The Broadway production of mega-hit Ozian musical WICKED welcomed a new Glinda this week, with Brittney Johnson stepping into the iconic role created by Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth. What makes this an especially momentous occasion is the fact that Johnson is the first African American actress to essay the role on the Great White Way, continuing the recent trend of colorblind casting in major productions on Broadway and beyond around the world.
Previously, Johnson had been a member of the ensemble since June, understudying the role of Glinda all the while but never having had the opportunity to perform for a paying audience. That all changed last night.
Johnson posted a heartfelt message on social media commemorating the event, writing, "The importance of this moment in history is only amplified by the message of this beautiful show: Love, friendship, and kindness are stronger than any division caused by a fear of 'otherness'. Love can break down barriers to change the world. I'm so grateful to the Wicked team for trusting me to tell this story. Representation is so important and I'm honored to be a representative here on Broadway and in the theatre community. My hope and prayer is that people all over the world can see my story and have faith that they can achieve their dreams too. I'm going to keep dreaming big and working hard to continue breaking down doors so that Everyone who wants to has a chance to walk through! Let's do it again tonight! See you at 8!"
WICKED plays eight performances a week at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway.