Total Rating: 
October 7, 2003
October 30, 2003
open run (as of September 2014)
New York
New York
Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B Platt & David Stone.
Theater Type: 
Gershwin Theater
Theater Address: 
221 West 51st Street
Running Time: 
2 hrs, 45 min
Score: Stephen Schwartz; Book: Winnie Holzman, adapting Gregory Maguire novel
Joe Mantello

 Wicked, with songs by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, about the friendship between Glinda the Good and The Wicked Witch of the West in "The Wizard of Oz," is, as we say in New England, "wicked good." Kristin Chenoweth is the greatest comedienne Broadway has seen in a long time -- she isn't "Glinda the Good," she's "Glinda the Great." With superb comic timing that takes her lines far beyond the text, inventive character quirks that delight, and a singing voice that can chill you with its beauty, she is a star not to be missed.

Idina Menzel as a green Wicked Witch is also a powerhouse, and deserves her co-star billing -- her lovely, powerful voice is a perfect counterpoint for Chenoweth. They are a matched pair. And then there's Carole Shelley, the mature Broadway star who brings warmth, strength and humor to her role as manipulator. As a bonus, there's Joel Grey as The Wizard. He sings, he dances, he's cute, he's adorable, he's still a star who brings a smile to all who watch and hear him.

The set by Eugene Lee is magnificent, evoking the time when the Oz books were written -- a Jules Verne world a hundred years ago, and lighting by Kenneth Posner is super. Costumes by Susan Hilferry have flair, panache, humor, originality and brilliance.

Joe Mantello, the director, guides with a true sense of how to delight an audience.

Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel (Elphaba), Joel Grey (Wizard), Carole Shelley, Norbert Leo Butz, Christopher Fitzgerald, Michelle Federer, William Youmans, Ioana Alfonso, Ben Cameron, Cristy Candler, Melissa Bell Chait, Marcus Choi, Kristoffer Cusick, Kathy Deitch, Melissa Fahn, Rhett G. George, Kristen Lee Gorski, Manuel Herrera, Kisha Howard, Jan Neuberger, LJ Jellison, Sean McCourt, Corinne McFadden, Mark Myars, Walter Winston ONeil, Andrew Palermo, Andy Pellick, Michael Seelbach, Lorna Ventura, Derrick Williams
Musical staging: Wayne Cilento; Orchestrations: William David Brohn; Music director: Stephen Oremus. Sets: Eugene Lee; Costumes: Susan Hilferty; Lighting: Kenneth Posner; Sound: Tony Meola; Projections: Elaine J. McCarthy; Wigs/hair: Tom Watson; Production supervisor: Steven Beckler; Dance arrangements: James Lynn Abbott; Special effects: Chic Silber; Flying sequences: Paul Rubin/ZFX Inc.
2004 Tonys: Leading Actress (Menzel), Set, Costumes.
Other Critics: 
TOTALTHEATER David Lefkowitz !
Richmond Shepard
Date Reviewed: 
November 2003