Our school auditioned for the musical Godspell yesterday and got about half the usual participants rocking up. There were probably several reasons why, but in the words of one of my Year 12 students, ‘hardly anyone in my year level has ever heard of Godspell’.

So this got me thinking. Which Stephen Schwartz musical had the most performances on its original Broadway run? Godspell? Pippin? Or has Wicked already surpassed them both?

After a little research at the Internet Broadway Database (great site if you’re curious about Broadway stats) I thought the answer just had to be Godpell. Right? Wrong!

Between 1972 and 1977 Pippin ran for 1,944 performances at the Imperial and Minskoff Theatres. In 1976-77 Godspell ran for just 527 performances at the Broadhurst, Plymouth and Ambassador Theatres. So Pippin wins (well, to be fair, before hitting Broadway, Godspell was actually one of the longest running Off-Broadway musicals).

But where does that leave Wicked?

Schwartz’s monster musical Wicked (sneak peek) has been an absolute Broadway blockbuster since it opened in October 2003 at the George Gershwin Theatre. As of this post, Wicked has nearly doubled Godspell’s run and is currently at 951 performances on Broadway. I don’t think Wicked has a problem in the world of becoming Schwartz’s most successful musical.

But where does that leave me and my theatre buddies?

Living right down the bottom of the world map in your local atlas, we waited about six years for The Lion King to come to Australia, which after about a year in both Sydney and Melbourne, will soon close on 4th June. There are rumours bouncing around at present for a possible 2007 Spamalot visit to Australia, but it doesn’t matter how much we seem to love musicals here, when you live so far away, things don’t happen quickly. To be honest, the big musical landscape is pretty barren in Australia at present, but that’s another post in itself. It’s going to be a long wait for Wicked to arrive on our shores, but I’m sure it will be worth it.

So hands up if you have seen Wicked? (Sorry about the ‘hands up’ bit, it’s the teacher in me). I think we need some Wicked reviews. If you’ve seen it, throw up a post about it. Is it as good as everyone says it is?

3 Responses

  1. Ange says:

    My mother was in godspell in like 1996… it wass great to see her up there. shes a great musician but i also think i get my drmamtic side off her too!

  2. Michael says:


    I posted a review in the forum after seeing this show in the US over the summer.


  3. Rory says:

    Interesting post! A group of my friends became absolutely obsessed with WICKED about 6 months ago. However, like many others we were irritated over the fact that it may be years before we would be able to see it. So we obtained a bootleg (something we wouldn’t promote because it’s illegal but we thought we’d give it a bash because we will most definately go and see it when it reaches Australia). In my eyes it was amazing and is everything it is said to be.

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