Wicked:Wicked has become one of the most beloved musicals of the past ten years, garnering praise from audiences and fans the world over. The excellently produced "prequel" companion to The Wizard of Oz focuses on the life of the Wicked Witch of the West and her fall from grace, similar to that of Milton's Paradise Lost. The original Broadway show helped further the careers of Kristin Chenoweth, Joel Grey, and Idina Menzel, and various continuations of the production have made Wicked one of the longest running shows on Broadway. The Broadway musical won three Tony Awards, including a win for Idina Menzel for Best Leading Actress. Now, productions all over the US and Europe, a current 2011 tour, and a movie version in development, this musical juggernaut has no plans of stopping.
The musical is loosely based on the Gregory Maguire novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. The production opens on the last scene in The Wizard of Oz movie, where the Wicked Witch of the West lays in a melted puddle after being doused by Dorothy. Glinda the Good Witch watches in lament, and explains that the Wicked Witch's actions were the result of a troubled upbringing. She then flashes back just a short period, to when herself, Elphaba (the real name of the Wicked Witch of the West), and Elphaba's sister Nessarose (The Wicked Witch of the East) first arrived at the magical Shiz University. Elphaba and Galinda (as she is then known) are paired as roommates and Elphaba soon displays an uncanny magical ability. It is also revealed that the Animals in Oz are mysteriously losing their ability to speak. Despite Elphaba's talents and kind nature, she is labeled as an outcast and Galinda slowly develops a friendship with the witch. Galinda falls for Winkie Prince Fiyero, while the prince slowly develops feelings for Elphaba. Elphaba's talents are soon recognized by the great Wizard of Oz; but all is not as it seems in the Emerald City.
Wicked has become hugely popular due to its unique twist on a familiar story, its rousing musical numbers, and its heartwarming message. Wicked is currently playing on Broadway, on the West End of London, in Oberhausen, Germany, and Fukuoka, Japan, with a production in Scheveningen, Nederland coming in late 2011. 2011 Tours are currently making their way through North America and Australia, with more tours possible in the future.