So, here is my full synopsis for Wicked. I felt that the article would have been way too long if I had kept it in with my review. As it is this thing has turned into a monster, but there was so much that I felt I couldn’t leave out. I’m so glad I have this blog to share wonderful things like this with all of you. To read my review of the play click here.
Warning! There will be spoilers in this section. I will put a no spoiler short synopsis at the beginning for those who don’t want all the details. So, in order to get everyone up to speed, I’m going to give a synopsis of Wicked. Those of you who want to see my Wicked review can click here.
No Spoiler Synopsis
Wicked is about the untold story of the witches of Oz and how their time in school shaped their lives forever. This is the backstory for Glinda the Good, Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Nessarose, the Wicked Witch of the East. This Broadway Musical shows that The Wizard of Oz was just one side of the story.
It is the story of an unlikely friendship between Glinda, a popular blonde girl, and Elphaba, an outcast because of the color of her skin, both sorcery students at Shiz University. After going to the Emerald City and meeting the Wizard their paths diverge with Glinda wanting to still be popular and being seduced by power and Elphaba sticking to who she is and what she knows is right. This divergence has unexpected consequences for the future of Oz and eventually allows them to fill the roles of Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.
The scene is set with everyone rejoicing that the Wicked Witch is dead by singing the opening number “No One Mourns the Wicked“. Glinda comes in to join the celebration and it is asked what makes a person Wicked. Glinda explains that the Wicked Witch had a mother and a father and that every family has its secrets. Behind her, the scene plays out as the Wicked Witch’s father, the governor of Munchkinland, has to go away for a night due to him being governor. His wife wishes him farewell.
Then enters a stranger with a bottle of green liquid that the wife is desperate to get at. It is implied that they are intimate after she gets her hands on the green vial. It turns into the wife in labor and everyone’s shock that the girl is “unnaturally green”.
After the scene plays out it is asked of Glinda if it was true that she and the Wicked Witch were friends. She admits that they were and when there is shocked outrage she backpedals and says that it depends on what they mean by friends. After all, she did know her a long time ago in school. The song “Dear Old Shiz” is sung.
We then go back to the very first day of school where Elphaba is stared at for having green skin. When her temper finally snaps her father, along with his younger wheelchair-bound daughter Nessarose comes onto the scene. He is very upset with Elphaba and takes her to task quite harshly. He then gifts Nessa with a pair of jeweled shoes and leaves back for Munchkinland.
Nessa is upset that Elphaba didn’t get anything, but Elphaba tries to shrug it off stating, “What could he get me? I clash with everything!” Madame Morrible, the headmistress of Shiz University shows up and unknowingly shows even greater prejudice between the daughters by saying that their father talks about Nessa quite often, but made no mention of Elphaba.
By a twist of fate, Galinda, as she is called at this point in the play, unintentionally offers her services as a roommate to Elphaba. Elphaba displays her unique powers when Nessa is taken away from her as Madame Morrible plans to care for her personally by magically making the wheelchair come back to her. Madame Morrible is impressed and says she will tutor Elphaba personally in sorcery.
Elphaba then sings “The Wizard and I” which is about gaining acceptance from others and being rid of her green skin. In the song, there are hints of future events. We transition into the next song “What is This Feeling” in which both Galinda and Elphaba express how they feel about each other and how the rest of the school is in support of Galinda hating Elphaba.
The next scene is a classroom setting where Dr. Dillamond, a goat, is teaching history. Someone has erased his questions and written that animals should be seen and not heard. Dr. Dillamond dismisses class early. This transitions quite well into the song “Something Bad” in which Dr. Dillamond tells Elphaba about Animals losing their ability to speak. Madam Morrible comes in and insists that Elphaba get to her sorcery seminar.
As Elphaba is on her way she almost gets runs over by a cart. In it is the handsome but lazy Fiyero who has quite the reputation as he has been kicked out of many schools. Elphaba scolds him before going off to her next class. Galinda comes on stage being hounded by Boq, a Munchkin boy who is madly in love with Galinda and won’t take no for an answer. Fiyero then says that corrupting his classmates has become his responsibility again.
Then begins the song “Dancing Through Life” in which Fiyero gets everyone to loosen up and have fun. Galinda gets rid of Boq by insisting that he go and ask Nessa out to the party they are going to have. Fiyero insists on picking up Galinda at 8 for the party. Nessa is so excited that she got asked and while Elphaba doesn’t like Galinda happens to be understanding of what its like to be an observer in life.
