The Tonys are given by the American Theater Wing for Broadway shows only, and are considered the most prestigious of the awards. Tony voters are a mix of professionals from all areas of theater and include all Dramatist Guild Council Members (including Stephen Schwartz).
Wicked - Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical - Idina Menzel
Wicked - Best Costume Design - Susan Hilferty [link goes to a full page about Wicked Costumes]
Wicked - Best Scene Design - Eugene Lee.
Wicked began as a movie development project with Platt and Universal, before they changed course and took it to the stage first. It was an immediate sensation, quickly recouping its $14 million capitalization in 2004 and becoming one of the biggest-grossing tuners of all time, with the Broadway show and eight touring companies. The Broadway musical routinely tops the weekly gross charts — $1.4 million per week is average, but the musical has broken the $2 million mark more than once.
Original Broadway Cast of Wicked: The green-skinned witch Elphaba, around which Wicked, revolves was originated by Idina Menzel; Kristin Chenoweth the character of Galinda (Glinda); Joel Grey who is the Wizard in Oz; Carole Shelley- Madame Morrible; Fiyero, the Winkie prince was originally played by Norbert Leo Butz; Nessarose, Elphaba's tortured sister was originally portrayed by Michelle Federer; The character of Boq was originated by Christopher Fitzgerald.
In reading through the novel, Schwartz developed his concepts for how to expand on Gregory's conception for a Wizard of Oz story prior to Dorothy's arrival. He thought about how to make the multiple storylines work on stage. Schwartz asked Winnie Holzman to write the book for the musical and the two began a year of periodic meetings with lead producer Marc Platt. They worked out the structural outline for the show, spinning an original stage piece rather than a strict adaptation of Maguire's work. The musical was developed and tested through a series of readings. New York producer David Stone joined the team in early 2000 after watching a reading at Universal Studios featuring Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda. He began to draw in the practical elements necessary for a full Broadway. Joe Mantello came in as director and this new team began auditioning designers. In April 2003 the Original Broadway Cast assembled for final rehearsal. Meanwhile, Holzman and Schwartz had been revising the script and score. Schwartz tested a new song that depicted how the future witches of Oz despised each other when first thrown together as roommates. The first version didn't work, but finally he came up with "What is This Feeling," which is musically inspired, in part, by "Nobody's Side" from Chess and by the songs of Sting.
Choosing from the 38 speaking characters in Wicked the novel, the authors of Wicked the musical show decided to focus their show on eight key characters plus a few others and the ensemble.
Stephen Schwartz was born in New York City on March 6, 1948. He studied piano and composition at the Juilliard School of Music while in high school and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1968 with a B.F.A. in Drama. Upon coming back to live in New York City, he went to work as a producer for RCA Records, but shortly thereafter began to work in the Broadway theatre.
Lyricist and composer Stephen Schwartz was on vacation with friends in 1998 when one of them mentioned that she had just read a really interesting book about the Wicked Witch of the West. Schwartz said the very idea hooked him immediately and as soon as he got home he had his lawyer find out who owned the rights to the book. It took another five years for the musical to be realized; it debuted on Broadway in October 2003.
When one reads Gregory Maguire's "Wicked" and then attends the musical by the same name, it is clear that they show's creators chose the characters that they wanted to use from the novel and told their own story. Maguire's story is too long and complicated for a musical, with more characters than could be developed effectively.
Not all theater critics were familiar with the book the show was based on, Gregory Maguire's 'Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.' This witty, engrossing fantasy upset ideas about the world created by L. Frank Baum in 1900. In its sensibility and moral seriousness, the book--an untold history of the Wicked Witch--was both playful and firmly intellectual.
Wicked is a musical that opened on Broadway at the Gershwin Theater October 30, 2003. It is touted as the untold story of the witches of Oz and is loosely based on the best selling novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. The musical features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. With musical staging by Tony Award winner Wayne Cilento, Wicked is directed by Tony winner Joe Mantello.