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In 1995, Gregory Maguire wrote a "Wizard of Oz" prequel, "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West." The novel was then turned into one of the most popular Broadway musicals of all time, "Wicked."
The novel and musical are told from the point of view of the Wicked Witch of the West and follow her untold story along with her unlikely friend, Glinda the Good, before Dorothy arrives in Oz. The plot tells the substantial moments in Elphaba's life that made her become "wicked."
Idina Menzel starred as Elphaba and Kristen Chenoweth played Glinda the Good when the musical debuted on Broadway in 2003. The original production won three Tony Awards, including one for Menzel for Best Actress, and the cast's album won a Grammy award.
"Wicked works because it has something Broadway musicals, so addicted to facetiousness and camp, have largely given up on: a story that adults can take seriously," Richard Zoglin of Time magazine said in a review of the musical after it debuted.
The musical was so popular that it earned back its $14 million investment in just 14 months, a feat that can take other shows years to accomplish. The show started a national tour in 2005 and has since had a series of international productions, as well.
The last week of 2012, "Wicked" set a new Broadway record for the highest one-week gross, with a box office take of $2,947,172.
"It holds a lot of themes that are important to us as humans. It's about acceptance, it's about friendship, and it's about forgiveness, more than anything, and love," Chenoweth told Gay Star News. "They're all the most important things in life. I think whether you're a truck driver or a gay man or woman or a child or an elderly, I just think it reaches the masses. It's also an unlikely friendship, and I think the real love story is between the women. We hadn't seen it before, and that's why it's resonates."
The musical is reportedly following in the footsteps of other Broadway musicals "Mamma Mia," "Hairspray" and "The Phantom of the Opera," and in the works to be made into a film.
"I feel thrilled, I want that movie to be made. I want more people who can't afford a Broadway ticket to go and see the story. It depends on how it's done obviously, as I want it to be done great," Chenoweth said. "People always say, well wouldn't you play Glinda? You know, it's been 10 years since I played that role. If they keep on at this pace I'll be playing Madame Morrible. They should hurry up!"