Fans of the theatre who have booked their discount tickets for Wicked London already may want to tune into the 100th episode of famed Fox TV show Glee, as the production’s Lea Michele – who plays Broadway wannabe Rachel Berry – will be singing the musical’s hit number Defying Gravity for the second time.
In episode 12 of series five, Lea takes to the stage after it is revealed that the Glee club is to be cancelled after they failed in their bid to win Nationals, with lots of the old cast members joining the new ones to pay homage to the after-school club.
Defying Gravity has quickly become Wicked’s signature song and comes at the end of the first act after Elphaba finds out that the Wizard of Oz isn’t quite the brave, heroic figure she thought he was – so she decides to do everything she can to fight him and thwart his plans against the animals of Oz. Written by Stephen Schwartz and originally recorded by Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, it is primarily a solo song sung by the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba). Since then, it has appeared on BBC television show I’d Do Anything, which saw it reach number 60 on the official UK chart.
In the first series of Glee, Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel – played by Chris Colfer – went head to head in a sing-off, both belting out the tune, to see who would perform it in one of their singing competitions.