esparza, "Taboo"; Michael McElroy, "Big River"; Denis O'Hare, "Assassins."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Beth Fowler, "The Boy From Oz"; Isabel Keating, "The Boy From Oz"; Anika Noni Rose, "Caroline, or Change"; Jennifer Westfeldt, "Wonderful Town"; Karen Ziemba, "Never Gonna Dance."

BEST SCENIC DESIGN: Robert Brill, "Assassins"; Ralph Funicello, "Henry IV"; Eugene Lee, "Wicked"; Tom Pye, "Fiddler on the Roof."

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Jess Goldstein, "Henry IV"; Susan Hilferty, "Wicked"; Mike Nicholls and Bobby Pearce, "Taboo"; Mark Thompson, "Bombay Dreams."

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN: Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, "Assassins"; Brian MacDevitt, "Fiddler on the Roof"; Brian MacDevitt, "Henry IV"; Kenneth Posner, "Wicked."

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY: Doug Hughes, "Frozen"; Moises Kaufman, "I Am My Own Wife"; David Leveaux, "Jumpers"; Jack O'Brien, "Henry IV."

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL: Joe Mantello, "Assassins"; Kathleen Marshall, "Wonderful Town"; Jason Moore, "Avenue Q"; George C. Wolfe, "Caroline, or Change."

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: Wayne Cilento, "Wicked"; Kathleen Marshall, "Wonderful Town"; Jerry Mitchell, "Never Gonna Dance"; Anthony Van Laast and Farah Khan, "Bombay Dreams."

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS: Paul Bogaev, "Bombay Dreams"; William David Brohn, "Wicked"; Larry Hochman, "Fiddler on the Roof"; Michael Starobin, "Assassins."


REGIONAL THEATRE TONY AWARD: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. ... 1000507284

Posted: Nov 10th 2004, 6:27 pm
by Natasha (candygirl)
From yahoo news:
Broadway's 'Wicked' Expecting Big Profits


NEW YORK - Just before Christmas, an event that warms the heart of commercial theater producers everywhere will take place at "Wicked," Broadway's $14 million "Wizard of Oz" prequel: Pay back.

That's when the production recoups its investment and profits start rolling in. For "Wicked," it will be an especially sweet moment, particularly for producers Marc Platt and David Stone (news), who weathered a few bumpy reviews (the all-important New York Times, for one) and the loss of the best-musical Tony Award to the much smaller, considerably less expensive and profitable "Avenue Q."

Yet "Wicked" may have the last laugh. Every week, the sold-out musical's grosses top the $1 million mark, usually taking in more than "The Lion King" and outdistancing such other big shows as "Hairspray," "The Producers" and "Mamma Mia!"

"Fourteen million dollars in just under 14 months," enthuses Stone, adding that the show now has a $26 million advance at the 1,800-seat Gershwin Theatre, one of Broadway's biggest houses. "The advance and the weekly grosses are now higher than they have ever been" since the show opened in October 2003.

"For a big musical, `Wicked' is probably one of the fastest recoupments in recent memory," says Nick Scandalios, executive vice president of the Nederlander Organization, which owns the Gershwin.

A touring company begins in Toronto next March and already is booked for more than two years. And the Decca Broadway CD is the fastest-selling cast recording since "Rent," having sold nearly 250,000 copies since being released last December.

Unlike "The Producers," which saw a decline in business after stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick (news) left, "Wicked" handled the transition from Kristin Chenoweth (news), who departed the show in July, to Jennifer Laura Thompson without a box-office dip. Not bad for the tale of two young witches-to-be — one green and brooding, the other blond and bubbly — in the Land of Oz. The musical, with a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, is based on Gregory Maguire's cult novel.

Thompson, as the buoyant, blond Glinda, now co-stars with Idina Menzel (news), the green-skinned, ostracized Elphaba. Menzel won one of the show's three Tonys (the others being for sets and costumes).

"Wicked" may have started life as a novel, but its second incarnation was to have been as a movie. Platt, who has worked as president of production at such studios as Universal Pictures and TriStar Pictures, already had a screenplay in hand in 1998. Yet something was missing.

