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The World of Wicked: The Legacy of Oz on Broadway

Wicked Broadway Musical Tickets


Broadway is a place where faraway worlds come alive as stunning spectacles filled with song and dance. No wonder that L. Frank Baum’s much-loved fantastical story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz found its way onto the stage in the shape of the iconic long-running show Wicked. Following in the footsteps of Gregory Maguire’s later book of the same name, this enchanting Broadway production shifted the story’s perspective, seeking understanding from the misunderstood Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, and shedding light on her unlikely friendship with Glinda, the Good Witch. Embedded with themes of acceptance, prejudice, love, and the eternal tug of war between good and evil, Wicked has soared in cultural significance, taking the tale of Baum's Oz and shaping it into a Broadway behemoth, forever writing and re-writing the legacy of Oz on the Broadway stage.

L. Frank Baum's influence on American literature is undisputable. His creative genius took the form of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a colorful narrative that painted a multihued, magical world full of adventure and magic, spawning an entire world that has since taken on a life of its own across various formats. Baum's richly drawn characters and his innate sense of storytelling were so remarkably captivating, that the shades of his imagination continue to color many aspects of popular culture today.

From Dorothy’s iconic ruby slippers, which have become a symbol of the quest for home, to the elusive Wizard himself who mirrors the often deceptive illusion of power, Baum's characters and their metaphors have percolated through the fabric of both American and global popular culture. The sheer universality of Baum's creations have transcended boundaries and found their representations in various media, including comic books, television, and of course, musical theatre.

Wicked Broadway Musical Tickets

Acting as a literary archaeologist of sorts, author Gregory Maguire revisited the imaginings of Baum, unearthing fresh perspectives and personas from the already rich fictional world of Oz in his novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. This novel ventured behind the emerald curtain and gave voice to the misunderstood antagonist, the Wicked Witch of the West. His interpretation paved the way for Broadway’s Wicked, which further pushed the boundaries of this tale's legacy, channeling Baum’s inherent magic, while adding layers of depth and context to the world of Oz.


The intricate process of transforming Oz to Broadway is a testament to the magical allure of storytelling and the power of imagination. The collaborators who fit together each piece of the storytelling puzzle are what make this transformation possible. At the heart of Wicked is a team of seasoned professionals known for their exceptional prowess in the theatre world led by director Joe Mantello. American composer Stephen Schwartz created an iconic score for the show, while Tony® nominee Winnie Holtzman took on adapting the book.


The story of Wicked centers around two young women, polar opposites in their temperaments, who nonetheless strike an unlikely friendship. The narratives unfurl their journey of self-discovery, exploration of love, experiences of betrayal, and the challenges that eventually pull them apart into different paths. The story smartly reminds us of the strength we derive from human connections, making it a heartwarming experience for audiences of all ages.


Wicked unravels an array of powerful themes - including friendship, power, and identity. Friendship, symbolized through the relationship between Glinda and Elphaba, presents as a heartwarming story of two young witches learning and growing together. This simplistic view of friendship has the ability to resonate with every audience, making it arguably the focal point of the musical. Power is another prominent theme that the musical explores in depth. The Wizard's rise to power as well as his actions (deceptive and manipulative) to hold onto it presents a potent commentary on the lengths individuals can go to maintain control.


The struggle with identity, as experienced by the deeply misunderstood Elphaba, is intricately woven into the narrative. Torn between conforming to societal expectations and asserting her individuality, Elphaba’s journey holds a mirror to our own experiences, making the storyline touchingly relevant. The show cleverly uses these themes to reinterpret and expand Baum's original tale, twisting the moral compass and throwing open questions of what constitutes 'good' and 'evil'.

Wicked Broadway Musical Tickets

The magic of Wicked lies as much on the strengths of its fascinating storyline as in its talented ensemble cast, currently helmed by actors Alyssa Fox and McKenzie Kurtz. Since its inception, the musical has been noted for its great performances, with actors delivering compelling portrayals of iconic characters from Baum's world like Glinda and Elphaba Their stirring performances, coupled with an instantly captivating musical score, bring to life the enchanting world of Oz like you have never seen it before.


As a testament to its monumental success, Wicked has been the recipient of numerous awards, including three Tony Awards®, emphasizing its exceptional quality and mass appeal.


Wicked has significantly influenced Broadway and the entire theatre industry. Its narrative complexity, paired with music that latches onto your soul, revolutionized the Broadway scene, breathing a whole new life into a familiar story. It compelled a willingness to look at narratives from different perspectives, fostering a more comprehensive understanding of character motivations that go beyond the one-dimensional 'good' or 'evil'. This unique narrative approach provided the theatre community a creative leap, making way for an array of productions that break away from traditional storytelling.


Beyond Broadway, the show’s global reach has been staggering. Its thought-provoking narrative, coupled with its universal themes, has found resonance with international audiences. Productions of Wicked have opened across several continents, invigorating international theatre scenes and inspiring a new wave of creative storytelling. The scale of its reach and influence has shaped it into an enduring global phenomenon, a novel feat for a show rooted in an American classic.


The musical's enduring popularity is a product of multiple factors; its enigmatic characters, its evocative score, and its universal themes. But not to be overlooked is the nostalgia that it invokes by revisiting the world of Oz, transporting many back to their childhoods, while introducing newer generations to a tale they would cherish just as much. The vibrant energy running through every performance ensures that each audience carries a fragment of Oz's magic back with them, making Wicked an unforgettable experience.


The cultural phenomenon that Wicked has become is not just a measure of box office numbers, but a testament to its ability to resonate emotionally with its audience. This Broadway spectacular has turned a traditional villain into a symbol of difference and strength, reminding us to question the label of 'wicked', and has inspired global audiences with its groundbreaking narrative and universal themes. In doing so, Wicked has not only extended Baum's legacy but has become a legacy in its own right.


As long as the magical echoes of Oz keep reverberating on Broadway and beyond, the legacy of L. Frank Baum will forever remain alive, and deeply felt, in the cultural zeitgeist.