There are two sides to every story – this should be the motto of “Wicked”, the hit musical that reveals the untold story behind “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”. The story revolves around the lives of two witches and focuses on the friendship between them under unforeseen circumstances.
The musical is based on a novel that focuses on how good intentions with bad results and bad intentions with bad results are equally bad.
The spotlight is on Elphaba, a misunderstood witch tricked into getting involved in a plot against the animals of Oz. When she discovers the truth and attempts to reveal it she is declared a wicked witch and forced to go away from Oz. Even though her friend Glinda doesn’t leave the land when she finds out the truth, being too overwhelmed by her popularity, she secretly helps Elphaba save the animals and disappear from the land once and for all by faking her death.
The play is divided in two acts, the first act opening up with the faked death of Elphaba. When Glinda arrives to the scene, she starts to recall their past, revealing how they met and became friends. The first act closes with Elphaba’s leave from Oz. The second act focuses more on Elphaba’s life after she left Oz and her attempts to get things right. After a series of events she starts to believe that she actually deserves her name as “The Wicked Witch of the West” but in the end she still manages to do the right things and choses to disappear forever with her lover, leaving everyone thinking she died.
While most hit musicals use different melodies and motifs to transmit different feelings, “Wicked” uses only two main musical themes, the first theme coming from another musical, “The Survival of St. Joan”. The play includes eleven musical numbers in the first act and ten musical numbers in the second act. Even though the West End version of “Wicked” suffered some modifications from the original Broadway play, the musical numbers were unchanged.
Behind the Scenes
The previews of the West End version of “Wicked” started on the 7th of September, 2006, at the Apollo Victoria Theater, followed by the official opening on September 27th. The West End version was released 3 years after the original, first played on the 28th of May, 2003, in San Francisco. The West End version won the 2010 Oliver Award as the “Most Popular Show”, along with many other awards won by both the West End version and the original version.
This article was written in association with LSBO, leading resellers of cheap theatre tickets, including tickets to Wicked.
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