Broadway musical 'Wicked' celebrates 20th anniversary with special performance

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Tuesday, October 31, 2023
'Wicked' musical celebrates 20 years on Broadway
Sonia Rincon has more on the special 'Wicked' performance Monday night.

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A hit Broadway musical is "defying gravity" once again after taking to the stage Monday night.

"Wicked" is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Broadway! In honor of its two-decade milestone, the musical held a special anniversary performance for fans and show alumni at the Gershwin Theatre.

"I think the reason why it's been around forever is because of the themes of the show," said "Wicked" original Idina Menzel, who famously played Elphaba, to Eyewitness News. "About really owning who you are and what makes you different is what makes you extraordinary."

Lindsay Pearce, who also formerly took on the role of Elphaba, spoke up the production's timelessness.

"I think it was written without a timeline in mind. So, it doesn't matter if it's 2003. If it's 2016. If it's 2020, if it's 2023. Regardless of whatever's going on in the world, whatever's going on in people's lives, it applies," said Pearce.

And the show has been at the Gershwin theater long enough for fans and cast members to have grown up with it.

"I was in the 4th grade," said fan Mike Styer. "I remember the moment in time I fell in love with musical theater because of this show."

The anniversary show became like a family reunion on the glamorous green carpet and at the milestone curtain call the night before Halloween.

For all the Elphabas - this family is a green sisterhood.

"And they all deserved to be playing the role in their own right because of their own talents," said Menzel. "And they all bring something new and fresh to it."

Fellow "Wicked" original Kristin Chenoweth shared similar sentiments.

"It feels like Idina and I did our jobs, because so many women have come after us and soared in those parts," she said. "Now 20 years later, it's still running."

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An assortment of Halloween candy is shown in this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023 in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

In commemoration of the show, the Empire State Building lit up green Monday night.

On Halloween, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will host a free panel discussion from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.. about the musical, 20 years and counting. Panelists include book writer Winnie Holzman, producer David Stone and composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz.

Originally starring Idina Menzel and Kristina Chenoweth, "Wicked" first premiered Oct. 30, 2003. Menzel would go on to win a Tony award for her performance as Elphaba in 2004.