There Are Two Sides To Every Story...
|Also Known As||
Melena Thropp (Mother)
Several. Original: Idina Menzel. Holds record for most performances as Elphaba: Dee Roscioli.
Elphaba of Oz
Elphaba Thropp aka The Wicked Witch of the West is the green skinned protagonist in the best selling fictional novel titled Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by author Gregory Maguire, published in 1995. The Wicked Witch of the West is the antagonist created by author L. Frank Baum from his 1900 Oz novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and most notably in the 1939 MGM film, The Wizard of Oz, portrayed by late actress Margaret Hamilton.
Elphaba is also the main character of the very successful Broadway Musical of the same name. Rather book or stage adaptation the story itself is a much more mature and slightly darker version of the first American Fairytale; The Wizard of Oz which combines many key elements from the iconic 1939 movie by MGM and the original 1900 book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by children's author L. Frank Baum
The story of Wicked is not seen through the eyes of the original Oz protagonist--Kansas farm girl known as Dorothy Gale. However, even though Dorothy does not hold center stage, she still plays a part at crucial times but only because the story could never exist without her. Dorothy is neither the hero nor villain in the story but a mere outsider thrown into a world she knows nothing about.
Instead, everything solely revolves around the social outcast and tortured soul named Elphaba, aka "Elphie". The plot follows her life journey, focusing on her thoughts, trials, tribulations, her meaningful relationships and eventual decent into Wickedness and how it changed the land of Oz forever. Despite being the protagonist to the reader of the novel or viewer of the play, Elphaba eventually becomes viewed as the antagonist who rebels against the repression in Oz. Her strength to stand up for what she believes in leads to her being viewed by many Ozians as "Wicked," thus, ultimately leading to her tragic demise. Despite her sad fate, and tarnished reputation due to the matter of Dorothy, Elphaba becomes known by many others as an underground legend and iconic activist for Animal rights long after she melted.
Author Gregory Maguire payed homage to Baum and formulated Elphaba's unique name out of L. Frank Baum's name, taking the phonetic pronunciation of his initials: hence, L.F.B became El-pha-ba.
Unlike the one eyed Wicked Witch in Baum's original Oz book from 1900, Elphaba's appearence in Wicked is based upon Margaret Hamilton's portrayal of the Wicked Witch from the 1939 film.
The Orgins of Elphaba Thropp of Oz
...she was up and running in an ungainly way, and her three goofy companions followed in a mounting panic. As the first few drops of rain fell, the Witch caught sight, not of the girl's face, but the shoes. Her sister's shoes! They sparkled, even in the darkening afternoon. They sparkled like yellow diamonds in the sun, embers of blood, and thorny stars... -introduction to Wicked (1995)
Elphaba Thropp was born in Rush Margins, a rural area of Munchkinland in the Land of Oz. Unlike any other Ozian, she was mysteriously born with florescent bright green skin. In addition to the green skin, she has a strange scientifically inexplicable allergy towards H20, which causes it to painfully burn her to the bone like acid. Since she cannot bathe like normal people, Elphaba must sponge bathe herself in private with a special type of liquid oil to keep clean instead. Regardless of her bizarre skin condition, Elphaba seems to be a very normal young lady in all other aspects. She is highly intelligent, ambitious, cynical, an independent thinker and a tomboy at heart. Due to her family's noble blood, she is tall, unlike most diminutive Munchkinlanders who are little.
Elphaba was the biological daughter of Melena Thropp, the Thropp 2nd Descending and 2nd heiress to the title of Eminent Thropp, and of Oscar Zoroaster Diggs, who would one day become The Wizard of Oz. However, years before he took over all of Oz and had the yellow brick road and Oz's official imperial capital aka the Emerald City built, Diggs seduced and drugged Melena with a green "Miracle Elixir" and so Melena did not recall the experience and Elphaba grew up believing her stepfather, the Unionist minister Frexspar, was her biological father. It is hinted that the green potion is what caused Elphaba's skin condition and that her Earthly lineage is what allows her to read the Grimmeire, due to Oz having a different writing system. This eventually allowed Elphaba to practice the book's magic spells that no one else in Oz could understand.
Elphaba would only live in Rush Margins of Munchkinland for the first couple of years of her life. Shortly after her birth, Melena turned into a alcoholic and called on the aid of her childhood nanny to help care for Elphaba. When Elpahaba was a toddler, her parents were acquainted with Turtle Heart, a Quadling glassblower, who would later become lover to both. When Elphaba was about three, her family was apparently run of Rush Margins and forced to flee to her mother's childhood home of Colwen Grounds, where the glass blower named Turtle Heart, who was the lover of both Elphaba's parents was sacrificed to Clock of The Dragon to relieve a drought on the same day that Melena gave birth to her handicapped but beautiful daughter named Nessarose. As both her daughters are disfigured, Melena believes this is punishment from the "Unnamed God" for her infidelity.
