“A Very Wicked Halloween” premiered on NBC this past Monday, Oct. 29, ringing in Halloween the right way. The special kicked off to celebrate 15 years of “Wicked” on Broadway, reuniting Kristin Chenoweth, who originally played Glinda, and Idina Menzel, who originally played Elphaba, to host and present artists throughout the night.
The night consisted of a variety of artists performing beloved songs from the soundtrack of “Wicked”, with an audience decked out in costumes of their favorite characters. Grammy nominated singer Adam Lambert took the stage beside Ledisi to perform, “As Long As You’re Mine.” When the performance ended, Chenoweth and Menzel returned to the stage and Menzel reminisced on her original performance as Elphaba. Menzel discussed the excessive amount of green makeup used to transform her into Elphaba; it would take about an hour to apply the makeup and two hours to remove it. Menzel also said that she would try to remove her makeup before meeting fans and other actors backstage, joking that, “Matt Damon has no idea what I look like!”
Chenoweth gave an amazing performance of the song “Popular” by actively engaging the audience; she instructed them on when to applaud and when not to, as well as when to take their phones out and record her for the best quality footage of her performance. Chenoweth went as far as taking a selfie with an audience member, and pulling a lucky show-goer on stage with her to close out the performance.
Later, the Grammy award-winning a cappella group, Pentatonix, performed “What Is This Feeling?” right before Menzel stole the show with an extremely nostalgic and powerful performance of “Defying Gravity.” Following Menzel was Ariana Grande’s performance of “The Wizard And I.” Grande was introduced by Chenoweth, who pointed out that Grande has been a fan of “Wicked” from a very young age, and displayed a photo of her attending the show when she was just nine-years-old. Chenoweth said, “I gave her a wand and I’ve been mentoring her ever since!”
Chenoweth and Menzel took the stage one last time to close out the night. In their ending speech, Chenoweth teared up, stating that “Wicked” is “in her DNA” and the play is all about love, acceptance and tolerance. Her and Menzel then performed “For Good,” welcoming other actresses on stage, who play/have played Glinda and Elphaba, to sing with them.
Overall, the night was an amazing tribute to a play that means so much to so many people worldwide. “Wicked” is very frequently referenced in pop culture and is performed in cities and countries all over the world, including Switzerland, Japan, London, Brazil, Auckland, the Netherlands, South Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Sydney and more. Here’s to the next 15 years of “Wicked!”