'Wicked' ends nearly two-year run Sunday

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. The final week of the musical billed as "the untold story of the witches of Oz" is expected to break its own record as the top box office earner during a single week in Los Angeles theatre history -- $1,949,068 during the week ending Dec. 30, 2007, according to publicist Tim Choy.

/*"Wicked"*/ began previews at the /*Pantages Theatre*/ on Feb. 10, 2007 and opened 11 days later. When its run ends, the production will have played 791 performances and 12 previews.

"`Wicked' has been one of the biggest hits in Los Angeles theater history and we are thrilled that theatergoers here have embraced the musical and welcomed us so heartily," producer Marc Platt said.

"Our run at the Pantages has been a joy for the entire company and will place `Wicked' alongside only two other shows in recent memory that have successfully called Los Angeles home for an extended stay -- `The Lion King' and /*`The Phantom of the Opera."*/'

"Wicked" is closing so the Nederlander Organization's Broadway L.A. series can return to the Pantages Theatre, chairman James M. Nederlander said in April when announcing the end of "Wicked's" run.

"Although `Wicked' could continue to run for some time in Los Angeles, the Pantages Theatre is also home to Broadway L.A. and its subscription series," Nederlander said. "And while we've been happy to send our subscribers to other venues during `Wicked's' run, we felt it was time to bring them back to the Pantages for our upcoming productions."

Nederlander called "Wicked" "by far the most successful musical that we have hosted in the 100-year history of the Nederlander Organization," citing sold-out houses since opening on Broadway on Oct. 30, 2003 and becoming the longest-running show in Chicago.

"Phantom of the Opera" will be the next production at the Pantages Theatre, which is owned and operated by the Nederlander Organization. It will open Jan. 21 and run through Feb. 21 in its first production at the theater in more than a decade.



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