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Wicked is not only green _ it’s platinum

Michael Kuchwara (Associated Press)

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The Broadway cast recording of the Grammy-winning musical has been certified as having sold more than 1 million copies by the Recording Industry Association of America. The CD, released by Decca Broadway, features Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth and other members of the original company.

The Stephen Schwartz-Winnie Holzman musical, a prequel to `The Wizard of Oz,” opened Oct. 30, 2003, at the Gershwin Theatre and has been a hot ticket ever since. The New York edition currently stars Ana Gasteyer as Elphaba, the green witch, and Kate Reinders as Glinda, the golden girl. Other companies of “Wicked” are now playing in Chicago, Toronto and London. A Los Angeles company begins performances in February.

Cast recordings are not usually strong sellers. But recordings of several other current shows have done well, including the revival of “Chicago,” which has been certified gold, selling 500,000 copies.

Then there is “Mamma Mia!” Its Decca Broadway recording is fast approaching double platinum in the United States. And there have been platinum recordings of the German, Dutch and Swedish-language recordings of the ABBA musical, too. That’s a lot of metal.

Broadway ticket availability and capsule reviews of shows as of Dec. 4. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are available at the theaters’ box offices for the shows listed. Details about how to obtain tickets appear at the end.

“A Chorus Line.” Michael Bennett’s classic musical about dancers auditioning for a big Broadway show is back. Gerald Schoenfeld. Telecharge.

“Avenue Q.” Love blossoms among the 20-something set _ a group that includes puppets _ in this very funny, adult musical comedy. Golden. Telecharge.

“Beauty and the Beast.” For those who want a lavish, literal, live-action version of the delightful Disney animated feature, this is the ticket. Others may be content to rent the film. Lunt-Fontanne. Ticketmaster, a special Disney hot line, 212-307-4747.

“Butley.” Nathan Lane stars in a fine revival of Simon Gray’s play about a university professor whose life is falling apart. Booth. Telecharge. Closes Jan. 14.

“Chicago.” An entertaining revival of the 1975 Bob Fosse musical with a sassy Kander and Ebb score. Broadway’s longest running musical revival and deservedly so. Ambassador. Telecharge.

“Company.” Raul Esparza heads the cast in this revival of the Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical about a bachelor who can’t make a commitment. Ethel Barrymore. Telecharge.

“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” A musical version of the popular children’s book about a green meanie who absconds with the holiday spirit. Hilton. Ticketmaster.

“Grey Gardens.” A musical version of the haunting film documentary about a reclusive mother and daughter who were relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson star. Walter Kerr. Telecharge.

“Hairspray.” The cult John Waters movie set in 1960s Baltimore has been turned into a hilarious, tuneful musical. Neil Simon. Ticketmaster.

“Heartbreak House.” Philip Bosco and Swoosie Kurtz head the cast of the Roundabout Theatre Company’s luminous revival of George Bernard Shaw’s Edwardian comedy set in a world about to change. American Airlines. 212-719-1300. Closes Dec. 17.

“High Fidelity.” A record store owner looks back at a series of broken romantic relationships. A new musical based on the novel by Nick Hornby. Imperial. Telecharge.

“Jersey Boys.” The musical story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Winner of four 2006 Tony Awards including best musical. August Wilson. Telecharge. Difficult.

“Les Miserables.” The musical version of Victor Hugo’s sprawling novel is back. Alexander Gemignani stars as the heroic Jean Valjean and Norm Lewis is Javert. Broadhurst. Telecharge.

“Mamma Mia!” The London musical sensation featuring the pop songs of ABBA makes it to Broadway. Die-hard ABBA fans will like it best; others may be puzzled. Cadillac Winter Garden. Telecharge.

“Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me.” The ever-energetic comedian explores celebrity in this very funny musical revue. Bernard B. Jacobs. Telecharge.

“Mary Poppins.” The world’s most famous nanny comes to the stage after her great success as a P.L. Travers book and a Disney movie. New Amsterdam. Ticketmaster, a special Disney hot line, 212-307-4747. Difficult on weekends.

“Monty Python’s Spamalot.” A musical inspired by that demented film comedy, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Shubert. Telecharge. Difficult on weekends.

“Rent.” Jonathan Larson’s touching and now nostalgic look at struggling artists in New York’s East Village. Loosely based on Puccini’s opera “La Boheme.” Nederlander. Ticketmaster.

