[This post has been corrected. See below.]
Proving that a big-budget musical can overcome initial bad reviews to become a mainstay on Broadway, “Wicked” is celebrating its 10th anniversary in New York on Wednesday, with special appearances scheduled for the evening’s performance at the Gershwin Theatre.
“Wicked,” a “Wizard of Oz” prequel featuring songs by Stephen Schwartz, is the 11th longest running show in Broadway history. (The No. 1 spot is still held by “The Phantom of the Opera,” which has been running for more than 25 years.)
The musical officially opened in New York on Oct. 30, 2003, with a cast featuring Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth as the two witches.
The musical was spearheaded by Universal Pictures and producer Marc Platt. (A movie version has long been in the works.) It had a tryout run in San Francisco in 2003 before bowing in New York.
To date, “Wicked” has grossed in excess of a half billion dollars on Broadway alone. The show has also spawned national tours and several overseas productions.
“Wicked” received some bad reviews when it first opened on Broadway. The New York Times’ Ben Brantely panned the production, writing in 2003 that “ ‘Wicked’ does not, alas, speak hopefully for the future of the Broadway musical.”
A decade on, “Wicked” continues to be a top-grosser on Broadway, regularly bringing in more than $1 million in weekly box-office receipts.
[Updated: A previous version of this post incorrectly referred to the characters played by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth as siblings.]