Musical 'Wicked' keeps racking up the big numbers
By Alice T. Carter
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Since its debut in 2003, “Wicked” has racked up some impressive numbers.
Even after celebrating its 10th anniversary Oct. 30, the musical's popularity shows no signs of waning anytime soon.
On Dec. 30, the blockbuster, a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” posted its latest spectacular stat when it became the first Broadway musical to gross more than $3 million in one week.
For the week ending Dec. 30, “Wicked” took in $3.2 million, exceeding its previous record of $2.9 million, which “Wicked” earned during the same week the previous year.
This is its fourth trip to Pittsburgh, where it has not been seen since 2011.
Based on Gregory Maguire's novel of the same name, the musical wraps a dazzling display of scenic effects and fantasy costumes around a story of the early years and friendship between Glinda and Elphaba, who later becomes known as the Wicked Witch of the West.
Familiar characters believed to be good turn out to be baddies and those thought of as green-skinned villains are revealed as misunderstood.
Carnegie Mellon University grad Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for the score that includes “Defying Gravity,” “The Wizard and I,” “Popular” and “For Good.”
‘Wicked' by the numbers
8 million: People who have seen “Wicked” on Broadway since it began performances in October 2003
$2.3 billion: Combined total of gross sales for its North American companies alone
90: Major international awards received, including three Tony Awards, a Grammy Award for best musical show album, an Olivier Award, six Helpmann Awards and six Drama Desk Awards
8: Productions running worldwide, in addition to the one on Broadway. There are shows in London, Tokyo and Seoul, and tours in Australia/Asia, Latin America, U.K.-Ireland and two in North America.
1,000: Feet of steel cable used to restring the flying monkey wings during year one of the Broadway production
400: Costume pieces — hats, gloves, shoes, pants, etc. — in the production
5: Languages it has been translated into: Japanese, German, Dutch, Spanish and Korean
1.5: Minutes it takes for 17 actors to change costumes, including wigs and shoes, as they transform from members of a mob to students
9: Number of consecutive years that “Wicked” has been Broadway's highest-grossing show
37: Dragon's wingspan in feet, about the same as a Cessna 172. Despite its imposing size, it weighs a mere 40 pounds
81: North American cities where the national tour has broken the house box-office record
39 million: People who have seen “Wicked”
200: Pounds of dry ice used during each national tour performance
90: Wigs needed to supply each company — 70 for any single performance and 20 in reserve for actors who occasionally fill roles as understudies. All are custom fit and made of human hair.
Alice T. Carter is the theater critic for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7808 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers to release LaMarr Woodley; Taylor restructures contract
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Crosby lifts Penguins over Capitals in last game of road trip
- Stage volunteer dies following collapse at Pine-Richland High School
- Community cooperation credited in Glassport shooting arrests
- Charges expected in fatal Duquesne accident
- Hempfield couple charged in thefts
- Top pitching prospect Taillon’s time with Pirates must wait a bit
- Marcellus shale driller Noble Energy Inc. sinks roots into Pittsburgh
- Penguins notebook: Heralded Russian Evgeny Kuznetsov debuts with Capitals
- Bill would limit private meeting circumstances