National Wicked Day Date in the current year: October 30, 2024

National Wicked Day Theatre lovers across the United States celebrate National Wicked Day on October 30 every year. This amazing holiday was created to honor one of the most famous and longest-running Broadway musicals.

Wicked is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. Schwartz first conceived it in 1996 while vacationing in Hawaii when he came across the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, inspired by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. In his novel, Maguire explored the backstory of Elphaba, the future Wicked Witch of the West, and her relationship with Glinda, the future Good Witch of the North.

Schwartz secured the rights to a stage production in 1998 and began working on a musical that was developed through a series of workshops. The show was in rehearsals by April 2003 and had an out-of-town tryout run in San Francisco in May and June 2003. Due to a mixed critical reception, extensive changes were made before the show’s transfer to Broadway.

Wicked began previews at the Gershwin Theatre on October 8 and officially opened on October 30, 2003, with Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, Norbert Leo Butz as Fiyero, Carole Shelley as Madame Morrible, Michelle Federer as Nessarose, Christopher Fitzgerald as Boq, Joel Grey as the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and William Youmans as Doctor Dillamond.

The original production of Wicked went on to win three Tony Awards (Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Menzel, with Chenoweth also nominated, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design) and seven Drama Desk Awards, and the original Broadway cast album won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album and has been certified double platinum.

In April 2023, Wicked surpassed Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats to become the fourth longest-running Broadway show, behind The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, and Lion King. The show was still open as of October 2023, twenty years since its Broadway premiere, with Alyssa Fox as Elphaba, McKenzie Kurtz as Glinda, Jordan Litz as Fiyero, Michele Pawk as Madame Morrible, Kimber Elayne Sprawl as Nessarose, Jake Pedersen as Boq, John Dossett as the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and William Youmans as Doctor Dillamond.

The success of the original production has spawned other productions in North America and abroad. The first national tour of Wicked started in Toronto, Ontario in March 2005. It was followed by sit-down productions in Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The second national tour began in Fort Myers, Florida in March 2005. The show has been staged in the UK and Ireland, Germany, Australia, Japan, Finland, the Netherlands, Mexico, South Korea, Brazil, and other countries.

The development of the musical’s film adaptation was first announced in 2012. John M. Chu was hired to direct in early 2021; several months later, Cynthia Erivo was cast as Elphaba and Ariana Grande was cast as Glinda. In 2022, Chu announced that the adaptation would consist of two parts. As of October 2023, Part 1 was scheduled for release in November 2024 and Part 2 in November 2025.

In 2023, the representatives from Wicked The Musical teamed up with National Day Calendar to create National Wicked Day. Of course, the best way to celebrate the holiday is to see the show on Broadway, but we understand that not everyone has this opportunity. Luckily, there are many other ways to celebrate this amazing musical. You can see a local or touring production, listen and sing along to the original Broadway cast recording, watch the movie (once it gets released), cosplay as a character from the musical, read Gregory Maguire’s novel that inspired the musical, and post about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #NationalWickedDay.

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National Wicked Day, observances in the US, cultural observances, Broadway musicals, Wicked The Musical