When one thinks of the current shows on Broadway that won't be going anywhere, Wicked springs to the minds of many. The musical, with music and lyrics penned by Stephen Schwartz, celebrated it's 14th anniversary on Broadway in 2017, and shows no signs of stopping before it's 15th anniversary this fall.
One of the things that is key to keeping a show on Broadway is the cast. Replacements can often be the reason a show closes, but Wicked's cast is stellar in all meanings of the word. Since it was the second time I saw the show (the first being over 2 years ago), I had already seen a duo, in this case Kara Lindsay and Caroline Bowman, play the lead roles of Glinda and Elphaba respectively. This time, I had the pleasure of seeing Amanda Jane Cooper and Glinda and Jackie Burns as Elphaba. These ladies had fantastic onstage chemistry and made the characters their own, making you believe that they were really the witches of Oz. The music is no doubt one of the reasons the show has lasted. Despite being panned by critics when the show first opened back in 2003, there are many memorable songs including "Popular", "One Short Day", "Defying Gravity", "No Good Deed", and "For Good".
So how did a show that was, for lack of a better word, trashed by critics when it first opened become the massive success that it is? The audience. I have a love for Wicked that goes beyond sitting in theater and watching the show. As noted by some when the show reached it's ten year anniversary, the song have become part of many students' lives, being sung in musical auditions, concerts, and graduations. Because of the people who fell in love with the show it defied the odds (and it quite obviously defied gravity as well).