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Wicked: Broadway vs Hollywood

Wicked: Broadway vs Hollywood

As soon as the trailer dropped on Super Bowl Sunday, we knew the Winnie Holzman Musical—Wicked—was coming to the big screen. With A-list stars like Michelle Yeoh, Ariana Grande, and Jonathan Bailey, it’s a blockbuster. But in true Hollywood adaptation fashion, there are bound to be some changes. The question is, what should we expect?

Popular songs

Toward the end of the trailer, we got a taste of Cynthia Erivo (Elphaba) singing the iconic riff of “Defying Gravity.” The song closes the first half of the show. And, if you don’t know it’s coming, defies all expectations. While the classics are a certainty, so is original material. Stephen Schwartz, one of Wicked‘s original composers, has admitted there will be new songs to fit the film’s longer runtime.

“I can tell you that at least as of now there will be probably four new songs in the movie,” Schwartz said.

Two movies

Although the Broadway musical runs just under three hours, the movie has been divided into two parts, leaving more room for story building and dialogue than a song every five minutes.

“As we prepared the production over the last year, it became impossible to wrestle the story of Wicked into a single film without doing some real damage to it,” Producer John M. Chu shared on Twitter.

Old characters

Dorothy Gale, the iconic protagonist of the original 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz only makes a minor cameo in the Broadway show (if you call a silhouette behind a curtain a cameo). Yet, she plays a larger role in the prequel. In the musical, we learn the origins of the Lion, the Tinman, and the Scarecrow, but not until the second act is Dorothy relevant. The girl is seen wearing the jeweled silver shoes that once belonged to Elphaba’s sister, Nessarose, and interacting with the Wizard of Oz with her newfound friends.

Reactions from the audience

When asked if the movie could ever do the Broadway show justice, an audience member claims, “Yes, I think so. I have faith.” She found the show “Amazing! Singing? Outrageous. Love the dancing.” Defeating the skeptical reviews that first flooded the internet.

Wicked may be one of the first Broadway musicals to perform well on the big screen. It is hands down (green ones included) one of the most iconic musicals to date and will continue to be portrayed by incredible talents for years to come.

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