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1001 Wicked
Added on 11th September 2020

Playwright Winnie Holzman
Composer and Lyricist Stephen Schwartz
First performed 2003, Broadway

The story behind two of the most iconic witches in story (and film) history.

Story

Two young witches, Glinda and Elphaba grow up in Oz and attend Shiz University together. Oz at that time is not a perfect place and Elphaba and Glinda form an unlikely friendship amongst the corruption, romance and betrayal. The life changing decisions they face lead them to their ultimate destinies – The Good Witch and The Wicked Witch of the West.

Why we chose it

Wicked tells the story of the witches from the Wizard of Oz and explores what made them the ‘good’ witch and the ‘wicked’ witch. It plays on the fascination audiences have with the back stories of classic characters and makes the wicked witch a more sympathetic character – and tells the story in memorable and much-loved songs.

Where it came from

The musical is based on the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, written by Gregory Maguire in 1990. His book was based on characters from L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) and the 1939 film adaptation The Wizard of Oz. Wicked is set both before and after Dorothy’s arrival in Oz but unlike the previous versions, the book was written for adults and explored much darker themes.

Where it went next

Wicked premiered first on Broadway and then transferred to the West End with Idina Menzel playing Elphaba in both premieres. It has since been performed across the world and has received numerous awards. It is now the second highest grossing play on Broadway.

A film version is in production but as of 2020 has not yet been released.

Associated stories

Wicked is one of numerous re-telling and re-imaginations of Baum’s book including Oz The Great and Powerful in 2013.

The musical, and especially the soundtrack, is regularly referred to in popular culture, including episodes of Ugly Betty, The Simpsons and Family Guy.

Added on 11th September 2020

Playwright Winnie Holzman
Composer and Lyricist Stephen Schwartz
First performed 2003, Broadway