When Wicked hit the stage at the Gershwin Theater in 2003 it was met with luke-warm critical reception and overwhelming adoration by the patrons. It quickly became one of the most successful and best loved musicals of all time, demonstrated by it’s resounding success garnering awards. In 2004 Wicked was nominated for 10 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Book, Orchestration, Original Score, Choreography, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Scenic Design, and two nominations for Best Actress. That year Idina Menzel won Best Actress for the musical and Wicked also claimed Best Scenic Design and Best Lighting Design.
In that same year the musical also won 6 of 11 Drama Desk Award nominations, the winning categories were Outstanding New Musical, Book, Director, Orchestration, Lyrics, and Costume Design. It also won 4 of 10 Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. In 2005 the original cast won the Grammy for Best Musical Show Album. Wicked has accumulated 32 awards and 63 nominations since it opened in 2003. It has been nominated every year for at least one award. Some less well-known awards include supercheaptickets which awarded Wicked the Favorite Actress in a Musical, Favorite Diva Performance, Favorite Musical, and Favorite Onstage Pair, sweeping its nominations from that source.
Off-Broadway productions have enjoyed similar success. The North American tour has acquired 12 awards in 14 nominations. The Chicago production received 5 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and the West End show has been nominated for 5 Laurence Olivier Awards and won the Audience Award for Most Popular Show in 2010. The Australian production won 6 of 12 Helpmann Award nominations. Entertainment Weekly has showed particular affection for Wicked, naming it Best Musical of the Decade while Variety magazine called it a “cultural phenomenon”. Entertainment Weekly also named Elphaba 79th on its list of 100 Greatest Characters of the Past 20 Years.