Growing up, Elphaba is a social outcast, not by choice though. Her mother, embarrassed by her green skin, never lets her come in contact with other children. Eventually, Nanny convinces Melena to allow her daughter to play with others, hoping this would allow Elphaba to form some sort of armor to protect her and make her stronger later in life. The local children are cruel and bully the green girl mercilessly. Along with social pressures and hardships, Elphaba is growing up in a time period taking a turn for the worse economically and socially for the land. With the Wizard as ruler everything is drastically changing as Oz is becoming segregated and racist, especially between the people and talking Animals who once lived comfortably hand in hand in Oz. Now Animals are being treated poorly due to the Wizard's government system which has created a structure for Oz that parallels the events of the Nazi Germany's Holocaust and the turmoil of the Great Depression. This explains why there are no talking Animals ever seen in the Emerald City. In L. Frank Baum's original story there where no animals in Emerald City either. In Wicked this is because Animals are strictly not allowed. (Animals should be seen and not heard)
The guilt over Turtle Heart's death led Frex and Melena to become missionaries to southern quadrant of Oz known as the Quadling Country. When Elphaba was eight, her mother died giving birth to her little brother Shell, who would one day become Emperor of Oz. Since Melena died, Nanny took on the role of mother to the Thropp children. Elphaba later relates that she used to sing to the converts her father visited. At the age of 15, she is accepted to Crage Hall, the female college of Shiz.
After being accepted to Crage Hall, Elphaba is paired off to room with Galinda, a beautiful, spoiled and highly privileged girl of nobale blood who has also been blessed with fair skin, attractive features and curly golden hair. At first Galinda is repulsed and uncomfortable around Ephaba, due both to her green skin and lack of social standing. Elphaba slowly grows to like Galinda and concludes that she isn't such an unpleasant roommate after all, one who is more crafty and gifted than she is credited for. Elphaba also meets Boq, a former playmate from Rush Margins who soon becomes a close friend. During the first summer, Elphaba works as an assistant to Dr. Dillamond, a Goat professor who is trying to find the difference between Animals and humans. She assisted by Boq, and Boq's friends, Tibbett and Crope, who help her get information from Briscoe Hall's library.
At the end of the summer, Elphaba travels to visit Galinda at her summer home, only to discover it to be a prank by one of Galinda's friends. At the start of the second year, Elphaba's life turns dramatically when Dillamond is murdered and Glinda's chaperone, Ama Clutch, is incapacitated, forcing Elphaba to call Nanny to replace her, and Nessarose to begin school there early. The accident also brings Elphaba closer to Galinda (or Glinda as she is now known) and allows Elphaba to form a circle of friends. Elphaba continues to believe Dillamond was murdered, despite official claims he died accidentally, and this is confirmed by Ama Clutch on her deathbed. After Clutch is buried, Madame Morrible, the headmistress of Crage Hall, calls Elphaba, Glinda and Nessarose to her office and offers them to the chance of becoming Adepts of Magic, who would serve the Wizard, though she casts a spell on them so that they will not remember the offer until she speaks to them again. After this, Elphaba takes Gllinda and goes to Oz's imperial capital called Emerald City to show Dillamond's work to him. After a disappointing meeting, she parts ways with Glinda, telling her she will not return to Crage Hall, and later becomes a member of the resistance against the Wizard and his prejudice laws.
Five years later, Elphaba is a fully grown woman and resistance member of the Emerald City. The city is indeed an elaborate establishment, prosperous and beautiful and filled with elegant palaces made of green marble decorated with real emeralds and surrounded by attractive gardens, Elphaba lives in an abandoned building in a rather isolated section of the city. Her home is in a district neighborhood that is considered as the slums of the Emerald City, where the residents are mostly prostitutes, pimps, homeless people, thieves and drug dealers/addicts.
One day Elphaba unexpectedly runs into Fiyero, an old friend from college. She tries to avoid him, but he catches her and they begin to meet in secret, which eventually becomes a love affair in which they both fall deeply in love. The secret relationship lasts for several months. On Lurlinmas Eve, she is assigned to assassinate Madame Morribel at a social event, but fails. At the same time, her apartment is raided and Fiyero is brutally killed out of spite to hurt Elphaba. This indicates that the Wizard and his people were secretly on to Elphaba.
Severely traumatized by the murder of her secret lover, Elphaba fleas and permanently abandons her apartment. She has a severe mental breakdown and as a result she stops speaking entirely. A incoherent Elphaba eventually makes her way to a mauntery (monastic convent). She falls into a deep coma like sleep which lasts for a year. During this time, she gives birth to her son, Liir. After recovering, she works as a maunt under the name of Sister Saint Aelphaba and takes a vow of silence. She spends most of her time cleaning floors by hand and working with dying patients. One day she meets the dying Tibbett, whom she befriends and is touched by and who encourages her to speak again and live her life. Tibbett's death also propels her to leave the convent after years of being verbally and emotionally shut down.
Elphaba sets off for Kiamo Ko to seek forgiveness for the death of Fiyero from his wife, Sarima, who welcomes her and allows her to stay at Kiamo Ko along with Liir, who the maunts had sent along with Elphaba. She also introduces Elphaba to her sisters and three children. On the journey to Kiamo Ko, Elphaba encounters a number of animals, including an orphaned snow monkey who she calls Chistery and a wolf-dog called Killyjoy. Though Elphaba had only intended to stay at Kiamo Ko until she received Sarima's forgiveness, Sarima refuses to listen to her story and she resigns herself to living in the castle indefinitely. As Elphaba refuses to give her name, Sarima calls her 'Auntie,' although her children end up calling her Auntie Witch behind her back a name she eventually gives in to, even though she resents it.
