Most of us have grown up fascinated by the world of magic. Whether by watching magic tricks, reading fantasy books, or being told bedtime stories about witches and wizards.
This generation has been raised on Harry Potter books and the animated classic, The Wizard of Oz, which explains our affinity to magic!
However, we always read stories about the protagonists, their troubles, and how they come out victorious at the end. We do not learn much about the antagonists and why they are the way they are.
Therefore, Gregory Maguire took it upon himself to write about an evil character from a classic children's book to give us a new perspective.
He wrote a book called "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" which tells us more about the evil Emerald City inhabitant and how we may have judged her too quickly.
The book is highly rated and has sold millions of copies worldwide. The book's success inspired the musical we now know and love: 'Wicked,' an instant Broadway NYC hit!
Read on as we explore Wicked, one of the best Broadway shows in NYC, in more detail:
The Storyline Of The New York Broadway Musical: Wicked
The idea of looking into the mind and life of an infamous movie villain is refreshing in itself. We all remember the famous 'I’m melting!’ scene from the Wizard of Oz movie!
This Broadway sensation has created an entirely new storyline and given depth to the character of the Wicked Witch of the West, which is what makes it so captivating.
Setting The Scene
The excellent script of Wicked details the empowering tale of two female protagonists, much like Chicago!
This is how the story starts: Elphaba, the protagonist of Wicked, is described as intelligent, fiery, but shy, has green skin and magical powers.
She starts attending Shiz University. However, she did not make many friends because of her insecurity and skin color, apart from Nessarose, her sister.
The story develops as Shiz’s headmistress, Madam Morrible, took Nessa under her wing, because of which Elphaba had to find another roommate- who happened to be Galinda.
Galinda was a bubbly, beautiful, and whimsical girl who was popular and the complete opposite of Elphaba.
She also happened to be a witch whose powers matched up to Elphaba’s. However, despite their initial hatred for each other, they ended up becoming friends.
The two of them are then joined by other professors and classmates at Shiz, considered strong characters within the musical.
The Main Plot-line
The plot twist arrives with the introduction of Fiyero, another student who happens to be both handsome and a prince. Both witches fall for him, creating a love triangle.
Furthermore, an animal professor, Doctor Dillamond, faces a lot of discrimination at Shiz. He ends up becoming friends with Elphaba, who is eager to fight off his oppressors.
Galinda, Elphaba, and Doctor Dillamond go to Oz (from the Wizard of Oz), hoping he will put an end to this intolerance.
A tragic mistake occurs, and a spell is incorrectly performed, after which Oz wrongly frames Elphaba as a ‘wicked’ witch. In contrast, Galinda becomes known as the personification of goodness.
In this New York Broadway musical, you also get to see other characters from the Wizard of Oz, such as the flying monkeys, the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and The Scarecrow.
Additionally, it also explains the origins of the mysterious tornado.
As an adaptation or prequel to an already made movie, Wicked does almost as great a job of fleshing out characters as The Lion King.
What Lessons Can Viewers Learn From This Musical?
One of the best parts about this Broadway NYC musical is that it is family-friendly and teaches viewers some valuable lessons, regardless of age.
The story might seem to revolve around these two witches on the surface, but it also has a lot more to it.
This musical is about identity, friendship, racism, and the importance of standing up for your beliefs, no matter the consequences.
Its widely understood that Wicked shows what takes place before the story in Wizard of Oz. Characters shown to be as evil as the Wicked Witch of the West haven’t ever really been given a backstory like this.
The audience gets a deeper look at who she was before she was known to be ‘Wicked’ and how we should not be quick to judge. Everyone has a past, which should be taken into account.
The History Of Wicked on Broadway NYC
This musical was previewed and released in George Gershwin Theatre in October of 2003 and remains popular today.
However, because of COVID-19, there have been no shows since March of 2020, but Gershwin Theatre plans to reopen in September 2021.
The Original Cast And Crew
The show was directed by Joe Mantello and produced by Universal Pictures, Marc Platt, Jon B. Platt, David Stone, and Jon B. Platt.
Rivaling the Broadway Legacy of Jersey boys, the creators of Wicked went out of their way to perfect their recruitment.
Its soaring popularity is partially down to the big names featuring in the cast and crew. This list includes:
- Idina Menzel, who played Elphaba
- Kristin Chenoweth, who played Glinda
- John Horton, who played Doctor Dillamond
- Carola Shelley, who played Madame Morrible
- Michelle Federer, who played Nessarose
- Christopher Fitzgerald, who played Boq
- Robert Morse, who played the Wizard
Other important production crew members were:
- Stephen Oremus, who was the Musical Director
- William David Brohn, who was in charge of orchestrations
- Wayne Cilento, who was the choreographer
- Eugene Lee, who was responsible for the scenic design
- Kenneth Posner, who was responsible for lighting design
- Tony Meola, who did the sound design
- Susan Hilferty, who was in charge of costume design
The team went above and beyond to provide viewers with a rich and colorful experience, second only to Mamma Mia!
About Gershwin Theatre
Wicked has been a regular fixture at Gershwin Theatre in Broadway, NYC, since 2003 and still is today. It was named after famous American composer George Gershwin and his lyricist brother, Ira Gershwin.
The Gershwin first opened up in 1972 and has a capacity of 1900. It is one of the nine Broadway New York City theatres part of the Nederlander Organization.
Why You Should Watch Wicked: The Musical
It teaches the audience many vital lessons and is bewitching (pun intended).
The magical land emphasized through the characters, stage props, music, and lighting is very captivating and shares a tale that is not commonly told: the background of a popular villain.
There is a reason why Wicked is known as one of the top Broadway Shows in New York, and it is worth watching if you get the chance.
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