Brittney Johnson made history February 14 when she took over the role of Glinda in the international hit musical Wicked at Broadway's Gershwin Theatre.
Formerly the Glinda standby, Johnson—who has also appeared on Broadway in Les Misérables, Motown, Sunset Boulevard, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and Kristin Chenoweth: For the Girls—became the first Black actor to assume the role of Glinda full-time. Watch Johnson belt out Stephen Schwartz's "Popular," joined by Lindsay Pearce as Elphaba, in the video above.
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The Broadway cast at the Gershwin is currently led by Talia Suskauer as Elphaba, Johnson as Glinda, Tony winner Cleavant Derricks as The Wizard, Tony winner Michele Pawk as Madame Morrible, James D. Gish as Fiyero, Michael Wartella as Boq, Tony nominee Clifton Davis as Doctor Dillamond, and Mikayla Renfrow as Nessarose.
Wicked began previews on Broadway October 8, 2003, with an official opening October 30. The original cast included Tony winners Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth as, respectively, the green-faced, misunderstood Elphaba and the curly-locked Glinda. Wicked has subsequently been performed in over 100 cities in 16 countries. In October 2019, the international hit musical surpassed Les Misérables to become the fifth longest-running production in Broadway history.
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Wicked, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman, is based on the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.
The Joe Mantello-helmed production features musical staging by Wayne Cilento, scenic design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Tony Meola, projections by Elaine J. McCarthy, wig and hair design by Tom Watson, music supervision and arrangements by Stephen Oremus, orchestrations by William David Brohn, and dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott. Casting is by the Telsey Office.
Wicked won 2004 Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical (Menzel), Best Costume Design (Hilferty), and Best Scenic Design (Lee).
The musical, which reopened on Broadway September 14, 2021, following the pandemic shutdown, is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt, and David Stone.