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Wicked Now Longest-Running Musical in Chicago History

On the occasion of celebrating the second anniversary of smash hit performances and the longest day of the year, the Chicago company of Wicked has announced that has become the longest running Broadway musical in Chicago theater history.  Since opening in Chicago, the musical phenomenon has grossed over $125 million at the box office, routinely setting new records.  Wicked is not only the top grossing show for a single week but also in all-time Chicago history.  Total attendance is over 2,000,000 (also a record), comprised of audience members from all 50 states, 17 countries and places as far away as Japan and Australia.

June 21st marks the Chicago company's 833rd performance at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre, surpassing the Chicago engagements of many renowned Broadway productions both in the near and distant past.  This includes the premiere Chicago runs of Disney's The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, Showboat, Ragtime, Cats, Evita, A Chorus Line and Les Miserables as well as the original engagements of Broadway classics like The Music Man and Cactus Flower – all played downtown Loop theaters for a period of about a year.  A 1996-7 production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Chicago is closest to Wicked with a run of almost two years.

"I'm very proud of how the Downtown Theater District has grown and prospered over the years and I congratulate the Chicago company of Wicked on this significant milestone," said Mayor Richard M. Daley.  "Whether we're trying to attract new employers, conventions, tourists, or the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we always point to our vibrant theatrical community as one of the things that makes Chicago a great place to live, visit, work and raise a family."

The Chicago company of Wicked is now playing in an open-run at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre, 24 West Randolph Street.  Breaking multiple box office records since opening in June, 2005 and playing to packed audiences from across the world night after night, the production is the top grossing show and now longest running Broadway show in Chicago theatre history.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, the show has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman.  Directed by Joe Mantello, with musical staging by Wayne Cilento, it is currently presented in Chicago, on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre, on a national tour, in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre and in London at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.

Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the land of Oz.  One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood.  The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular.  Wicked tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch.

The musical is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone.

For more information, visit www.wickedthemusical.com/chicago.

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