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‘Wicked’ is coming back to Chicago for a long run next fall

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Audiences make their way into the then-Oriental Theatre to see "Wicked" in 2006.

Dim the lights, ready Glinda’s flying soap bubble, cue “Defying Gravity” — the musical “Wicked” is coming back to Chicago next fall, according to a Tuesday announcement from downtown theater presenter Broadway in Chicago.

This is no one short day in the Emerald City: “Wicked” will play the Nederlander Theatre in the Loop for more than two months, from Sept. 28 to Dec. 4, 2022. Tickets go on sale at a later date.

Fans of the show may know that the Nederlander Theatre, formerly the Oriental, was where “Wicked” ran for more than three and a half years in a dedicated Chicago production back in the aughts, from 2005 to 2009. “Wicked” helped introduce the phenomenon of theater as a Chicago tourist destination; young fans and their families came to see the show from all over the Midwest. Some would-be Elphabas and Glindas saw it dozens of times during its run.

“Wicked” has been back in touring productions since but this will be the first return visit since the 2017-18 holiday season.

The musical by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman is based on a 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire and is set as a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz.” It debuted on Broadway in 2003 and is the fifth longest-running show in Broadway history. Along with hits such as “Hamilton” and “Lion King,” “Wicked” was one of the shows to welcome audiences back to the Great White Way after the pandemic shutdown.

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