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'The Wizard of Oz'-Inspired Blockbuster Musical 'Wicked' Is Returning to Australia in 2023

Following the Land of Oz's witches, the Broadway smash is headed to Sydney Lyric in August 2023.
By Sarah Ward
October 10, 2022
By Sarah Ward
October 10, 2022

When 2023 sweeps in, it will have been two decades since composer Stephen Schwartz and playwright Winnie Holzman took a book inspired by The Wizard of Oz, put it to music and turned it into one of Broadway's biggest hits of the 21st century. When next year arrives, it'll also mark Australian musical theatre fans' latest chance to see that very show right here at home — because Wicked is flying into Sydney next August.

Even if you haven't seen the blockbuster show before, including on its past Aussie run from 2008–11, then you've likely heard of it. Following the Land of Oz's witches — telling their untold true tale is the musical's whole angle, in fact — Wicked has notched up more awards than you can fit in a hefty cauldron over the years. That includes three Tonys from ten nominations, a Grammy, an Olivier Award and six Drama Desk Awards.

Also huge: its worldwide footprint, playing in 16 countries around the world since its 2003 debut. And, when it makes its way to Sydney Lyric for its latest Aussie run, it'll do so after enchanting itself into fourth place in the list of longest-running Broadway shows ever — even surpassing Cats.

Story-wise, Wicked starts before The Wizard of Oz and continues its narrative after Dorothy Gale lands, adapting Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. The text itself has sold 5.5 million copies, including five million since the musical first opened.

Here, before Dorothy blows in, two other women meet in the Land of Oz: Elphaba and Galinda. One will later be known as the Wicked Witch of the West, while the other will become Glinda the Good Witch. Exactly why that happens, and how, and the pair's relationship from rivals to unlikely friends to grappling with their new labels, fuels the show's tale.

Wicked is being brought to Australia by John Frost for Crossroads Live Australia, Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B Platt and David Stone — and will also take to the stage again before the in-the-works two-part film adaptation starring Cynthia Erivo (Pinocchio) as Elphaba and Ariana Grande (Don't Look Up) as Galinda, and directed by Jon M Chu (In the Heights, Crazy Rich Asians), is due to start reaching cinemas in 2024.

Back to the stage show, it's too early for cast announcements — and so far, only a Sydney season has been locked in. Pop on your ruby slippers and click your heels three times in hope that Wicked will tour the country — and defy gravity in Melbourne, Brisbane and more — afterwards.

Wicked will play Sydney Lyric from August 2023, with exact dates yet to be announced. We'll update you with further details when they're revealed. For more information or to join the ticket waitlist ahead of sales starting sometime in November, head to the production's website.

Images: Joan Marcus.

Published on October 10, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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