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The 31-year-old actress has spelled her way into the role of Glinda the Good in the fifth-longest-running Broadway show ever, marking the first time a Black actress has assumed the leading part. She will begin her historic portrayal at Broadway’s Gershwin Theatre on Feb. 14, 2022.
Johnson, who is presently the Glinda standby and made history in 2019 as the first actress of color to portray the role on Broadway while appearing as a replacement in several performances, initially joined the Wicked cast in June 2018 as an understudy.
Johnson has previously appeared in various understudy, replacement and ensembles roles in the Broadway productions of Les Misérables, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Motown, Sunset Boulevard and Kristin Chenoweth: For the Girls.
When she assumes the role, Johnson will star opposite Lindsay Pearce as Elphaba, Alexandra Billings as Madame Morrible, Michael McCormick as the Wizard, Sam Gravitte as Fiyero, Jordan Barrow as Boq, Mili Diaz as Nessarose and Michael X. Martin as Doctor Dillamond.
The move for Johnson and Wicked comes amid a fall reopening that has seen an unprecedented commitment to inclusion across Broadway, from union contracts to mounted productions. This season features a historic number of plays — eight — written by Black playwrights, with their productions frequently featuring the Broadway debuts of young BIPOC talent. Some Broadway mainstays have also reopened with more diverse casting, including Chicago, which currently stars three Latin leads.
Since opening in 2003, Wicked has been performed in over 16 countries, translated into six languages and seen by more than 60 million people worldwide. Amassing over $5 billion in global sales, the musical — adapted from Gregory Maguire’s novel of the same name — has won more than 100 international awards including a Grammy and three Tonys.
Wicked, directed by Tony-winner Joe Mantello with musical staging by Tony-winner Wayne Cilento, has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz with a book by Winnie Holzman. Marc Platt, Universal Stage Productions, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone serve as producers.
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