While living at Kiamo Ko, Elphaba discovers the Grimmerie (a book containing vast magical knowledge) in the attic of the castle. Elphaba begins the study the book and practice magic. She begins to realize she has latent magical ability, having frozen a lake to save Chistery and made an icicle fall with her mind that kills one of Sarima's children.
One day, troops led by Commander Cherrystone come to Kiamo Ko, claiming they are on an exploration mission and need shelter, though Elphaba suspects they have more sinister motives. One day, she sees Fiyero's daughter, Nor, surprisingly riding on the broom she was given by the maunts and begins to learn to ride it herself. With the broom, she pays a visit to her family in Colwen Grounds, where Frex proposes that she and Nessarose work together to rule Munchkinland, now that it had seceded from Oz. However, she rejects the proposal and returns to Kiamo Ko, only to discover everyone but Nanny (who had come to live there after Nessarose's ascension) and Liir had been captured and taken away.
(Elphaba then makes it her mission to save them but in the end is unsuccessful due to her tragic ending.)
The Matter of Dorothy
One day Elphaba receives the news that her sister Nessarose, who has by now been given the nickname as the "Wicked Witch of the East", has been tragically killed. The cause of death was a fallen house that came from another universe and unexpectedly fell out of the sky and crashlanded in the heart of the Munchkin country. As fate would have it, the house crushed Nessarose to death who was handing out attendance awards to the Munchkins.
When Elphaba finally arrives in Munchkinland to attend Nessarose's funeral, she sees her father and Galinda again. Galinda now goes by simply "Glinda" and is known as the respected "Good Witch of the North" and has mastered the art of small magic. Glinda calmly tells Elphaba about the house's passenger who was aloft when it descended from the atmosphere. An adolescent girl by the name of Dorothy Gale from "Kansas" who was accompanied by a mangy pooch called Toto. Glinda explains that she sent Dorothy to see the Wizard to keep the girl from getting pulled into all the political chaos accruing in Munchkinland. Glinda also confesses that she gave the lost girl Nessarose's slippers and cast a spell upon them as protection to keep the girl from being seriously harmed on her journey. This outrages Elphaba, who is determined to get the shoes back as it is the only thing that she will have left of her sister.
Glinda's thoughtless actions cause her and Elphaba to have a falling out and as a result they never speak again. During this time Elphaba meets with the Wizard, who reveals he has Nor. To Elphaba's horror she sees that Nor has been held captive all these years, but stripped of her independence and has been beaten into submission and kept as a slave by the Wizard who then asks Elphaba for the Grimmerie to be given to him. Elphaba refuses unless he gives up Nor, but he claims she is his protection against her.
Elphaba sets out on her flying broomstick to find Dorothy who is oblivious that the Witch is after her. Dorothy is now following the yellow brick road and having her own set of adventures while she is on her way to see the Wizard. Elphaba then runs into Boq once more and they discuss the matter of Dorothy who spent the night at Boq's estate when passing through Munchkinland. When Boq tells Elphaba how charming Dorothy was Elphaba becomes offended and immediately sets off on her broom without saying goodbye.
Eventually Elphaba spots Dorothy who is by this point accompanied by three oddball companions: a straw man, a shiny woodman and a giant cat. She eavesdrops to the group gossip about her when she sees her sisters shoes sparkling on Dorothy's feet. Just as Elphaba attempts to retrieve them it begins to rain, thus letting Dorothy get away while Elphaba takes cover under a tree to avoid contact with water. Afterwards Elphaba decides to go to Shiz with the intention of killing Madame Morrible. To Elphaba's dismay Morrible has already died of old age seconds prior, so Elphaba could only bash the dead woman's head in with a marble trophy. Nevertheless, she claims to be Morrible's killer while paying a visit to a dinner party held by Avaric, though she is not taken seriously as a murderer until much later. On the way back to Kiamo Ko while drunk, she meets the crew of the Clock, who put on a show revealing Elphaba's true parentage, which reveals to be none other than Elphaba's worst enemy, the Wizard. Elphaba does not believe it to be true.
A Melted Reflection
Back at the Kiamo Ko castle, she finds the Miracle Elixir in Nanny's possessions and begins to drink it. However, she begins to have strange dreams that become haunting and nightmarish. So Elphaba makes up a potion to avoid falling asleep. However, the lack of sleep and paranoia over the Wizard having Nor and Dorothy having Nessarose's shoes start to take a toll on her mental health. When she finally learns Dorothy is on her way to Kiamo Ko, being sent by the Wizard himself, Elphaba notices the girl is still accompanied by the three oddball comrades from earlier, who are helping Dorothy on her task to kill the Wicked Witch of the West in exchange for Dorothy to be sent back to her native homeland.
Since the people in Oz are a superstitious bunch, no one in Oz dares to harm Dorothy due to the meaning of her name which means "Goddess of Gifts" and her coincidentally having the same last name as the Wizard's soldiers known as the "Gale Force". Added with the fact she also wears Nessrose's sparkling shoes, this makes Dorothy nearly untouchable. However, Elphaba believes the Scarecrow that accompanies the girl may indeed be Fiyero in a costume, coming back to her in a disguise. It also could be Fiyero's spirit inside, possessing the stuffed figure and giving it life. To find out if Fiyero is indeed still alive, rather in body or by spirit by any miracle, Elphaba then immediately sends out her animals to try to lead Dorothy to the Kiamo Ko castle. However, Elphabla's attempt backfires and all her pets are killed except the flying monkeys.
