WICKED Bids LA Farewell, Leaves Happy Fans and Broken Records in its Wake
The Los Angeles production of WICKED closed last night (Sunday, January 11th) at the Pantages Theatre, after playing 791 performances and 12 previews. It has entered the record books as one of the most successful musicals in Los Angeles theatre history. This production is now transferring to the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, where it begins performances on January 27.
The Los Angeles Times called WICKED "a phenomenon that keeps growing," as it did throughout its entire run here. During the week ending January 4, 2009, WICKED again set the Los Angeles single week record with a gross of $2,579,944.50 (nine performances). During the final week of the run, WICKED again played at capacity, grossing $2,291,511.50, breaking its own record for a regular eight-performance week. The average weekly gross during WICKED's run at the Pantages was over $1,450,000 per week. In the end the production grossed over $145 million and was seen by more than 1.8 million patrons.
Producer Marc Platt called this production, "a very exciting homecoming for WICKED." WICKED began eleven years ago when Platt was president of production at Universal Pictures. It was developed, written and had its earliest readings and workshops in Los Angeles, primarily at Universal Studios, just two freeway stops away from the Pantages Theatre.
Platt said, "WICKED has been one of the biggest hits in Los Angeles theatre history and we are thrilled that theatergoers here have embraced the musical and welcomed us so heartily. Our run at the Pantages has been a joy for the entire company and will place WICKED alongside only two other shows in recent memory that have successfully called Los Angeles home for an extended stay - 'The Lion King' and 'The Phantom of the Opera.'"
James M. Nederlander, Chairman of the Nederlander Organization, which owns and operates the Pantages Theatre, stated, "WICKED is by far the most successful musical that we have hosted in the 100-year history of the Nederlander Organization. It has been playing to sold-out houses since it opened over five years ago at our Gershwin Theatre in New York, as well as for the past three and a half years at our Oriental Theatre in Chicago, the longest running show in Chicago theatre history."
Nederlander continues, "Although WICKED could continue to run in Los Angeles, the Pantages Theatre is also home to Broadway L.A. and its subscription series. And, while we've been happy to send our subscribers to other venues during WICKED's run, we felt it was time to bring them back to the Pantages for our upcoming productions."
Winner of 20 major awards including the Grammy Award and three Tony Awards, WICKED is the untold story of the witches of Oz. 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.
Declared "A Cultural Phenomenon" by Variety, WICKED currently has productions in New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo, Stuttgart, Melbourne and on a North American tour, with preparations for a second North American tour. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, WICKED has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Winnie Holzman. The production is directed by Joe Mantello with musical staging by Wayne Cilento. WICKED is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B.Platt and David Stone.