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Wicked is a musical based on Gregory Maguires book of the same name. It tells an alternate prequel to The Wizard of Oz.



The citizens of Oz celebrate the death of the Wicked Witch of the West as Glinda the Good Witch arrives, descending in a bubble to confirm the news. She recalls that the Witch was conceived during an affair between the wife of the Governor of Munchkinland and a mysterious stranger who enticed her into bed with a bottle of green elixir. The child was born with green skin, repulsing the Governor. Glinda asks the Ozians to empathize with her side of the story. A man in the crowd asks Glinda if it was true that she and the witch were friends, and Glinda shocks the crowd by answering yes. She hurriedly clarifies that she knew the witch a long time ago, at school.

The remainder of the plot forms an extended flashback of the lives of Glinda and the girl who would become the most hated woman in Oz: Elphaba Thropp. The pair meet at Shiz University, where the green-skinned Elphaba arrives eager to study. She is immediately forced to weather the shocked reactions of her fellow students, including the popular but shallow Galinda Upland. Elphaba's Father, the Governor, arrives and admonishes her for making a scene, reminding her that she has been sent to Shiz to take care of her wheelchair-bound sister Nessarose. He presents Nessarose a going-away present - a pair of silver slippers, and leaves without a word to Elphaba. Despite Elphaba and Galinda's clear animosity, Madam Morrible, Shiz's headmistress, makes the girls roommates. When she is separated from Nessarose, Elphaba displays an innate magical talent, and Morrible notes that her powers may be of use to the Wizard of Oz. She therefore enrolls Elphaba in her sorcery seminar, passing over Galinda, who had hoped to be admitted to the program. Elphaba dreams of what she and the Wizard could accomplish together and has a vision of "a celebration throughout Oz, all to do with me."

Galinda and Elphaba write home about their unfortunate room-mate assignments and their animosity blossoms into full-blown loathing. Their bickering extends to a class taught by Doctor Dillamond, Shiz's only Animal professor. Elphaba is fascinated by his approach to history, but Galinda is mostly concerned with the Goat professor's mispronouncing her name as "Glinda". In the middle of class, Dillamond discovers a message written on the back of his blackboard: "Animals should be seen and not heard." Dismissing the class, he confides in Elphaba that there is a force in Oz causing the Animals to lose their powers of speech.

Fiyero, a Winkie prince, arrives at Shiz, having been kicked out of several other schools. He impresses his carefree living on the students and immediately makes plan for a party. He is clearly interested in Galinda, but a young Munchkin named Boq, who is himself besotted with her, interrupts them to ask Galinda to go to the party with him. In order to get rid of him, Galinda manipulates Boq into inviting Nessarose instead. Nessarose, not realizing Galinda's real motives, is delighted, and tells Elphaba what happened. Meanwhile, Galinda receives an unfashionable gift from her grandmother, a pointed black hat, and is convinced by her friends to give it to Elphaba as a prank. When Elphaba approaches Galinda to thank her, she is given the hat as a gift.

That night, at the party, Fiyero and Galinda's new relationship is the center of attention. Boq attempts to confess his ulterior motives to Nessarose, but when he sees how happy she is, he cannot bring himself to tell her. Morrible arrives, announcing that she has reluctantly accepted Galinda into her sorcery seminar on Elphaba's insistence. Shocked, Galinda regrets her prank, but Elphaba arrives in the black hat and is immediately ridiculed. Fearlessly, she begins dancing in the center of the floor, alone and without music. A remorseful Galinda joins her, followed by Fiyero and then the other students, and the girls' friendship begins.

Later in their room, Galinda gossips with Elphaba, asking her about the small green bottle she keeps under her pillow. Elphaba snatches it back and explains it is the only thing she has of her mother. She reveals that her father hates her, and made her mother chew milk-flowers during her second pregnancy to keep the child from being born green. The milk-flowers instead caused Nessarose to be born prematurely, leaving her unable to walk and causing her mother's death in childbirth. Elphaba blames herself for her family's woes, but a sympathetic Galinda assures her that it is not her fault. To cheer her up, she attempts to give a reluctant Elphaba a makeover, but when she pronounces Elphaba beautiful, the green girl flees the room, upset.

The next day, Fiyero reacts with some bafflement to Elphaba's "Galinda-fied" appearance, but their banter is interrupted when Doctor Dillamond is arrested under new Animal banns and dragged away. His replacement arrives with a terrified lion cub as the subject of an experiment, kept in a cage that causes Animals in it to lose their power of speech. Outraged, Elphaba loses control of her powers, freezing the entire class except for Fiyero. They rescue the cub and set him free in a poppy field. Elphaba criticizes Fiyero for his "brainless" approach to life when he is clearly more intelligent than he wants people to see. He leaves, confused, and Elphaba reflects on the feelings she is developing for him despite his relationship with Galinda. Madam Morrible finds Elphaba, announcing that she has been granted an audience with the Wizard in the Emerald City.