Just like in Baum's original book, the Witch sends her winged monkeys out to bring Dorothy and The Lion to her castle, while the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman are left behind to wander on their own in the dark, unforgiving night.
After a uncomfortable and disastrous meal, Elphaba pulls Dorothy into one of the castle's high towers in an attempt to straighten things out. While also assuming Dorothy had to be tied into the tapestry of conspiracies in Oz, Dorothy confesses that the Wizard sent her to kill Elphaba, but Dorothy, being a mere child, cannot bring herself to do such a terrible task. Elphaba commands Dorothy to hand over the slippers, but the shoes are enchanted under the protection of Glinda and will not come off. Dorothy explains that the Wizard himself even tried to pry the shoes off before sending Dorothy to the Witch in exchange to be sent back home. Despite her efforts, the slippers simply will not come off her feet. Dorothy is magically locked tight inside of them. Dorothy ask Elphaba for forgiveness in killing her sister, which psychologically and emotionally cripples Elphaba due to the fact she was never given the same chance with Sarima.
Throughout the argument, Elphaba realizes that Dorothy reminds her of herself, as both Elphaba and Dorothy are misunderstood outsiders. At this time Liir and the Lion barge into the room and come to Dorothy's aid. But Elphaba takes Dorothy to the highest room in the tower and locks the door.
In a state of insanity and psychological defeat, Elphaba accidentally sets her own robes on fire by not paying attention to her surroundings. A frightened Dorothy quickly grabs a bucket near by that is filled with collecting rain water and without a second thought, throws the water at a panicking Elphaba to put out the fire and save the Witch who was ablaze.
Instead of saving the Witch, the water kills Elphaba and to Dorothy's horror she melts away before her very eyes.
The novel ends stating that there is no happy ending for a Witch, as no one mourns the "Wicked".
Gone But Not Forgotten
The bucket splash that killed the Wicked Witch of the West connects to the fable of Saint Aelphaba, for whom Elphaba is named after, who was said to disappear beyond a waterfall, and never return. This in turn ties Elphaba to the stories Sarima tells her children about a wicked witch who disappears into a cave. At the end of the story, the children always ask if the witch ever comes out, to which Sarima replies "not yet". At the end of the book, this dialogue is repeated, suggesting that Elphaba will eventually rise again. Just before being absorbed into the Grimmerie in A Lion Among Men, the oracle known as Yackle also claims that "She's coming back-", although to whom this refers is never made explicitly clear. In interviews, Maguire has stated that a witch may die but will always come back, no matter what. This very well hints that Elphaba is the subject of Yackle's prophecy. Though, it is likely the prophecy was referring to the long lost Ozma, who returns in the final book. However, in the final book, Nanny claims to have seen Elphaba the other day and Glinda is freed from her jail sentence by someone who she calls "wicked" and who she says "took her time". However, this could easily be Elphaba's granddaughter, Rain, who inherited her green skin.
In the Musical
Elphaba Thropp, the daughter of the governor of Munchkinland, who is ostracized for her electric-green skin attends the university of Shiz in the magical land of Oz. When Elphaba arrives she is mercilessly shunned for being different. Soon She meets Galinda Upland, the rich and spoiled girl who becomes her roommate. The two young girls take an immediate dislike and loathe for each other. Not even Elphaba knows why she is green but it is explained that Elphaba was born with green skin because her mother drank green elixir on the night Elphaba was conceived. In a moment of anger, trying to help her sister Nessarose, Elphaba reveals an innate magical talent, which impresses Madame Morrible, the "Head Shiztress" of Shiz; she notes that Elphaba's talents may be of use to the Wizard of Oz, and promises to ask him for an audience. Galinda and Elphaba, meanwhile, espouse their mutual loathing in a duet (What is this Feeling).Elphaba meets Dr. Dillamond, the Goat that teaches History at Shiz. He confides in Elphaba that things in Oz are not what they seem to be; something is causing the Animals of Oz to lose their powers of speech and become animals (Something Bad).
Galinda, while preparing for a party arranged by a carefree student named Fiyero, discovers a black pointed hat in a box and gives it to Elphaba as a “present”; Elphaba arrives wearing the hat, only to be ridiculed. Defiant, she proceeds to dance alone and without musical accompaniment. Feeling guilty, Galinda joins her on the dance floor, marking the start of a new friendship between the two. After the dance, Galinda and Elphaba talk in their room; Galinda decides to give her new friend a makeover and to make her (Popular ).
The next day, Ozian officials take away Doctor Dillamond. The new history teacher arrives with a caged lion cub (who will turn out to be the Cowardly Lion) as the subject of an in-class experiment, revealing that Animals that are kept in cages never will learn how to speak. Outraged, Elphaba's magical abilities show themselves, and she and Fiyero are able to rescue the cub themselves. The two realize that they may have feelings for each other, but Fiyero leaves, embarrassed. Elphaba takes refuge under a bridge and states that it would be impossible for someone like Fiyero to have feelings for someone like her (I'm Not That Girl ). It begins to rain, and Madame Morrible finds her and announces that she has been granted an audience with the Wizard. Morrible stops the rain, in order to keep Elphaba from getting too wet(for she will melt), announcing that weather is her specialty. At the train station, Galinda and Fiyero see Elphaba off to the Emerald City. In an attempt to impress Fiyero, Galinda announces that she will change her name to "Glinda" in honor of Doctor Dillamond's persistent mispronunciation. Fiyero seems not to notice, focusing his attention instead on Elphaba, and Elphaba, feeling bad for Glinda, invites her along to see the Wizard.