“Spring Awakening.” A new rock musical based on Frank Wedekind’s classic drama about a dozen young people discovering their sexual identities. Music by Duncan Sheik. Book and lyrics by Steven Sater. Eugene O’Neill. Telecharge.

“Tarzan.” A Disney musical about Edgar Rice Burroughs’ vine-swinging hero. The score is by Phil Collins. Richard Rodgers. Ticketmaster, a special Disney hot line, 212-307-4747.

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” A sweet-tempered, often hilarious new musical by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin about youngsters competing in a local spelling bee. Circle in the Square. Telecharge.

“The Coast of Utopia.” “Voyage,” the first part of Tom Stoppard’s trilogy about a group of 19th century Russian intellectuals. The large cast includes Brian F. O’Byrne, Billy Crudup and Ethan Hawke. “Shipwreck,’ part two of the trilogy, opens Dec. 21. Vivian Beaumont. Telecharge.

“The Color Purple.” A musical version of Alice Walker’s novel about one woman’s triumph over adversity. Broadway. Telecharge.

“The Drowsy Chaperone.” A big fan remembers his favorite musical from 1928 _ and it joyously comes to life. Marquis. Ticketmaster.

“The Lion King.” Director Julie Taymor is a modern-day Merlin, creating a stage version of the Disney animated hit that makes you truly believe in the magic of theater. Minskoff. Ticketmaster, a special Disney hot line, 212-307-4747. Difficult on weekends.

“The Little Dog Laughed.” Douglas Carter Beane’s comedy about an ambitious Hollywood agent and her closeted movie-star client. Cort. Telecharge.

“The Phantom of the Opera.” The one with the chandelier. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about a deformed composer who haunts the Paris Opera House is the prime, Grade A example of big Brit musical excess. But all the lavishness does have a purpose in Harold Prince’s intelligent production, now the longest running show in Broadway history. Majestic. Telecharge.

“The Producers.” A riotous stage version of the 1968 Mel Brooks movie. The musical is even better than the film, which is saying something. St. James. A special “Producers” Telecharge number 212-239-5800.

“The Vertical Hour.” Julianne Moore and Bill Nighy star in David Hare’s play about an American journalist turned academic whose values are called into question during a vacation in Wales. Music Box. Telecharge.

“The Wedding Singer.” A musical based on the Adam Sandler movie about a young man who sings in a wedding band and who has been jilted by his fiancee. Al Hirschfeld. Telecharge. Closes Dec. 31.

“Wicked.” An ambitious if problematic musical about the witches in “The Wizard of Oz” as young women. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. Gershwin. Ticketmaster. Difficult.

The Telecharge number is 212-239-6200 unless otherwise indicated. There is a $6 service charge per ticket, plus a $2.50 handling fee per order.

Ticketmaster is 212-307-4100. There is a $6 service charge per ticket, plus a $3 handling fee per order.

All theaters owned by Jujamcyn _ the St. James, Martin Beck, Virginia, Eugene O’Neill and the Walter Kerr _ have a $1 surcharge per ticket for theater restoration. Shows that opened in Shubert theaters after Jan. 1, 2001, have a “facilities” surcharge for theater restoratio
n: $1.25 per ticket.

Both Telecharge and Ticketmaster will provide information on specific seat locations. They also have toll-free numbers for theater ticket calls outside New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. For Telecharge call 800-432-7250; for Ticketmaster call 800-755-4000.

The League of American Theaters and Producers has a special telephone line called the Broadway Line for information on most Broadway shows (except “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast”) and how to purchase tickets. Calls must be made on a touch-tone phone. The number is 1-888-BROADWAY. The line also will provide information on Broadway touring productions. Consumers in the New York tri-state area may call 212-302-4111.

The TKTS booth in Times Square is currently in a temporary location just outside the New York Marriott Marquis hotel on West 46th St., between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. It sells same-day discount tickets to Broadway, off-Broadway, music and dance productions. There is a $3 service charge per ticket. Cash or travelers checks only. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday evening performances, 3 p.m.-8 p.m.; matinees Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

The downtown TKTS booth is in the South Street Seaport at the corner of Front and John Streets. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Matinee tickets must be purchased at South Street Seaport the day before, meaning Wednesday matinee tickets are available Tuesday, Saturday matinee tickets are available Friday and Sunday matinee tickets are available Saturday.

Full-price tickets and information on Broadway and off-Broadway shows are available at the Broadway Ticket Center, located on the east side of Broadway between 46th Street and 47th Street. There is a $4.50 service charge per ticket.

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Wicked is not only green _ it’s platinum