“There’s no place like home,” Kristin Chenoweth said on the reopening night of “Wicked,” on September 14, 2021, eighteen years after it opened on Broadway (on October 30, 2003) and 18 months after the pandemic shut it down. “I wanted to be the one to be here to welcome New York and all of the theater goers back to what is, sorry, my favorite show,” Chenoweth, who originated the role of Glinda, said in front of the curtain. “The excitement is palpable backstage…this has been quite a year, and we’re still in it.” (See photographs of the current cast below.)
Both the first and the latest Glinda (Ginna Claire Mason) welcomed the audience back on reopening night (and in the video below), on a night that saw four of Broadway’s most popular musicals reopen — among the latest of the 45 shows that plan to open or reopen in the Broadway 2021-2022 season.
“Wicked” tells the story of “The Wizard of Oz” from the witches’ perspective, more specifically from the Wicked Witch of the West, who was not, as a child, wicked at all, but just green-tinted, taunted, and misunderstood. There is so much to like about this musical, the clever twists on the familiar tale, the spectacular set, and Stephen Schwartz’s music (which is a lot more appealing in context, such as the song “Defying Gravity”) that I will forgive the contortions necessary to tack on a happy ending.