After a day of sightseeing in the Emerald City, Elphaba and Glinda meet the Wizard. Eschewing the special effects that he employs for the benefit of most visitors, he invites Elphaba to join him. As a test, he asks that Elphaba give his monkey servant, Chistery, the ability to fly using the Grimmerie, an ancient book of spells. Elphaba demonstrates an innate understanding of the lost language, and successfully gives Chistery wings. Showing her how powerful she really is, the Wizard reveals a cage full of winged monkeys, and remarks that they will make good spies to report any subversive Animal activity. Realizing that she has been used and that the Wizard has no power of his own, Elphaba runs away with the Grimmerie, pursued by the palace guards.
Elphaba and Glinda run into the tallest tower, where they hear Madame Morrible declaring to all of Oz that Elphaba is a "Wicked Witch" and is to be distrusted. Elphaba enchants a broomstick to fly and tries to convince Glinda to join her in her cause, but Glinda cannot resist the call of popularity and refuses. Leaving Glinda behind, Elphaba flies off, promising to fight the Wizard with all of her power and Defy Gravity (Defying Gravity )
A few years pass, and Elphaba's exploits have earned her the title "The Wicked Witch of the West". Elphaba arrives at the governor's residence in Munchkinland seeking refuge; Nessarose, now the governess, criticizes Elphaba for not using her new-found powers to help her sister. Guilty, Elphaba enchants Nessarose's jeweled shoes, enabling her to walk. Boq, Nessarose's servant, is summoned and reveals that his affection for Nessarose was put on and his heart lies with Glinda. Furious, Nessarose miscasts a spell from the Grimmerie, accidentally causing Boq's heart to shrink. While Elphaba attempts to save him, Nessarose reflects on how her obsession with Boq has led her to oppress the Munchkins. Elphaba saves Boq by turning him into the Tin Woodman; horrified, Nessarose lays the blame with Elphaba.Elphaba returns to the Wizard's palace in order to free the rest of the winged monkeys. The Wizard attempts to regain her favor by agreeing to set them free. Upon discovering a now-speechless Doctor Dillamond among the monkeys, Elphaba rejects his offer and attempts to escape, but runs into Fiyero. Confirming his true love for Elphaba, he runs off with her.
Glinda, in a fit of jealousy, instructs Madame Morrible and the Wizard of Oz to spread a rumor about Elphaba's sister. They both agree a rumor is not enough, and once Glinda is gone, Madame Morrible decides a "change in the weather" would suffice.
In the middle of the woods, Elphaba and Fiyero profess their love for each other. They are interrupted when Elphaba hears strange noises and sees houses flying through the air. She leaves, and goes off to find her sister.
She arrives in Munchkinland, to meet Dorothy Gale and Toto as the 1939 The Wizard of Oz movie implies. Once Dorothy is gone, Glinda falls to her knees and places flowers near where Nessa had been crushed by the house.
(In a few versions of the play, Dorothy makes one single appearance. At the beginning of the second act, Dorothy is actually seen with Toto skipping off the stage now wearing Nessarose's shoes.)
Suddenly Elphaba appears, and soon finds out that Nessa's death was no accident. She and Glinda get into a fierce fight, and the Gale Force guards intercede, grabbing Elphaba under the Wizard's commands. Elphaba can't believe Glinda would use such a trick to capture her, and Fiyero arrives, telling the guards to "let the green girl go." They do, and Fiyero convinces Elphaba to leave without him. He is taken out to a distant field, and it is implied he is beaten viciously and killed. Then placed on a pole to represent turning into the scarecrow that Dorothy Gale will soon encounter.
Elphaba is in Kiamo Ko, Fiyero's castle, and she searches frantically through the Grimmerie trying to find a spell to help save Fiyero. She reflects on all of her past actions, and on how they have affected the people she has loved. She finally discovers that it is not worth trying to do good anymore and she is wicked. Later she learns of Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Woodman and The Cowardly Lion came to kill Elphaba as ordered by The Wizard and she sends the Flying Monkey's to bring Dorothy, Toto, and the Ruby Slippers to her castle.
As Elphaba yells at Dorothy who is heard crying while Elphaba looks down into a dungeon door that leads into the ground, she tells the girl to give her the slippers if she wants to see her Aunt and Uncle again. Glinda arrives at her castle to persuade her to let the little girl go and her dog, whom she incorrectly refers to as "Dodo" go as well. But Elphaba refuses and continues to harass Dorothy about the shoes. After receiving a note, she finally realizes what she has done wrong and how to fix it. She makes Glinda promise not to clear her name and to take charge in Oz, and the two confirm a true friendship. As the mob arrives at the castle, along with Elphaba's Winkie Guards and Flying Monkey's in tow, suddenly a shadow that distinctly represents Dorothy runs through all the chaos and throws a bucket of water on Elphaba, 'melting' her. Elphaba's voice is heard shrieking and her shadow then shrinks away into the floor and disappears in a cloud of smoke.
