Wicked's 20th anniversary green carpet on October 30 served as a family reunion for veterans of the beloved musical, which highlights an unlikely friendship between two of pop culture's most well-known witches. Amidst the glitz and glamour of photo ops and celebrity appearances, there was palpable love and admiration in the air as well, as former stars of the show reflected on the legacy they helped enact.
With over 80 actresses having stepped into the roles of Elphaba and Glinda—from the very beginning with Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth to the show's current stars Alyssa Fox and McKenzie Kurtz—a timeline stitches them all together, with many of the newer stars distinctly remembering their own "first Elphabas" and "first Glindas." And with the show spanning two decades, the phenomenon of Wicked fans turning into Wicked stars has already begun.
"I'm like a Wicked stan-turned-Elphaba...I'm going to be a total fangirl tonight," said Talia Suskauer, who stepped into the role in 2022. As she enthused on the red carpet about not only her experience starring in the show, but also her history as a fan of the show, she divulged: "I had Elphaba press shots saved to my phone when I was 14 years old, and I had two of those women over [at] my house tonight to get ready for this," she shared.
Wicked's original Elphaba, Idina Menzel, shared that she felt moved just standing on the red carpet amongst all the women that followed after her. "It feels good to have the solidarity of women together...it's really a family," she said.
Another recent Elphaba, Lindsay Heather Pearce, described feeling stunned that after nearly two decades of Wicked's reign on Broadway, she was still at the forefront of many fan's first encounters with the musical. "The amount of people who have been like, 'You were my first Elphaba'...I'm like, how could that be? It's been open for 20 years! It's mind boggling to me...but also, what a beautiful thing that people are still seeing Wicked for the first time," she shared.
Hannah Corneau, who made her Broadway debut in the role of Elphaba in 2019, feels similarly. "When people do say that to me, I'm just overwhelmed by the responsibility that Elphaba gave me...that I could be these people's first look into the magic of Oz," she said.
Former Glinda Ginna Claire Mason expressed awe and admiration for the amount of women who have taken the Gershwin stage by bubble and broom, and even shared her appreciation for Playbill's recent photo roundup honoring every Elphaba and Glinda—including understudies.
"I thought that was amazing, because it's not just about the people who lead the company, it's about the people who swept in and saved the day and carried the show...I was so proud of Playbill for honoring those women," she said. She also declared her pride in herself for being one of those women: "I can't believe I get the great fortune to be counted among these legends, so I'm very grateful."
To see more from the green carpet of Wicked's 20th anniversary celebration, view the video above.