Although “Wicked” has been on Broadway for over 18 years, there has never been a black actress cast in the role of Glinda full-time.
However, that’s all about to change. Actress Brittney Johnson joined the musical in 2018 and has understudied the role. She will be cast as the new Glinda on February 14, 2022, according to an exclusive People reveal.
Now, she is going to be performing at the Gershwin Theatre eight times a week.
Johnson Says That ‘Dreams Really Do Come True’
Johnson, 31, had previously played Glinda on January 10, 2019, which marked the first time a person of color stepped in Glinda’s sparkling shoes. Johnson said that her first performance was “like a rock concert” although she tried to “remain very calm and steady.”
“It’s an honor,” she continued. “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.”
When she got the call from producer David Stone to take over the role, Johnson described herself as speechless.
“He was like, ‘So, we would love for you to take over for Glinda,’ and then there was silence because I probably was sitting on the other line just like not breathing!” she said with a laugh. “He was like, ‘Hello? Are you there? Are you excited?’ I was like, ‘Yes, I’m very excited.’ He had to wake me up because I feel like I’m in a dream.”
Kristen Chenoweth Sends Sweet Video Message: ‘I Am So Proud Of You’
Actress and singer Kristen Chenoweth, who was the first cast in the role of Glinda when it originated on Broadway, gave Johnson her seal of approval.
“I am so proud of you,” she said in a video message. “You’ll be handling the wand and crown just as I did, and probably better. I even wore pink for you! I’m saying congratulations, break a leg, and you know I love you, baby!”
Before her first appearance as Glinda in 2019, Chenoweth gave Johnson a special necklace that says “Toss, Toss,” which is a nod to one of Glinda’s lines in the show.
When she received the present, Johnson said she immediately started crying. “I bring it out for special occasions,” she continued. “I wore it when ‘Wicked’ opened again, and I’ll probably wear it on my debut night.”
Fans Are IN LOVE With Johnson As Glinda
Clips of Johnson in her role as Glinda have already made their way online and fans can’t get enough!
“So, not only is her voice gorgeous, she is really GIVING me the story here,” one fan wrote. “All of her beats are very evident. You can see Galinda’s mind really working to find the right words. Just a phenomenal actor.”
“She is just astounding,” said another. “This is a Glinda trying to convince herself as much as she is trying to convince those around her. No actress has hit the inner turmoil of this moment quite like Brittney. Brilliant.”
Another commented, “She is my number one role model most Glenda’s are white and blond girls, and she being a Glenda and showing skin does not matter it makes me feel like anything is possible I may be younger but I wanna play Glenda and this just shows me I can no matter how dark I am! She is a true queen and an amazing role model.”