At the train station, tension between Boq and Nessarose, who has grown fixated on him, is evident. In an unsuccessful attempt to impress Fiyero, who has clearly been affected by his encounter with Elphaba, Galinda announces that she is changing her name to "Glinda" in order to honor Doctor Dillamond. After Fiyero brushes her off, Elphaba invites a disappointed Glinda along with her to see the Wizard.

After a day of bonding and sightseeing in the Emerald City, Elphaba and Glinda meet the Wizard. Eschewing the special effects he employs for the benefit of most visitors, he paternalistically invites Elphaba to join him. Revealing Madame Morrible has been appointed his press secretary, The Wizard presents Elphaba with an ancient spell-book, the Grimmerie. He asks her to prove herself by performing a levitation spell on his Monkey servant, Chistery. Elphaba demonstrates an intrinsic understanding of the lost language in the book, and gives Chistery wings. When Elphaba sees he seems to be in pain and demands they show her how to reverse the spell, Morrible tells her that spells are irreversible. The Wizard then reveals a cage full of winged monkeys, proving the extent of Elphaba's powers. He says they will make perfect spies. Elphaba realizes with horror that it was the Wizard who robbed the Animals of their speech and created the cages. The Wizard wants Elphaba to join him in "creating a really good enemy" for the Ozians, using her powers, to unite them. Devastated, she takes the Grimmerie and flees, pursued by Glinda.

Realizing she knows too much about his plans, the Wizard sends Morrible and his guards after Elphaba and Glinda. Hiding in an attic of the palace, they hear Madam Morrible warning all of Oz of a "Wicked Witch" and her horrible deed to the innocent monkeys. Elphaba and Glinda now must choose which path their lives will take. Ultimately, Glinda chooses to stay behind, and Elphaba, decides to use her newly learned powers to stand against the Wizard and do what she believes is right. Elphaba accepts her friend's choice and they wish each other the best. Elphaba uses the Grimmerie to place a levitation spell on a broom and flies away from the palace guards. This public act of defiance convinces the Ozians that she is truly wicked, and they flee from her in terror as she rises victoriously into the western sky.

Some time later Elphaba's opposition of the Wizard's regime has earned her the title "The Wicked Witch of the West". Glinda has become the smiling public front of the Wizard's regime, given the title "Glinda the Good" and positioned by Morrible as the nation's defender against the Witch. A press conference to celebrate Fiyero's appointment as Captain of the Guard (a position he has accepted in order to find Elphaba) is hijacked by the crowd's panicked rumors about the Witch, including an idiotic story that she will be melted by water. Fiyero is furious, and not calmed by Glinda's insistence that Elphaba does not want to be found. He is further shocked when Morrible announces his engagement to Glinda. This is news to Fiyero, and he storms off. Glinda attempts to keep a cheerful front for the press, but it is clear she realizes her dream life has come at a great price.

Meanwhile, Elphaba arrives at her old home, the Governor's residence in Munchkinland, seeking refuge. In her absence, her father has died of shame, and Nessarose is now the Governor. She refuses to help Elphaba, angrily lashing out at her for never thinking to use her magic to help Nessa walk. Guilty, Elphaba enchants Nessarose's shoes, turning them into the ruby slippers and enabling her to stand on her own. Boq, now Nessarose's servant, enters and holds a knife on Elphaba. He accuses Nessarose of being as wicked as Elphaba for stripping the Munchkins of their rights and prohibiting them from leaving Munchkinland. Nessarose explains that she did this to keep Boq with her, but is sure that he will stay with her of his own accord now that she can walk. Boq insists that he should now be free to go to Glinda and proclaim his love for her before she can marry Fiyero. Hurt and angry, Nessarose attempts to cast a spell from the Grimmerie to make Boq fall in love with her. However, the spell backfires, causing Boq to literally lose his heart. While Elphaba attempts to save him, Nessarose reflects on how being "alone and loveless" has led to her wicked actions, and she fears that she deserves her new title. Elphaba realizes that nothing will ever be enough for her sister and leaves her, despite Nessarose's frantic pleas for her to stay. When Boq wakes up, he is horrified to discover that Elphaba has transformed his entire body into tin, so he could live without a heart, and Nessarose lays the blame on her sister while Boq runs away in horror.

Returning to the Wizard's palace, Elphaba tries to free the winged monkeys. The Wizard attempts to regain her favor by agreeing to set them free, recounting how the Ozians hailed him as the Wonderful Wizard when he first came to Oz. He promises to restore her reputation and free the animals if she joins him. Elphaba agrees at first, but rejects his offer upon discovering the now-speechless Doctor Dillamond amongst the monkeys. She is captured by the Guards, but Fiyero takes control of the situation, and flees with her, leaving a betrayed Glinda behind. The Wizard attempts to console her by offering her a drink from a small green bottle, and Morrible proposes that they set a trap for Elphaba. Glinda, in a moment of weakness, suggests that Elphaba can be lured in by spreading a rumor that Nessarose is in danger. Madame Morrible decide to take this a step further, creating a tornado that brings Dorothy Gale's house to Oz and crushes Nessarose to death.

