5 Reasons Why Wicked Remains So Popular

Adam Young | May 16, 2017
Wicked remains popular.
The Broadway musical Wicked reclaimed the top of the sales charts last week, a place the Stephen Schwartz musical has found often so far in 2017. It topped the two Disney stalwarts – The Lion King and Aladdin – and Hamilton. Hello, Dolly! rounded out the top five as it experiences a continued surge following its 10 Tony Award nominations. Here is the complete top 10 based on ticket sales for the previous week:

  1. Wicked
  2. The Lion King
  3. Aladdin
  4. Hamilton
  5. Hello, Dolly!
  6. Anastasia
  7. Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet Of 1812
  8. The Book Of Mormon
  9. Come From Away
  10. Waitress

Why Is Wicked So Popular?

Just what makes Wicked such a Broadway sales juggernaut? We see five factors:

  1. Stephen Schwartz. Where to even start? Aside from Wicked, he’s written music for movies like Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and for past Broadway hits like Godspell and Pippin some 40 years ago. He’s won Grammy Awards, Oscar Awards and a Tony Award.

  2. The Wizard of Oz. Everyone knows about Dorothy and Toto and the whole Wizard of Oz tale. It’s one of the most popular movies of all time. Wicked taps into that history by telling the backstory of the Witches of Oz, giving fans of the movie something new to jump into and embrace.

  3. Wicked began its Broadway run back in 2003 with Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth in the starring roles. With almost 5,700 performances, it’s now in the top 10 longest-running Broadway shows of all time. That makes it longer than shows like Rent, Grease and Fiddler on the Roof.

  4. A stellar cast. We mentioned Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, but the current Broadway cast is just as stellar. Jennifer Dinoia has played Elphaba around the world, and Kara Lindsay (Glinda) has starred in touring productions for Newsies, Little House on the Prairie and as the lead role in Mary Poppins. Toss in PJ Benjamin as the Wizard and Wicked presents a cast as strong as any.

  5. A strong tour. Wicked isn’t just popular on Broadway, it’s popular around the world. It’s set records on London’s West End as well as Chicago and Los Angeles. All that popularity reflects on Broadway as people from those cities want to see the Broadway original when they visit New York City.

That’s a high standard for the rest of the top five to meet if any of them want to supplant Wicked as the most popular production on Broadway. The mass family appeal of Aladdin and The Lion King gives them an advantage, and it goes without saying that Hamilton has long-term staying power. Will any of them be able to mount a challenge as we approach the summer of 2017?

For a complete inventory of Broadway tickets, and where to find touring productions for the top musicals, visit the Theater page on EventTicketsCenter.com.