‘Wicked’ is one of the important musicals in Broadway and London. It opened for the first time in June 2003 in San Francisco. It was a Pre-Broadway try-out, so the creators could see what was working well and what wasn’t. They improved the show and prepared it for the opening on Broadway in October, the day before Halloween. And today, 12 years later the show is still running with lot of people going every day to defy gravity with Elphaba. Nobody could imagine all the success and how would the show grow after so many years, but the musical has been in so many productions to arrive to a lot of people from all around the world. Of course, it’s not as big as other classics like ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ or ‘Les Misérables’, but just wait to see ‘Wicked’ in more and more countries. Here’s some of the most important productions of ‘Wicked’:
- Original Production: The musical opened for the first time at the Gershwin Theatre of Broadway on 30th October 2003 and still running. Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth were part of the original cast. Today, Rachel Tucker and Kara Lindsay are Elphaba and Glinda on stage.
- London: The show opened in London, at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, after the huge success of Broadway. The expectations were really high and the show is still running today with lots of people buying tickets every day. Idina Menzel moved to London to open the show, so lot of people could watch her in the UK performing the role that she won the Tony Award. Today Emma Hatton and Savannah Stevenson are Elphaba and Glinda.
- Japan: The musical opened at the Dentsu-Shiki Theatre of Tokyo in June 2017 and closed in September 2009. This was the first production of the show that wasn’t in English. They produced a cast recording and the show was transferred to Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya and then Tokyo again, where more people from Japan enjoyed the story of Elphaba and Glinda. Next year, the musical will open in Sapporo.
- Germany: The musical opened at the Palladium Theatre of Stuttgart in November 2007, being the first time the show was produced in German. They also released a cast recording with Willemijn Verkaik, who became very popular in that country and on Broadway and the West End. Then, the show was transferred to Oberhausen in March 2010.
- Australia: ‘Wicked’ opened first in Melbourne at the Regent Theatre in July 2008. It was the first time that the musical was produced in that country. Later, it was transferred to Sydney. In 2011 the show started a tour around Australia that was transferred too to an Asian National Tour. The show arrived to Singapore and Korea (please Kim, let me know if I’m wrong :)!)
- Netherlands: In 2011 until 2013, the first Dutch production opened at the AFAS Circus Theatre, with Willemijn Verkaik as Elphaba as well. She has been Elphaba speaking in Germany, Dutch and English. The show was running there for 14 months, which is a lot. The musicals there usually close earlier than that.
- Mexico: In 2013 until January 2015, in Mexico was brought the first Spanish production of ‘Wicked’. For the first time, lot of Spanish audience could understand and enjoy the story of the Witches of Oz. The Mexican artists Ana Cecilia Anzaldúa and Danna Paola were Elphaba and Majo Pérez was Glinda. The audience was really impressed by the grandiloquence of the show. Also, the composer Stephen Schwartz was very happy with the result.
- Brasil: The musical will open next year for the first time in that country, in 2016. It will be the first Portuguese production and according to the company, it will be a bit different from the original show. Some new effects and the construction of the scenes will be a bit different. That sounds really exciting. It will be the second production of ‘Wicked’ in Latin America.
Have you seen any of the productions of ‘Wicked’?