In a misty forest, Fiyero and Elphaba express their love, but Elphaba senses that her sister is in danger. Before she rushes to help, Fiyero explains to Elphaba that his family has an empty castle in the west. He promises her she can hide there and that he will go to join her. She flies to Nessarose, but is too late.

After giving Dorothy Nessarose's slippers and directing her down the yellow brick road, Glinda takes a private moment to grieve and is confronted by Elphaba. Their fight turns physical and is interrupted by the Wizard's guards, who capture Elphaba. Fiyero intervenes and takes Glinda hostage, allowing Elphaba to escape before surrendering himself. He is taken away to a cornfield to be tortured. At the castle, Elphaba tries to cast any spell she can to prevent Fiyero from being killed, but suspecting that she has failed him and everyone she has ever loved, accepts her reputation as "wicked".

In the Emerald City, Glinda and Morrible watch as a bloodthirsty crowd cheer Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Boq – now the Tin Man – and the Cowardly Lion, who is revealed to be the lion cub Elphaba set free, as they are sent to kill Elphaba and bring her broomstick to the Wizard. Glinda has realized Morrible is responsible for Nessarose's death, but when she confronts her Morrible tells her that there is blood on her hands as well, and advises her to smile and wave. Glinda flees in horror as the crowd calls for the Witch's death.

Elphaba captures Dorothy, refusing to release her until she relinquishes Nessarose's slippers – the only things left of her dead sister. Glinda travels to Elphaba's castle to warn her of the danger and persuade her to let Dorothy go. Although Elphaba refuses, the two women forgive each other for all grievances, acknowledging they have both made mistakes. To help her in her future, Elphaba gives the Grimmerie to Glinda. The two friends embrace for the last time before saying goodbye forever, and acknowledge that they are who they are because of each other. Elphaba forces Glinda to hide, and she watches from the shadows as Dorothy throws a bucket of water on Elphaba, who appears to melt away. Grief-stricken, Glinda sees that all that remains of her friend is her black hat and the small bottle of green elixir.

Back at the Emerald City, Glinda confronts the Wizard with Elphaba's bottle, which he recognizes as identical to his own. He was Elphaba's biological father, and the cause of her green skin. He breaks down in agony, and Madame Morrible surmises that Elphaba's powers were so strong because she was a child of two worlds. Glinda orders the Wizard to leave Oz and sends Madame Morrible to prison for murdering Nessarose.

Meanwhile, back at the castle, Dorothy's friend the Scarecrow comes to the spot where Elphaba was melted. Making sure that no one is observing, he knocks on the floor and out from a trap door steps Elphaba, very much alive: the entire thing was a ruse to convince her enemies of her death and to ensure her future with Fiyero, who was transformed into the scarecrow by her spell. Before leaving, Elphaba regrets that she'll never see Glinda again. Simultaneously, Glinda reports to the people of Oz that the Wicked Witch of the West has been killed and promises to properly earn her title as Glinda the Good. As the people celebrate and Glinda mourns, Elphaba and Fiyero leave Oz behind.

Musical numbers

Act I
  • "No One Mourns the Wicked" – Glinda, Frex, Melina, Lover, Nanny and Citizens of Oz
  • "Dear Old Shiz" – Students and Galinda
  • "The Wizard and I" – Madame Morrible and Elphaba
  • "What is this Feeling?" – Glinda, Elphaba and Students
  • "Something Bad" – Doctor Dillamond and Elphaba
  • "Dancing Through Life" – Fiyero, Glinda, Boq, Nessarose, Elphaba and Students
  • "Popular" – Galinda
  • "I'm Not That Girl" – Elphaba
  • "The Wizard and I" (reprise) - Madame Morrible and Elphaba
  • "One Short Day" – Elphaba, Glinda and Citizens of the Emerald City
  • "A Sentimental Man" – The Wizard
  • "Defying Gravity" – Elphaba, Glinda, Guards and Citizens of Oz
Act II
  • "No One Mourns the Wicked (reprise)" – Citizens of Oz
  • "Thank Goodness" – Glinda, Madame Morrible and Citizens of Oz
  • "The Wicked Witch of the East" – Nessarose, Elphaba and Boq
  • "Wonderful" – The Wizard and Elphaba
  • "I'm Not That Girl (Reprise)" – Glinda
  • "As Long as You're Mine" – Elphaba and Fiyero
  • "No Good Deed" – Elphaba
  • "March of the Witch Hunters" – Boq and Citizens of Oz
  • "For Good" – Glinda and Elphaba
  • "A Sentimental Man (Reprise)" - The Wizard
  • "Finale" – Glinda, Elphaba and Citizens of Oz