Ariana Grande May Be ‘Wicked’: The Pop Star Is in Talks to Snag the Lead Role
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It’s always nice when dreams can come true. Last year, on an episode of Carpool Karaoke, Ariana Grande mentioned how much she’d love to play Elphaba, the lead role in the Broadway smash Wicked. And now it’s looking like an Ariana Grande Wicked is happening — she’s currently “in talks” to get that very role.
Wicked, the seventh-longest-running show in Broadway history, tells a story based on The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Though, while Baum’s book follows the point of view of Dorothy, Wicked focuses on Elphaba, better known as the Wicked Witch of the West. The musical gets into the political machinations of Oz, with the Wizard being revealed as a corrupt fraud.
The role of Elphaba was originated by Idina Menzel, of Frozen fame, who won a Tony for her performance. However, should Grande get the role, she’ll be replacing Jackie Burns, who has played the role on-and-off for six years of its 13-year run.
Though a number of actresses have had the role in different productions — including Saturday Night Live‘s Ana Gasteyer, Shoshana Bean and Mandy Gonzalez (who most recently played Angelica in Hamilton) — the role has yet to go to a pop singer. That said, this isn’t Grande’s first experience with Wicked. In 2013, she recorded “Popular Song” with gay pop singer Mika, which used a sample from the Wicked song “Popular.”
During the episode of Carpool Karaoke, she told host Seth MacFarlane (also a musical theater fan), “‘I was a huge theater nerd my whole life, still am. It’s what I put on when I need to restore my soul and heal myself. It brings you back to home.” During the segment, the two also sang “Suddenly Seymour” from Little Shop of Horrors.
Grande has just finished recording her fourth studio album.