Wicked Backing Tracks – Wizard and I, Popular, One Short Day, Defying Gravity, I’m Not That Girl,
Wicked is a Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. It is based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, an alternative telling of the 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film The Wizard of Oz and L. Frank Baum’s classic 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
The musical is told from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz; its plot begins before and continues after Dorothy Gale’s arrival in Oz from Kansas, and it includes several references to the 1939 film and Baum’s novel. Wicked tells the story of two unlikely friends, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (whose name later changes to Glinda the Good Witch), who struggle through opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, reactions to the Wizard’s corrupt government, and, ultimately, Elphaba’s public fall from grace.
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In the Land of Oz, the Ozians celebrate the death of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Glinda the Good Witch floats in and reveals Elphaba’s past: her mother had an affair with a traveling salesman after Elphaba’s “father”, the governor of Munchkinland, went out of town. She becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl with green skin, whom her father resented and showered his affection on her younger sister Nessarose, physically disabled and in a wheelchair (“No One Mourns the Wicked”). Glinda admits that they were friends, leading her to tell their story. A flashback starts with a scene at Shiz University, where Elphaba arrives with her father and Nessarose (“Dear Old Shiz”). As their father says goodbye, he gives Nessa a pair of jeweled shoes. The headmistress of Shiz, Madame Morrible, decides to take Nessa under her wing, leaving the nerdy Elphaba and the popular Glinda as roommates. Elphaba attempts to take back her sister, and she makes Nessa come back into her hands. Madame Morrible recognizes Elphaba’s potential, and decides to teach her sorcery. She tells Elphaba her powers might allow her to one day work with the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, something Elphaba has dreamed of her whole life (“The Wizard and I”).
Glinda and Elphaba do not get along (“What Is This Feeling?”), constantly clashing with each other even in their classes, such as their history class with Doctor Dillamond, a Goat who, as the only Animal professor at Shiz, is beginning to suffer from discrimination. He tells Elphaba about a conspiracy to stop animals from speaking, and she wants to let the Wizard know (“Something Bad”). The Winkie Prince Fiyero Tiggular arrives at Shiz and introduces the other students to his philosophy of simply “Dancing Through Life”. He decides to have a party at the Ozdust Ballroom that evening, and everyone agrees to go. A Munchkin named Boq asks Glinda to go with him, but she convinces him to take Nessarose so she could go with Fiyero. At the party that evening, Boq tries to tell Nessa the real reason he invited her but is too nice to hurt her feelings. Madame Morrible arrives to tell Glinda she can join her sorcery class at Elphaba’s obliging request, and gives her a wand. Elphaba arrives wearing a witch’s hat Glinda gave her as a practical joke, only to find the other students laughing and staring while she dances alone. Glinda starts to dance with her and soon, everyone joins them, allowing the girls to finally become friends.
Back in their room, they continue to bond with secrets. Glinda decides to give her new friend a personality makeover (“Popular”). At class the next day, Dr. Dillamond tells the class that he has been dismissed. Elphaba wants to help, but no one will stand up with her. Afterward, the students are introduced to the cage, which will keep Animals controlled. Elphaba’s fury cannot be contained, and in the ensuing chaos, she and Fiyero steal the Lion cub and escape. They share a private moment with each other before he leaves to free the cub, leaving Elphaba alone to lament (“I’m Not That Girl”). Madame Morrible tells Elphaba that the Wizard has decided to meet her. Nessarose, Fiyero, and Galinda see her off at the train station. Galinda tries to impress Fiyero by changing her name to simply “Glinda”, in honor of Dr. Dillamond, but Fiyero just says his goodbyes. Elphaba invites Glinda for a day of sightseeing in the Emerald City (“One Short Day”).
Elphaba and Glinda meet the Wizard of Oz, who turns out to be not quite as scary as they thought (“A Sentimental Man”). He promises Elphaba that he will grant her request if she proves herself. Madame Morrible appears; she is revealed to be the Wizard’s new “press secretary”. She gives Elphaba a book of spells, called the Grimmerie, which only the magically gifted can read. Elphaba is asked to try a levitation spell on the Wizard’s monkey servant, Chistery, but it only makes Chistery sprout wings. She discovers that the Wizard is the one behind the suppression of the animals, and that he is a fraud. She runs from the Wizard’s chamber, and to prevent the truth from getting out, Madame Morrible warns all of Oz that Elphaba is a “wicked witch!” Elphaba swears revenge on the Wizard and performs a spell on a broom and flees from the Emerald City (“Defying Gravity”).
Sometime later, Elphaba’s opposition has earned her the title of “The Wicked Witch of the West.” Glinda has become the positive public front, given the title ‘Glinda the Good’ and positioned by The Wizard as the nation’s defender against Elphaba. A press conference to celebrate Fiyero’s engagement to Glinda and appointment as captain of the guard is hijacked by the crowd’s panicked rumors about Elphaba, including one saying that “pure water can melt her!” Fiyero is incredulous and not convinced by Glinda’s insistence that Elphaba does not want to be found. She attempts to keep a cheerful front for the press, but clearly regrets her decision (“Thank Goodness”).
