Broadway’s ‘Wicked’ Casts First Black Glinda In Historic Announcement

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Broadway’s “Wicked” will have a new full-time Glinda floating in on her famous bubble when actress Brittney Johnson takes over the role in February 2022. Johnson will be the first Black actress to play Glinda since “Wicked” opened in 2003 at the Gershwin Theater in New York, according to Broadway.com.

“If this a dream, don’t wake me,” Johnson shared on Twitter. “I cannot WAIT to be your Glinda. I’m honored, grateful, and speechless. I simply couldn’t be happier. See you Feb 14, 2002! #BrittneyTheGood.”

The 31-year-old Johnson joined the “Wicked” company back in 2018 following performances on Broadway in “Les Miserables,” “Motown” and “Beautiful: The Carol King Musical,” according to EW.

She also appeared in the musical review “Kristin Chenoweth: For the Girls,” alongside Chenoweth, who originated the role of Glinda when the show opened 18 years ago, according to Broadway World.

Johnson became the understudy for the role of Glinda, and on Jan. 10, 2019, she stepped on stage as the first actress of color to play the part on Broadway.

“It was like a rock concert,” she told People magazine.

As part of a video interview with her alma mater New York University, Johnson recalled more details of her first performance as the Good Witch of the North.

“The first thing I have an actual memory of is just hearing a roaring, it sounded like roaring in my ears from the audience and it’s completely pitch black,” Johnson shared in the video, below. “I can’t see anything, but all I could do is hear it. I could hear it. I could see the spotlights and it was one of those moments that you feel like you are in a dream.”

Now, after a prolonged closure due to COVID-19 and the show reopening just a few short months ago, Johnson will step into the role she’s been understudying on a full-time basis.

News of Johnson’s promotion to full-time Good Witch spread quickly, and congratulations came in like a cyclone.

New York University, where Johnson graduated in 2012, offered its good wishes to the esteemed alumna.

A former Broadway Glinda, Alli Mauzey, also congratulated Johnson on the exciting news.

Johnson said she is excited to take over the role full time and recognizes the impact she will make as a trailblazer for other actors of color.

“It’s an honor,” she told People. “I only had a few people who I feel like I could look up to when I was starting this journey, and it’s still a little surreal for me when people send me messages and write me letters saying that I am the reason why they feel like they can pursue their dream, that I am the person that they are looking up to. It feels like an awesome responsibility and one that I am grateful for.”

“Wicked” is the musical adaptation of the 1995 book “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” by Gregory Maguire. It tells the story of the lives of the two women — Elphaba and Glinda — who would eventually become the Wicked Witch and the Good Witch in “The Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum.