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Wicked facts for kids

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The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz
Poster shows a stylized drawing of Elphaba's face, partially obscured by a witch's hat covering the eyes.
Official poster of the original Broadway production
Music Stephen Schwartz
Lyrics Stephen Schwartz
Book Winnie Holzman
Basis Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
by Gregory Maguire
Productions 2003 San Francisco (tryout)
2003 Broadway
2005 1st U.S. tour
2006 West End
2009 2nd U.S. tour
2013 1st UK/Ireland tour
2017 2nd UK/Ireland tour
2023 3rd UK/Ireland Tour
Multiple international productions (see below)
Awards Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical
Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Broadway Musical
Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Musical

Wicked is a 2003 musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. It is loosely based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, in turn based on L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film adaptation.


The show is told from the perspective of, and focuses on, the witches of the Land of Oz; its plot begins before and continues after Dorothy Gale arrives in Oz from Kansas. Wicked tells the story of two unlikely friends, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (later Glinda the Good Witch), whose relationship struggles through their opposing personalities and viewpoints, same love-interest, reactions to the Wizard's corrupt government, and, ultimately, Elphaba's fall from grace after becoming an animal activist.

Orginal production

Produced by Universal Stage Productions, in coalition with Marc Platt, Jon B. Platt, and David Stone, with direction by Joe Mantello and choreography by Wayne Cilento, the original production of Wicked premiered on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre in October 2003, after completing pre-Broadway tryouts at San Francisco's Curran Theatre in May and June of that year. Its original stars included Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, and Joel Grey as the Wizard. The original Broadway production won three Tony Awards and seven Drama Desk Awards, while its original cast album received a Grammy Award. On October 28, 2019, with its 6,681st performance, it surpassed Les Misérables to become Broadway's fifth-longest running show. A typical performance of the show takes about two hours and 30 minutes, including an intermission.


The success of the Broadway production has spawned many productions worldwide, including a long-running West End production. Wicked has broken box-office records around the world, holding weekly-gross-takings records in Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis, and London. In the week ending January 2, 2011, the London, Broadway, and both North American touring productions simultaneously broke their respective records for the highest weekly gross. In the final week of 2013, the Broadway production broke this record again, earning $3.2 million. In 2016, Wicked surpassed $1 billion in total Broadway revenue, joining The Phantom of the Opera and The Lion King as the only Broadway shows to do so. In 2017, Wicked surpassed The Phantom of the Opera as Broadway's second-highest grossing musical, trailing only The Lion King. Wicked had performed in 16 different countries and is still going strong.

Film adaptation

A two-part film adaptation, directed by Jon M. Chu starring Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba, Ariana Grande as Glinda and Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero is currently in the works. The first part is set for release on Christmas Day in 2024, with the second part to follow a year later.

Musical numbers

Note: "The Wicked Witch of the East" is the only major piece to not be featured on the cast recording, as the producers felt "the song included too much dialogue and would give some of the plot away to people who have not seen the show."

15th anniversary tribute special

In October 2018, an NBC broadcast, A Very Wicked Halloween: Celebrating 15 Years on Broadway, was hosted by Menzel and Chenoweth and featured Ariana Grande, Pentatonix, Adam Lambert, Ledisi, the current Broadway company of the musical and others, singing many of the musical numbers from Wicked to a live studio audience at the Marquis Theatre in New York. The concert special was directed by Glenn Weiss.

PBS Special

On August 29, 2021, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) network aired a Wicked concert special, which was also hosted by Chenoweth and Menzel and featured Rita Moreno, Cynthia Erivo, Ariana DeBose, Gavin Creel, Ali Stroker, Amber Riley, Mario Cantone, Jennifer Nettles, Stephanie Hsu, Alex Newell, Isaac Cole Powell and Gabrielle Ruiz performing many of the musical numbers.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Wicked para niños

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