Elphaba pays a visit to Nessarose, now the governor of Munchkinland following the death of their father. Nessa has taken away the Munchkins’ rights so that Boq can’t leave her. Elphaba tries to convince her sister to side with her against the Wizard, but Nessa is more concerned with her own problems. Elphaba tries to help by giving Nessa the power to walk, by turning Nessa’s jeweled shoes into ruby slippers. Nessa calls for Boq, convinced he would love her now, but he only sees this as proof that she does not need him anymore, and the opportunity to take his last chance to tell Glinda his love for her. Nessa takes the Grimmerie and tries to cast a spell to make Boq fall in love with her. However, she pronounces the words all wrong, and accidentally shrinks Boq’s heart (“The Wicked Witch of the East”). Elphaba works another spell to save his life, if in a different physical form. When Boq awakens, Elphaba is gone and he finds himself in the state as the Tin Woodman. Horrified, Nessa lays the blame on Elphaba.
Elphaba returns to the Wizard’s palace to free the monkey servants and encounters the Wizard. He tries once again to convince her to work with him, telling her that he is not evil, but just an average man who came into his position by chance, and he offers to redeem Elphaba’s reputation (“Wonderful”). She is almost won over, until she sees Dr. Dillamond who has lost the power of speech. Angered by this, Elphaba accuses the Wizard, but he calls the guards to arrest Elphaba. However, Fiyero helps Elphaba escape and leaves with her. Heartbroken at Fiyero’s decision (“I’m Not That Girl (reprise)”), Glinda suggests to the Wizard and Madame Morrible to use Nessarose as bait. Morrible agrees, and conjures up “a change in the weather”.
In the middle of the woods, Elphaba and Fiyero express their love for each other (“As Long As You’re Mine”) before Elphaba has a vision of Nessa in danger. Before Elphaba leaves, Fiyero says she could stay at Kiamo Ko, a castle his family owns. Elphaba arrives in Munchkinland to find Nessa crushed by a house with a girl named Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto inside, who Glinda sent on the yellow brick road with Nessa’s ruby slippers. The two have a heated argument as the Wizard’s guards arrive. Fiyero holds Glinda hostage until Elphaba flees. Glinda pleads for the guards not to harm him, but they do not listen and escort Fiyero into a nearby cornfield. Meanwhile, at Kiamo Ko, Elphaba tries to cast a spell to save Fiyero, but is crestfallen by the limitations of her power. She decides to accept her reputation as a “Wicked Witch” (“No Good Deed”).
Later, at the capital of Oz, all of its citizens unite, declaring war on Elphaba. Glinda has realized that Madame Morrible is responsible for Nessa’s death. She flees in horror to warn Elphaba, as the angry mob sets out to take Kiamo Ko (“March of the Witch Hunters”), where Elphaba holds Dorothy and Toto captive, refusing to release them until Dorothy gives her Nessa’s slippers. Glinda warns her of the danger and begs her to let Dorothy and Toto go. Elphaba refuses until she receives a letter saying that Fiyero has died. The two women forgive each other, acknowledging their mistakes. To help her in her future, Elphaba gives the Grimmerie to Glinda. The two friends embrace for the last time, before the mob arrives (“For Good”). Glinda hides, and she watches as Dorothy throws a bucket of water on Elphaba, melting her. The only remains of her are her pointy hat and the Green Elixir that her mother drank.
In the Emerald City, Glinda confronts the Wizard with Elphaba’s bottle, which he recognises as his own. It is revealed that he was Elphaba’s biological father, her mother’s lover, and the cause of her green skin. Glinda banishes the Wizard from Oz and sends Madame Morrible to prison. Meanwhile, Fiyero (transformed into the scarecrow by Elphaba’s spell) comes to the spot where Elphaba melted. He knocks on the floor and out from a trap door steps Elphaba, very much alive. Before leaving, Elphaba regrets that she will never see Glinda again and tell her that they are alive. Simultaneously, the musical returns to its starting point. Glinda finishes the story and promises the people of Oz that she will properly earn her title as Glinda the Good. As the people celebrate and Glinda quietly mourns, Elphaba and Fiyero leave Oz (“Finale”).
- Overture – Orchestra
- No One Mourns the Wicked – Glinda and Citizens of Oz
- Dear Old Shiz – Students and Galinda
- The Wizard and I – Madame Morrible and Elphaba
- What Is This Feeling? – Galinda, Elphaba and Students
- Something Bad – Doctor Dillamond and Elphaba
- Dancing Through Life – Fiyero, Galinda, Boq, Nessarose, Elphaba and Students
- Popular – Galinda
- I’m Not That Girl – 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
- No One Mourns the Wicked (Reprise) – Citizens of Oz
- Thank Goodness – Glinda, Madame Morrible and Citizens of Oz
- The Wicked Witch of the East – Elphaba, Nessarose 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
- Finale: For Good (Reprise) – Glinda, Elphaba and Citizens of Oz