As Galinda gets ready she gets a delivery by a relation that turns into a black witch’s hat. She gives it to Elphaba and insists she wears it to the party tonight. Everything is going well with the party and when Boq sees Galinda with Fiyero he lies to Nessa about how he found her so beautiful giving Nessa false hope that they were meant to be together.
Madame Morrible comes in and gives Galinda a training wand saying that Elphaba had insisted she be allowed into the sorcery class. She says, “I do not think you have what it takes. I hope you prove me wrong. I doubt you will.” Then Elphaba appears and everyone is shocked silent. Galinda, feeling bad, helps get the party started again by dancing with Elphaba.
After the party, Galinda shares a secret that she and Fiyero are to be married, but he doesn’t know. She prods at Elphaba to share a secret in return and when Elphaba remains tight-lipped pulls a green vial from under the pillow on her bed. Elphaba is outraged but eventually says that it was her mother’s and that she’s responsible for both her sister being wheelchair bound and her mother’s death because her father didn’t want his second child to come out like Elphaba did.
After that, Galinda sings the song “Popular” in which she plans on giving Elphaba popularity lessons to make her more likable. Elphaba is not keen on the idea, but Galinda is insistent and Elphaba eventually makes a break for it. The next day Fiyero comments that Elphaba has been “Galinda-fied” and says that she doesn’t have to be Galinda.
Right after, it is found out that Animals have been forbidden from teaching at Shiz, prompting a hasty farewell from Dr. Dillamond before an official from the Emerald City brings in a small caged lion cub and Elphaba promptly freaks out, using her powers on everyone but Fiyero who grabs the caged lion cub and makes a run for it with Elphaba. They have a profound moment and then Fiyero takes the cub to safety prompting the song, “I’m Not That Girl“.
Madame Morrible comes by the next day with good news. Elphaba is off to see the Wizard. Galinda and Nessa come to see her off and Fiyero eventually follows. They try to share a conversation but Galinda cuts in jealous that Elphaba is getting Fiyero’s attention. She states that to express her outrage at Dr. Dillamond’s sacking that she will be referred to as Glinda from now on since Dr. Dillamond pronounced her name that way. Fiyero takes his leave quite suddenly leaving Glinda despondent until Elphaba invites her to the Emerald City as well.
“One Short Day” begins, telling about all the wonderful and exciting things that both Glinda and Elphaba have seen, as well as showing that they’ve found a place to belong. They end up meeting the Wizard who does his whole Great and Terrible Wizard stick until he realizes its Elphaba. This blends in with the song “A Sentimental Man” and how the Wizard thinks everyone deserves a chance to fly and how he wished he could be a father.
After giving Elphaba a magic book that’s in an ancient language and giving her the task of making monkeys fly she goes into a trance and begins to chant making them grow wings. Afterwards, she overhears Madame Morrible, the Wizard’s new press secretary, and the Wizard discussing how they’ll be used as spies to shut down the other Animals dissent at not being given their rights and trying to take their ability to speak away. She takes the spell book and runs away with Glinda following her. The Wizard calls the guards to chase after them.
They make it to the attic and proceed to argue which leads to the culmination of Act 1 “Defying Gravity“. Glinda decides to stay, as the thought of being an outcast and therefore unpopular too much to bear while Elphaba refuses to be someone she’s not and to continue to do what she knows is right. She takes a broom which she enchanted to fly and leaves the Emerald City, and Glinda, behind.
The second Act starts with the song “Thank Goodness” in which the now public figurehead Glinda tries to calm the masses and encourages them to think more positively. She does this by announcing her engagement to Fiyero who has no clue as to what’s going on. Madame Morrible is also there and tells of that day when Elphaba and Glinda met the Wizard.
Her story doesn’t go the way it actually happened by insisting that it was Glinda who was summoned to the Wizard, not Elphaba. The Wizard apparently named her Glinda the Good and Elphaba, overcome with jealousy, burst into the room. This devolves with the masses stating the things that the Wicked Witch has apparently done and how to stop her.
Fiyero is furious as he still considers Elphaba a friend. He agrees to marry Glinda and then stalks off to get his emotions under control. Afterwards, Glinda takes the stage again and rouses everyone’s spirits. In the meantime back in Munchkinland Nessa is taking tea with Boq serving her. He does not seem happy as all the munchkins are now forbidden from leaving Munchkinland in a play for Nessa to keep Boq close.
