Wicked: Olivier Award Vote 2015

Nominations were announced this week for the 39th annual Olivier Awards at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on Sunday 12th April. Though the awards are run by the Society of London Theatres, it’s never been easier for those of us outside London to become involved - nominated shows The Crucible, A Streetcar Named Desire, A View from the Bridge, Skylight and Billy Elliot: The Musical will all have been broadcast either to nationwide cinemas or online in the 12 months leading up to the ceremony. Now you can even take part in the voting, as the polls are still open for the This Morning audience award. Over the next 4 weeks, we’ll give you a brief roundup of each of the 4 nominated musicals, to help you make your mind up and cast your vote. First up, you’ll be green with envy after reading all about Wicked...



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WICKED:

The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz


Composer: Stephen Schwartz


Book by: Winnie Holzman


London home: Apollo Victoria since 2006


Original production: Gershwin Theatre, Broadway



Based on: Wicked: the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West - a novel by Gregory Maguire


Who we’re rooting for: Elphaba, the aforementioned Wicked Witch of the West. Like the Gregory Maguire novel, the musical serves as a prequel to the Wizard of Oz and sets out to show that “wicked” isn’t always what it seems. Starting at Shiz University and on through the years to the events of the Wizard of Oz, life is unkind to Elphaba. When she seeks to take a stand against what she sees as the Wizard’s unjust regime, she is vilified for it - one man’s villain is another man’s hero.


Who’s standing in their way: Pretty much everyone Elphaba encounters, it seems


Showstopping moment: Deciding to take a stand against the wizard, and putting her new-found spellbinding powers to good use Elphaba decides to defy gravity in more ways than one. Combining spectacular flying effects with one of the most physically demanding mezzo belt numbers in the modern repertoire, ‘Defying Gravity’ is an Act I finale like no other.


Hidden gem: In stark contrast to the lung-bursting Defying Gravity, the end of Act 2 bring us ‘For Good’ - an intimate, touching duet between Elphaba and Galinda (the good witch): friends who have taken irreconcilably diverging paths in life but can’t escape the profound effect they once had on each other.


Awards pedigree:

2004 Tony Awards - Won:

Best Actress in a Musical (Idina Menzel)

Best Costume Design

Best Scenic Design


2004 Tony Awards - Nominated:

Best Actress in a Musical (Kristin Chenoweth)

Best Musical

Best book of a Musical

Best Choreography

Best Lighting Design

Best Orchestration

Best Original Score


2007 Olivier Awards - Nominated:

Best Costume Design

Best Director

Best Lighting Design

Best Set Design


Has it won the Oliviers Audience Award before?: Yes - 2010.


Idina Menzel and Christin Chenoweth perform Defying Gravity at the 2004 Tony awards


NEXT WEEK: Billy Elliot - the Musical


The nominees for the This Morning Audience Award at the 2015 Olivier Awards are Wicked, Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys and Matilda the Musical - to cast your vote, visit www.olivierawards.com


#oliviers2015

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