The musical “Wicked” is taking Broadway by storm. Loosely based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, “Wicked” tells the untold story of the witches of Oz. First, there is the infamous Wicked Witch of the West. Her name is Elphaba; she goes to school and participates in activities that any other normal person would. She has a sister, Nessarose, and a father. Her mother died giving birth to Nessa. However, Elphaba is not exactly normal; she was born green and, unfortunately, she is judged because of it.
Elphaba also has a weird quirk. When she gets mad she can make things happen with her mind. Madame Morrible, who is the headmistress at the school, is certain it is a great talent. Madame Morrible declares that Elphaba would be a great accomplice to the Wonderful Wizard of Oz with such a power.. Meeting the Wizard is something Elphaba has waited for since birth.
Another girl at the school, Galinda, is beautiful and popular, but seemingly dim-witted. Ironically, these two very different girls get paired as roommates at school and loathe each other from the start. After Galinda sheds her shallowness and stands up for Elphaba at a dance, the two become best friends.
And then Fiyero comes in. Fiyero is a handsome prince who automatically chooses Galinda, the girl with the gold hair with a gentle curl. However, Fiyero and Elphaba find themselves looking at each other in a different way. In the meantime, Fiyero and Galinda are actually engaged to be wed. Will this cause problems between Elphaba and Galinda? That answer is revealed in the end.
At this point, Madame Mor rible claims that the Wizard seeks an audience with Elphaba in the Emerald City, and Galinda goes along. Once there, the two girls both claim that this is where they belong and they’ll return for good someday. When they finally get to see the Wizard, he gives Elphaba a spell book, the Grimmerie, and she reads from it, giving the Wizard’s servant monkey wings. Horrified by the effects of her spell, she realizes this was in Madame Morrible and the Wizard’s plan all along, to use her for her power. She storms out of the Wizard’s headquarters and Galinda follows. The Wizard declares she must be captured for she knows too much. Galinda tries to persuade Elphaba to just say she’s sorry, that she could still have all she ever wanted. Elphaba replies that she doesn’t want it anymore. Madame Morrible makes a public declaration to the citizens of Oz that Elphaba is Wicked and must be captured. A witch hunt is enacted.
With a compelling performance by Eden Espinosa (Elphaba) and Kate Reinders (Galinda), “Wicked” is a sure-fire hit. Their voices are magical. The musical also stars Jenna Leigh Green (Nessarose), who played Libby Chessler on the show “Sabrina the Teenaged Witch” and David Garrison (Wizard), who was the neighbor on “Married With Children.” Derrick Williams (Fiyero) and Carol Kane (Madame Morrible) are included in the stunning cast as well. With powerful songs and lyrics such as “Defying Gravity” and “For Good,” the musical is bound to bring on a torrent of emotion. The whole production was “wickedly” awesome.
Be sure to check out “Wicked” July of 2007 at The Academy of Music in Philadelpha!