After he leaves Elphaba comes in and tries to reason with Nessa to help her father see reason. Nessa informs her that their father is dead and that she’s now governor. They argue about the fact that Elphaba had been there for her the whole time and that with her gone Nessa felt adrift and yet bound to her wheelchair. This leads to Elphaba enchanting Nessa’s shoes so that they could help her walk.
Nessa summons Boq to share the good news and things don’t go the way she expects them to. He insists that she free him so he can go to Glinda and tell her how he feels. Nessa, in a rage, takes the spellbook and tries to make him love her. Instead, it causes his heart to disappear. Nessa is horrified and asks Elphaba to reverse it, but there’s no use. Spells cannot be undone. Instead, Elphaba transforms him into the Tin Man and takes her leave of her sister.
Elphaba goes to the Emerald City determines to both free the flying monkeys that are locked into captivity and see Fiyero, whom she has always harbored feelings for. The Wizard greets her and sings “Wonderful“, a song about how the truth is fashioned by those who come out on top. He tried to get her to join him and they’ve almost struck a bargain when Dr. Dillamond comes out of the cage that imprisoned the flying monkeys. He is unable to speak.
Fiyero bursts onto the scene and they flee together after a short confrontation with Glinda. The Wizard offers her a drink from a green vial, but she refuses. In her grief and jealousy, she tells Madame Morrible and the Wizard that if anything were to happen to Nessa that Elphaba would be by her side in a heartbeat. She also says they should start a rumor to that effect. Both Madame Morrible and the Wizard know that it will take more than just a rumor and Madame Morrible calls up a cyclone.
Glinda walks around despondent and sings “I’m Not That Girl (Reprise)” while Elphaba and Fiyero make their way to a secluded place. They sing together of their love for each other in “As Long As You’re Mine“. After it’s over Elphaba sees a vision of her sister in danger and takes off, but not before Fiyero tells her of a family castle that they don’t go to very often and how she’ll be safe there.
The scene changes and Glinda is waving to Dorothy off-stage while wondering if she gave the correct directions. Elphaba appears shortly after and is very upset that the only thing to remember her sister by, her shoes, were walking away. Glinda and Elphaba argue, going all the way to slap each other before guards burst onto the scene to apprehend Elphaba.
Fiyero arrives and makes the guards let Elphaba go by acting as if he’s going to hurt Glinda. After Elphaba escapes they capture Fiyero, string him up with a couple of poles, and take him out into the field. The scene shifts to Elphaba desperately trying to save Fiyero with the spell book and the song “No Good Deed” is sung. Elphaba laments that no act of charity goes unresented and wonders if when all good deeds are looked at with an ice-cold eye if they are just pleas for attention. In the end, she denounces her goodness and says that all Oz can be agreed that she’s Wicked.
The Witch Hunters are closing in on Elphaba’s location and sing “March of the Witch Hunter’s” in which the Tin Man rouses the rabble into a mob frenzy. Glinda is shocked and horrified and rushes off to warn Elphaba. There they finally reconcile their differences in the song “For Good“.
Elphaba gives the spell book to Glinda and tells her that it’s up to her for the both of them. Then she hides Glinda behind a curtain as the Witch Hunters storm the castle and Dorothy manages to throw water on Elphaba causing her to melt.
Spoilers for Here on Out! You Have Been Warned.
After everyone leaves the only thing left of Elphaba is the hat that Glinda gave her and the vial that was her mother’s. A vial that now looks very familiar.
Glinda goes back to the Wizard and presents the vial to him. He breaks down because he always wanted to be a father and he managed to manipulate and kill his own daughter. Glinda insists that he leave immediately and he agrees. She then calls the guards and tells Madame Morrible that she will be spending the rest of her life in captivity. She throws Madame Morrible’s words back at her stating, “I do not think you have what it takes. I hope you prove me wrong. I doubt you will.”
She then sets off in her bubble to inform the masses that the Wicked Witch is dead. Back in the castle that Elphaba resided in the Scarecrow comes in and opens a trap door freeing Elphaba. She tricked everyone into thinking she died. She also is happy to see the Scarecrow as it turns out he is actually Fiyero.
The final song “Finale” is played through and both Elphaba and Fiyero leave the world of Oz behind in the hopes of finding a place where they can live, in peace, together.
The Curtain Falls
Here’s my review of the performance. So, what did you think? Have you seen Wicked? Is there anything I left out that you felt I could have added or something I left in that I could take away?