"It wasn't satisfying," Platt recalls. "It wasn't working as something cinematic."

At about the same time, Platt received a phone call from Stephen Schwartz, composer of such long-running successes as "Godspell," "Pippin" and "The Magic Show."

"Did you ever think of doing `Wicked' as a musical?" Schwartz asked.

A light bulb went off, and "Wicked" — on stage — was born.

"Music lifted `Wicked,' for a couple of reasons," Platt explains. "One, it's Oz and much of our recollection of Oz has to do with the film (the Judy Garland `Wizard of Oz') that had music in it. Two, it's also a fantasy, and music can take you to a different place in a different way.

"And lastly, Stephen was interested in veering from the book and telling the story of the two girls and their relationship, which required a lot of inner dialogue. In film, it's very hard to get at inner dialogue. ... In a musical, a character can turn to the audience and say or sing what's on her mind or in her heart."

It was Schwartz's idea to bring in Winnie Holzman, who was involved in the acclaimed yet short-lived television series called "My So-Called Life." "What I loved about Winnie was she could write about the angst of young girls," the producer says.

Since the book had been a movie project at Universal, the studio allowed Platt to develop it as a stage version. A first reading in early 2000 of only the first act proved encouraging, although it was three hours long. A year later, another reading — including the first two acts and clocking in at four hours — was even more successful.


"Something special happened at that reading," according to Stone, who already had been in talks with Platt about joining the project. "I was completely taken off guard by how emotionally involved I became in the story of these two girls."

That, according to its producers, has been the secret of the show's success: positive word-of-mouth. From its workshops to an out-of-town tryout in San Francisco in the summer of 2003, audiences have responded enthusiastically to the story of the two very different young women who are sisters under the skin.

"I think it boils down to how to you connect with the characters, and people connect with `Wicked,'" Scandalios says. "There's a green girl inside everyone."


On the Net:

Posted: Nov 19th 2004, 1:48 pm
by wicked
roflmao..thought I was in trouble..or had become famous!:P

the book was amazing

Posted: Dec 21st 2004, 5:54 am
by Sascha ... ALTAVISTA1

'Wicked' Reaches Financial Nirvana

Published: December 21, 2004

After nearly 14 months of flying monkeys, bickering witches and sold-out houses, "Wicked," the slick and successful musical based on characters from "The Wizard of Oz," has recouped its $14 million capitalization, one of its producers said yesterday.

The producer, David Stone, said "Wicked," which opened in October 2003 to mixed to positive reviews, will officially earn back its money sometime this week.

For any show to recoup is a cause for investor celebration - about 80 percent of Broadway shows lose money - but the success of "Wicked," a sort of prequel to "The Wizard of Oz," is also impressive because of its relative speed. By comparison, another recently successful musical, "Avenue Q," took 10 months to recoup $3.5 million on Broadway; "Wicked" earned back four times that amount in just four extra months.

"Wicked" was greatly helped by factors including an effective, broadbased marketing campaign, a bigger theater and a pair of splashy performances by its two original female leads, Kristin Chenoweth (playing Glinda, the "good" witch) and Idina Menzel (Elphaba, her long-suffering roommate at sorcery school). Both were nominated for Tony Awards; Ms. Menzel won.

Ms. Chenoweth has since left the cast, but "Wicked" has continued to increase its advance sales, which now top $30 million, Mr. Stone said. It is a consistent sellout at the Gershwin Theater, one of Broadway's largest.

"The most gratifying thing is that the audiences' demand for tickets has continued to increase," Mr. Stone said. "The box-office grosses and the advance sales are stronger now than they were six months ago and much stronger than they were over a year ago."

The show was also unfazed by an unexpected defeat at this year's Tonys, where it was favored by many in the theater industry to win the prize for best musical. "Avenue Q" won instead, but its producers promptly disappointed many voters on the road by announcing that it would bypass touring in favor of an open-ended stay in Las Vegas.

"Wicked" won't be taking that route. A North American tour begins in Toronto in March, followed by a lengthy stay in Chicago. Ticket sales in both cities have been strong.