"Wicked" is a Broadway musical discussing the origin story of the Wicked Witch of the West from the original 1939 movie, "The Wizard of Oz."
In the original, Dorothy ends up in the land of Oz, takes a pair of red shoes, and follows the yellow brick road to meet The Wizard to try and get back home. Along the way she meets the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow as they try to help her escape the clutches of the Wicked Witch. In the end, the Tin Man gets a heart, the Lion some courage and the Scarecrow a brain while Dorothy makes her way back home and the Wicked Witch dies due to water causing her to melt.
Now while the story is enjoyable, we don't know the backstory of any of the characters other than Dorothy. All we know of her is where she came from and have a rough idea of what her life is like in Kansas.
How did the Tin Man become the Tin Man? Why is the Lion so scared of everything? Why does the Scarecrow not have a brain? Why is the Wicked Witch so hellbent on a pair of shoes?
Origin stories are loved by many as it allows them to dive deeper into a world that they already connect with and love. Usually, the original story follows one character and we learn a lot about the main character and possibly a couple secondary characters. Origin stories for other characters allows us to have context for the other characters in the book. One example of this would be Serena Valentino's Villain books series that follows the origin stories of the Evil Queen from Snow White, the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, Ursula from the Little Mermaid, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, Mother Gothel from Tangled, and her newest book The Odd Sisters which are characters that are involved throughout the series.
Wicked the Musical didn't start off as a musical. The musical was inspired by the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, volume one in the wicked years by Gregory Maguire.
The story follows Elphaba, a green girl who will become the Wicked Witch of the West and explores her story and how she became the evil witch that Dorothy (and frankly anyone else who saw the movie) became to fear.
I saw the musical on July 6th, 2019 at the Seattle Paramount Theatre. I had never seen a Broadway musical before and was thrilled to go!
The inside of the Paramount is so beautiful and the set is so detailed and intricate. Walking in to find my seat already managed to take my breath away.
However when the musical began, I couldn't believe my eyes and ears. The cast was beyond talented and their voices carried throughout the building. And the main stars brought their characters to life in an unbelievable and relatable performance.
Glinda, played by Erin Mackey did an amazing job at playing an overly bubbly ditzy blonde who believed she would get everything she wanted simply because she was herself.
Elphaba, played by Mariand Torres did such a wonderful job with her monotone one liners, singing as she defied gravity and bringing to live one of the most relatable characters I had ever seen. She makes the witch an outcast without driving it into the ground. She knows she's different, and she has accepted that.
However, she keeps moving along with her life and doing what she can to make it just as far as Glinda desires to go. A fully list of the United States tour can be found here.
If you love the Wizard of Oz, enjoy musicals, love deep and developed characters or never been to a Broadway musical, this is the bet place for you to start. It's enjoyable, easy to follow, it isn't overwhelming and it will have you laughing and your heart breaking throughout the entire show.