OK BROADWAY FANS!! Tomorrow is the big night we've all been waiting for…. The 73rd Annual Tony Awards. We at New York Broadway Tours are proud to present the # 1 performance for our TOP 40 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN. Here it goes….
At # 1 on our countdown is another one of Broadway's most beloved hot tickets. If you think you know the story of The Wizard of Oz so well, think again. Get ready to experience the story from the perspective of 2 girls…. one blonde and the other one green long before a little girl from Kansas named Dorothy crashed the scene. You guessed it, this is WICKED The Musical. With a score by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, the show is based on a novel of the same name by Gregory Maguire.
From the 2004 telecast, the show's original Witches who started it all… Tony winners Idina Menzel as "Elphaba", Kristin Chenoweth as "Glinda", and the entire original Broadway cast perform the show's iconic Act 1 finale anthem DEFYING GRAVITY.
WICKED was first conceived by top Hollywood producer Marc Platt who was adapting Gregory Maguire's acclaimed novel WICKED: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST as a film for Universal Pictures. At the time, composer Stephen Schwartz was reading the novel and knew that the story would be a unique musical. However after finding out the rights were given already, Schwartz thought of an "impassioned plea" to Marc Platt to collaborate together on the production. Fell in love with it being a stage musical adaptation instead, Platt signed on as joint producer of the project with Universal Studios and David Stone. In addition, Schwartz collaborated with book writer Emmy winner Winnie Holzman expanding the flow of the story about the political, social and ethical commentary on the nature of good and evil in the Land of Oz. They took inspiration from both the L. Frank Baum books and the beloved 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz. With director Joe Mantello and Choreographer Wayne Cilento on board, the show went into many stages of readings and workshops.
The show originally had its world premiere in San Francisco at the Curran Theatre in the Spring of 2003 earning initial mixed reviews (due to technical problems and several moments that confused the audiences). Following the world premiere out of town tryout as the company headed back to New York City, they spent 8 weeks updating the scripts with scenes being cut, new dialogue and songs written, and 4 parts being recast including the role of "The Wizard of Oz" himself.
WICKED officially opened on Broadway in the Fall of 2003 (opening the day before Halloween) at the Gershwin Theatre earning rave reviews and it broke its box office records. The Broadway production continues to run at the Gershwin and sell out every single night. It's made over $1 billion ever since. The show most recently celebrated its 15th Bewitching Anniversary on Broadway. Under the direction of Joe Mantello and choreography by Wayne Cilento, the original cast consisted of…
Tony winner Idina Menzel as "Elphaba",
Tony and Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth as "Glinda",
Tony and Oscar winner Joel Grey as "The Wizard of Oz",
Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz as "Fiyero",
The late Carole Shelley as "Madame Morrible",
Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald as "Boq",
Michelle Federer Butz as "Nessarose",
and William Youmans as "Dr. Dillamond".
With the Broadway production still open and playing to packed houses every night, there have been a huge lineup of numerous replacements on Broadway for the past 15 1/2 years.
The show was nominated for 10 Tony Awards in 2004 winning 3 including Best Leading Actress in a Musical (for Idina Menzel). It went to receive many more Awards as well including the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater album.
In addition to its Broadway success, WICKED went on to become a worldwide Blockbuster hit with productions continuing to play everywhere from Chicago, 2 National Tours, London's West End, Japan, Germany, Holland, Mexico City, Korea and much more.
Isn't this show so THRILLIFYING?!!
Well, that's it!! We hope you all enjoyed our selection of Broadway shows on our TOP 40 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN. Tomorrow is going to be a really exciting morning to tune in to Broadway's Biggest Night of the Year… The 73rd Annual Tony Awards. We are excited to be celebrating the best of the 2018-2019 season. So many shows nominated this year, exciting talked about most likely winners, presenters, and musical performances.
We cannot wait to do this countdown next year as we countdown 365 days till the 2020 Tony Awards.
And of course if you want to learn more about some of Broadway's Award winning and nominated shows, be sure to join us on one of our Walking Tours this summer or anytime if you're coming to NYC. We will visit the Broadway houses where many of your favorite musicals were in, learn about theater traditions, and belt out several showtunes at the top of our lungs. PLEASE BOOK YOUR TICKETS!!