Fiyero, whom Elphaba had accidentally turned into the Scarecrow when trying to save him, opens a trapdoor in Elphaba's castle. Elphaba, very much alive, emerges and the two are happily reunited, and leave Oz forever.
Differences between the 1900 book, the 1939 film and Wicked
In the musical Wicked, Elphaba is more beautiful, less cynical, more likable, and far more sympathetic than in the 1939 film.
The Oz characters by L. Frank Baum known as King Pastoria who was the last king of Oz before the Wizard took over, and the Fairy Queen Lurline who is responsible for making Oz the enchanted realm that it is, are both mentioned in the book as well as Pastoria's baby daughter and heir to Oz's throne, princess Ozma. However, in the stage adaptation, these three Oz characters are not seen nor mentioned.
Also, the Oz character by L. Frank Baum known as "Tik-Tok", the mechanical copper man of Oz who serves as Oz's Royal Army, makes a brief appearance in the book but is never mentioned nor seen in the play. However, L. Frank Baum's characters known as the Hammer-Heads from the original Oz book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, are seen in the play instead.counterpart. In the book, Elphaba virtually goes mad, and genuinely becomes "wicked", though understandably so; however in the musical, she tries not to hurt anyone and just wants to help the Animals and the people she cares about. Liir, Sarima and her children are not present in the musical, instead, a love triangle with Fiyero, Elphaba and Glinda is formed. The young Elphaba shows interest in sorcery as soon as her powers are revealed, as opposed to having it thrust upon her as in the book. Elphaba is explicitly shown to survive at the end, and goes to live a life beyond Oz with Fiyero, where in the book her impending resurrection is only hinted. Elphaba is also the creator of the Tin Woodman (through a spell to save Boq, who had had his heart shrunken to apparent non-existence by Nessarose), the Scarecrow (through a spell with which she attempts to save Fiyero from being tortured to death on her account) and the Cowardly Lion (the Lion Cub she rescued from the class after Doctor Dillamond's removal); in the book the first is a result of an axe bewitched by Nessarose, and the scarecrow's existence has nothing to do with Fiyero, other than her slight suspicion that he might indeed be her love coming back to find her, which just proves to be a paranoid delusion. Elphaba also has a less significant vendetta with Madame Morrible in the musical than in the book: In the novel, Elphaba relentlessly attempts to kill Morrible, but in the musical, Elphaba has virtually nothing to do with her after the conclusion of the first act. Her relationship with Glinda (called "Galinda" until she renames herself in the latter part of the first act in honor of Doctor Dillamond) is a central feature of the musical. As in the novel, the two initially despise each other, but eventually develop a strong friendship. For a while, Elphaba goes along with Glinda's attempts to make her popular, but her rebellious and revolutionary nature ultimately forces her to reject both social and political popularity in favor of doing what she knows to be right in fighting to save the Animals. Just prior to Elphaba's supposed melting, the two confess that each has been changed by their friendship: Elphaba admits that Glinda was the only friend she ever had, and Glinda replies that Elphaba was the only friend she has ever had who really mattered.
Elphaba demonstrates a natural talent in the field of sorcery early in the musical, and is selected by Madame Morrible to be tutored personally. She progresses quickly, and is eventually called before the Wizard of Oz himself, with a view to becoming his "magic Grand Vizier". However, when she learns that the Wizard is in fact a powerless fraud, Elphaba steals the Grimmerie from him and sets herself up as a rebel. In retaliation, the Wizard has Madame Morrible spread the rumor that Elphaba is a "Wicked Witch", to turn the public against her. She becomes the subject of national hatred thereafter, and her attempts to convince the people as to the Wizard's corrupt rule are regarded as slander. As more and more of her friends turn against her, Elphaba gradually comes to accept her reputation as a villain, and the supposed death of Fiyero is what finally causes her to embrace it completely. However, when she realizes that Fiyero has in fact survived, Elphaba acknowledges the mistakes she has made in her life, and decides to get a fresh start outside of Oz.
In the musical, Elphaba's aversion to water is no more than one of several ridiculous rumors started by those who fear her. Elphaba uses this to her advantage by disappearing when Dorothy throws a bucket of water at her, fooling everyone into believing she has been killed, even though she just went down a trapdoor and lives to the end.
Solos (In A Duet)
- The Wizard and I (Madame Morrible)
- Something Bad (Dr. Dillamond)
- Wonderful (The Wizard)
- As Long As You're Mine (Fiyero)
- For Good (Glinda)
Solos (In A Group Number)
- What Is This Feeling? (Glinda and Students of Shiz)
- Dancing Through Life (Fiyero, Glinda, Boq, Nessarose, and Students of Shiz)
- One Short Day (Glinda and Citizens of the Emerald City)
- Defying Gravity (Glinda and Company)
- The Wicked Witch of the East (Nessarose and Boq)
- Finale (Glinda and Company)
- Dear Old Shiz (Glinda and Shiz Students)
- The idea for Elphaba's Act 2 dress was as if she was from the center of the Earth.
- The fabric for Elphaba’s Wicked Witch bodice is not actually one fabric. It is as many as 20 different fabrics, cut into pieces no bigger than 3” and quilted, cut, stitched, and quilted together.
