Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth are Broadway icons; watch as they rehearse “For Good” from Wicked in 2003.
They might be a little too old to play Galinda and Elphaba now, but the choice was obvious when Wicked opened on Broadway in 2003. Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel were tailor-made for those roles; their acting and unique voices created the template for the legendary Broadway roles. And although I can’t wait to see Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande in the 2024 movie musical adaptation, we must pay tribute to the OG Broadway witches.
Wicked, the musical by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman, is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, which follows Elphaba’s journey to becoming the Wicked Witch of the West that we all know from Dorothy’s story in The Wizard of Oz. The idea of the book, and the musical, is that not all villains start as villains, so how did an innocent baby become “wicked?” (Warning: the book and musical are very different, don’t assume because you love one that you’ll love the other.)
Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth are magic together, and you can feel their joy as they sing. They are two of the most talented leading ladies in the history of theater, and it’s so fun to see them in their early years. Although they both had early success (Menzel was part of the original cast of Rent, and Chenoweth had won a Tony Award for You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown), Wicked turned them into Broadway icons. In the video below, we see the two powerhouses rehearsing “For Good” before opening on Broadway.