Wicked the musical, which previously starred original cast members Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth, has broken records by becoming the fastest musical to reach $1 billion in box office sales on Broadway.
Wicked is one of only three musicals to ever achieve this milestone- the other musicals to reach this milestone are The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera. However, Wicked is ahead of the game by being the fastest musical to reach this milestone. The Lion King was the first show to reach $1 billion, followed by Phantom of the Opera and now Wicked. The Lion King reached the $1 billion mark in 2013 after 16 years on stage, The Phantom of the Opera reached the same mark in 2015 meaning it took 27 years to reach the milestone and finally Wicked took only 12.5 years to reach the milestone following its premier performance in 2003 at the Gershwin Theatre in New York City.
While the musical has reached $1 billion on Broadway alone, the musical has earned nearly $4 billion globally and has been seen by nearly 50 million people worldwide, with performances in over 14 different countries including Brazil, England, Ireland, Japan, Australia, USA and Germany. Wicked has been running on London’s West End at the Apollo Victoria Theatre since 2006. The musical has been translated into 6 different languages to facilitate the worldwide Wicked obsession, the translated musical numbers are featured on the 5th anniversary edition of the Original Cast Recording album as bonus features. Songs included are “Solang Ich Dich Hab” the German version of track As Long As You’re Mine, “Gutes Tun” the German version for track No Good Deed, “Jinsei o odoriakase” the Japanese version of Dancing Through Life and “Popyuraa” the Japanese version of Popular. With the language accessibility for global audiences, there’s no wonder that Wicked have achieved this amazing milestone!
The musical was written based on a novel by author Gregory Maguire and from there Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics. The original cast members featured names such as Idina Menzel (who you may recognise as the voice of Frozen’s Elsa) as Elphaba and Kristen Chenoweth (April Rhodes on hit musical TV show Glee) as Glinda (or Galinda). Idina and Kristen are not the only known performers to star in Wicked a number of famous people have played various roles in performances. Performers such as; Kerry Ellis and Eden Espinosa have both played Elphaba. Megan Hilty and Erin Mackey have both played Glinda. Adam Lambert, Taye Diggs, Aaron Tveit, Lee Mead, Matt Willis and Ben Freeman have all played Fiyero.
This achievement is not the first time that Wicked has made the history books. The musical is currently the 10th longest running Broadway production in history and rates as the 15th longest running musical on both West End and Broadway combined.
Earlier this year rumours were circulating that Universal have noted Wicked for a film adaptation of the musical. According to an article by Empire, Universal are waiting for a dip in sales at the Broadway box office before they make any moves on turning Wicked into a movie, and according to these box office statistics and a new record it doesn’t look like that will be any time soon.
Wicked was nominated for 10 Tony Awards in 2004 and won Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design and Indina Menzel won the award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Elphaba. In 2005 the Wicked (Original Cast Recording) album also won a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album.
In fellow Ozian speak, congratulotions on $1 billion Wicked!
Watch the live performance of For Good by Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth below!
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