- The ruffles in the skirt of Elphaba’s Wicked Witch dress require 40 yards of fabric to complete.
- It takes one person 2 weeks to sew the entire Act 2 dress together.
- The Act 2 dress is said to weigh around 25 lbs.
- The Act 2 dress is worth anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000.
- The Act 2 dress has a zipper down the back that can be easily replaced.
- There are 20 shades of Elphaba green skin (although the production only regularly use a few).
- It usually takes about half an hour (depending on actress experience) for Elphaba to “greenify” every night.
- The most famous actress to portray Elphaba is Idina Menzel. She was the original actress to play the role of Elphaba. Idina Menzel won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role (Musical) for her role as Elphaba in 2004. Idina Menzel returned to the role of Elphaba in the original West End cast in 2006, making her the first actress to perform in the West End and Broadway.
- There are two almost identical dresses, one's the Shiz dress; the other is tighter for the party at the Ozdust.
- In the musical, the wig for the second act is different from the first. It's longer with dark red or brown in it (it really depends on where the show is taking place).
- On matinee days (days where there are two shows) the actress who plays Elphaba has to de-greenify herself in-between shows because between acts the green skin becomes more defined.
- The fastest time for applying Elphaba's green make up was 7 minutes. Elphaba does not have a crone face, nor does she have the signature mole on her chin like in the 1939 film.
- Most actresses playing Elphaba are mostly mezzo-sopranos (a soprano in a lower range or an alto in a higher range)
- Danna Paola in the Mexican production is the youngest actress to play Elphaba at 18 years old.
- Stephanie J. Block read for Elphaba in the workshops for Wicked.
- Kerry Ellis is the only actress who has portrayed Elphaba four seperate times (throughout her time in the West End and Broadway). Kerry Ellis returned to the role of Elphaba in 2014, five years after her departure.
- Jennifer DiNoia protrayed Elphaba on the West End, and is the fourth actress to have played the role in the West End and Broadway.
- Jemma Rix starred in a 30-minute shortened version of the show at Universal Studios Japan. This required her to speak some lines in Japanese.
- In the 1939 films 2013 Disney prequel, Oz the Great and Powerful, which ignores the events of Wicked, Elphaba's name is changed to Theodora. Her father, The Wizard, Oscar Zoaroaster Diggs was her boyfriend with no biological relations between the two in the prequel. She is played by actress, Mila Kunis. In L. Frank Baum's 1900 book, The Wicked Witches are not sisters.
- Idina Menzel (2003-2005)
- Shoshana Bean (2005-2006)
- Eden Espinosa (2006)
- Ana Gasteyer (2006-2007)
- Julia Murney (2007)
- Stephanie J Block (2007-2008)
- Kerry Ellis (2008)
- Marcie Dodd (2008-2009)
- Nicole Parker (2009)
- Dee Roscioli (2009-2010)
- Mandy Gonzalez (2010-2011)
- Teal Wicks (2011)
- Jackie Burns (2011-2013)
- Willemijn Verkaik (2013)
- Lindsay Mendez (2013-2014)
- Christine Dwyer (2014; temporary 2015)
- Caroline Bowman (Current)
- Eden Espinosa (2003-2004; also Nessarose u/s)
- Shoshana Bean (2004-2005; also Nessarose u/s)
- Saycon Sengbloh (2005-2007)
- Lisa Brescia (2007-2008)
- Julie Reiber (2008-2009)
- Jennifer DiNoia (2009-2011; temporary 2012; temporary 2014)
- Donna Vivino (August 2011-October 2012; November 2012-November 2013)
- Carla Stickler (November 2013; temporary)
- Christine Dwyer (2013-2014)
- Anne Brummel (February 2014-August 2014)
- Lilli Cooper (Current)
- Kristy Cates
- Brandi Chavonne Massey
- Caissie Levy
- Maria Eberline (temporary)
- Chelsea Krombach
- Stephanie Torns (2010-2011; June 2014-July 2014; August 2014)
- Caroline Bowman
- Jennifer DiNoia (temporary)
- Anna Eilinsfeld (temporary)
- Vicki Noon
- Carla Stickler (Current)
1st National Tour
- Stephanie J. Block (2005-2006)
- Kristy Cates (2005; temporary)
- Eden Espinosa (2005; temporary)
- Julia Murney (2006)
- Shoshana Bean (2006)
- Victoria Matlock (2007)
- Carmen Cusack (2007-2008)
- Donna Vivino (2008-2010)
- Jackie Burns (2010-2011)
- Dee Roscioli (2011)
- Mamie Parris (2011-2012)
