Green Girl Power Takes Center Stage at 2024 Tony Awards: Cynthia Erivo and Idina Menzel Unite as Elphabas

In a memorable moment at the 2024 Tony Awards,

Idina Menzel and Cynthia Erivo on June 16, 2024. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, THEO WARGO/GETTY)
Idina Menzel and Cynthia Erivo on June 16, 2024. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, THEO WARGO/GETTY)

Idina Menzel and Cynthia Erivo, two powerful voices associated with the iconic role of Elphaba from the hit musical “Wicked,” joined forces to present the award for Best Musical.

The event, held on Sunday, June 16, saw the actresses bond over their shared history as the beloved green-skinned witch.

Idina Menzel, now 53, originated the role of Elphaba on Broadway, a performance that earned her the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 2004.

She captivated audiences with her portrayal from the show’s opening in October 2003 until January 2005.

Cynthia Erivo, 37, is set to bring her own magic to the role in the upcoming film adaptation of “Wicked,” which will be released in two parts, with the first part hitting theaters on November 27, 2024.

As they took the stage to present the night’s biggest award to “The Outsiders,” Menzel deviated from the script to express her excitement about Erivo’s upcoming performance.

“I’m just going to go off-script real quick to say how excited I am to see what I know is going to be an amazing performance in that movie you’re doing,” Menzel said, her admiration evident. Erivo responded with equal warmth, simply saying, “I love you.”

Idina Menzel and Cynthia Erivo on June 16, 2024. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, THEO WARGO/GETTY)
Idina Menzel and Cynthia Erivo on June 16, 2024. (PHOTO: VIA PEOPLE, THEO WARGO/GETTY)

Menzel then added, “I just wanted to say green girl power,” to which Erivo replied, “Green girl power, indeed.”

The exchange highlighted a special bond between the two actresses, united by their shared experience of portraying one of Broadway’s most complex and beloved characters.

Cynthia Erivo is no stranger to accolades herself. She won the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for her role in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple.”

Her portrayal of Celie received widespread acclaim, showcasing her incredible talent and emotional depth.

Now, as she steps into the shoes of Elphaba for the film adaptation of “Wicked,” there is immense anticipation for what she will bring to the character.

The film adaptation of “Wicked” has been eagerly awaited by fans of the musical. Directed by Jon M.

Chu, known for his work on “Crazy Rich Asians” and “In the Heights,” the film promises to bring a fresh and cinematic take on the beloved story. Alongside Erivo, Ariana Grande will star as Glinda, adding to the star-studded cast.

The decision to split the story into two parts aims to do justice to the complex narrative and allow for a more detailed exploration of the characters and their journeys.

In a 2022 interview with, Menzel admitted it was “hard” not to be playing Elphaba in the film adaptation.

“The answer is, yes, I’m very excited and I know it’s in great hands and I’ve sent so much love to Cynthia and Ariana and I’m there for them if they need me,” she said.


“And yes, I’m a little sad that I’m just older and can’t play the role, you know? And that’s the honest truth.”

Despite her initial feelings, Menzel has shown nothing but support for Erivo and the new cast. Speaking to PEOPLE in 2022, she joked about being open to a cameo in the film.

“If they asked me to do it at the age of 51, I would say, sure — just put a little Vaseline on the lens, throw some green makeup on me, use a little CGI and I’ll look gorgeous,” she quipped.

Although she acknowledged that “the ship has sailed,” fans continue to speculate about potential cameos from Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, who originated the role of Glinda.

Both Menzel and Chenoweth attended a performance of “Wicked” last October to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary on Broadway, further fueling rumors of their involvement in the film.

Whether or not they appear, their legacy in the world of “Wicked” is undeniable, and their support for the new cast speaks volumes about the tight-knit community the musical has created.

Jonathan Bailey, who will play Fiyero in the film, also praised Erivo’s performance. In a 2023 interview with PEOPLE, the “Bridgerton” star said, “Having watched her perform and doing opposite her and just seeing what she’s doing is pretty incredible.” His comments add to the growing anticipation for the film’s release.

As the 2024 Tony Awards highlighted, the legacy of “Wicked” continues to thrive, bridging generations of performers and fans.

The meeting of Menzel and Erivo on stage was a powerful reminder of the enduring impact of the story and its characters. With Erivo set to bring her own unique interpretation to Elphaba, audiences can look forward to a new chapter in the “Wicked” saga, filled with green girl power and unforgettable performances.

“Wicked” hits movie theaters on November 27, 2024, promising to captivate a whole new generation of fans.

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