Every theater kid has an origin story – a moment where they realized their true passion for the arts. For many, this realization came from the musical “Wicked,” which just celebrated its 20th anniversary on Broadway. Ozians from the show’s past came together for the performance at Gershwin Theatre on Oct. 30, exactly 20 years after its initial performance.
“Wicked” tells the story of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Initially enemies, the two later become best friends. Their friendship struggles due to their opposite reactions to the corrupt government of Oz and Elphaba’s ultimate fall from grace.
One of the most important musicals of the last two decades, “Wicked” has become a pillar of the theater world. With over 7,700 performances under its belt, the show is the fourth-longest-running show on Broadway.
For a lot of theater fans, “Wicked” resonates with them because of its messaging. At its core, “Wicked” is a story about self-discovery. Both Elphaba and Glinda have to explore and find out who they are. Idina Menzel, the original Elphaba, agreed in a quote to Eyewitness News, “I think the reason why it's been around forever is because of the themes of the show… about really owning who you are and what makes you different is what makes you extraordinary."
For me, “Wicked” represents the transcendental power of theater. As many of us know, often times, the best shows leave us too soon. “Wicked” has stood the test of time. In a quote to CBS news, Kristin Chenoweth, the original Glinda, said, “20 years later, it’s still running. I’m happy that something I did lasted.”
It is truly a story that could have been written in any time period. Its messaging is about us – it’s about being who you are, no matter what anyone says. After all, sometimes you have to defy gravity to get to where you want to be.