- Nicole Parker (2012)
- Dee Roscioli (2012-2013)
- Alison Luff (2013-2014)
- Emma Hunton (2014-2015)
- Jennifer DiNoia (2015)
1st National Tour Standbys
- Victoria Matlock (2006)
- Coleen Sexton (2007)
- Donna Vivino (2007-2008)
- Merideth Kaye Clark (2008-2010)
- Marriand Torres (2010-2012)
- Carla Stickler (2012-2013; also u/s Nessarose)
- Laurel Harris (2013-2014; also u/s Nessarose)
- Emmy Raver-Lampman (2014-2015)
1st National Tour Understudies
- Jenna Leigh Green (also Nessarose)
- Maria Eberline (also u/s Nessarose)
- Marcie Dodd (also u/s Nessarose)
- Merideth Kaye Clark
- Stephanie Torns (Current)
- Carla Stickler (also u/s Nessarose)
- Ashley Dawn Mortensen (2014-2015)
- Shayla (Osborn) Beck (also u/s Nessarose)
- Ana Gasteyer (2005-2006)
- Kristy Cates (2006)
- Dee Roscioli (2006-2008, 2008-2009)
- Lisa Brescia (2008)
- Courtney Corey
- Jennifer DiNoia (also u/s Nessarose)
- Dan'yelle Williamson
- Vicki Noon
- Anne Brummel (Final)
West End (London) Production
- Idina Menzel (2006-2007)
- Kerry Ellis (2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2014)
- Alexia Khadime (2008, 2009-2010)
- Rachel Tucker (2010-2012)
- Louise Dearman (2012-2013)
- Willemijn Verkaik (2013-2014)
- Jennifer DiNoia (2014 - 2015)
- Emma Hatton (Current)
West End Standbys
- Kerry Ellis (2006)
- Shona White (2007)
- Cassidy Janson (2007-2008)
- Ashleigh Gray (2008-2010; temporary 2013 & 2014)
- Nikki Davis-Jones (2010-2012)
- Hayley Gallivan (2012-2013)
- Emma Hatton (2013 - 2015)
- Natalie Andreou (Current)
West End Understudies
- Cassidy Janson (2006-2007; also u/s Nessarose)
- Ashleigh Gray (2007-2008)
- Shona White (emergency cover-2009)
- Sabrina Carter (2008-2010)
- Stevie Tate-Bauer (2010-2011; also u/s Nessarose)
- Jennifer Tierney (2011; also u/s Madame Morrible)
- Gemma Atkins (2011-2012; also u/s Nessarose)
- Michelle Pentecost (2011-2013))
- Katie Rowley Jones (2012-2013)
- Natalie McQueen (2013-Current; 1st u/s)
- Jacqueline Hughes (2013-2014; 2nd u/s)
- Laura Emmitt (Current; 2nd u/s)
Los Angeles Production
Los Angeles Standbys
- Julie Reiber (2007)
- Caissie Levy (2007)
- Teal Wicks (2008)
- Marcie Dodd (2008; also u/s Nessarose)
- Vicki Noon (2008-2009)
- Felicia Ricci ( 2010)
Los Angeles Understudies
- Courtney Corey
- Marcie Dodd (temporary; also Nessarose)
- Angel Reda (Final)
- Sabrina Weckerlin (2007-2008)
- Roberta Valentini (2008-2010)
- Melanie Gebhard (2010)
- Roberta Valentini
- Melanie Gebhard
- Maria Walter (Final)
- Amanda Harrison (2008-2009)
- Jemma Rix (2009; temporary)
- Jemma Rix (2008-2009)
- Carmen Cusack (2009; temporary)
- Patrice Tipoki
- Zoe Gertz (Final; also u/s Madame Morrible)
- Hamada Megumi(Original)
- Higuchi Asami
- Imai Minori
- Kimura Chiaki
- Ebata Masae
- Miyahara Kei
San Francisco Production
San Francisco Standbys
- Vicki Noon (2009-2010)
- Merideth Kaye Clark (2009; temporary)
- Dee Roscioli (2009; temporary)
- Carrie Manolakos (2010; temporary)
- Felicia Ricci (2010)
San Francisco Understudies
- Angel Reda
- Felicia Ricci
- Alyssa Fox (Final)
2nd National Tour
- Marcie Dodd (2009-2010)
- Vicki Noon (2010-2011)
- Anne Brummel (2011- April 2012)
- Christine Dwyer (May 2012-March 2013)
- Jennifer DiNoia (2013-2014)
- Laurel Harris (2014-2015)
- Alyssa Fox (Current)
2nd National Tour Standbys
- Carrie Manolakos (2009-2010)
- Anne Brummel (2010-2011)
- Christine Dwyer (2011)
- Stephanie Torns (2011-2012)
- Alyssa Fox (2012-2015)
- Lilli Cooper (2014; temporary)
- Emily Koch (Current)
2nd National Tour Understudies
- Natalie Weiss
- Anne Brummel
- Christine Dwyer
- Laurel Harris (also u/s Nessarose)
- Anna Eilinsfeld (2012-2013; also u/s Nessarose)
- Lilli Cooper
- Madeline Trumble (2014)
- Shayla Beck (temporary)
- Kennedy Caughell (Current)
- Okamura Minami (Current)
- Nikki Davis-Jones (2013-2014)
- Jemma Alexander (29th August-6th september
- Ashleigh Gray (September 2014-Current)
UK/Ireland Tour Standby
- Jemma Alexander
- Michelle Pentecost (temporary)
- Jacqueline Hughes (September 2014-Current)
UK/Ireland Tour Understudy
- Zoë George (also 2nd cover Nessarose)
- Natasha Ferguson (also 1st cover Nessarose)
- Ana Cecilia Anzaldúa
- Danna Paola
Mexico City Understudies
- Edén Pintos
- Viviana Barrera
Seoul, South Korea
- Oak Joo Hyun
- Park Hye Na
- Kim Sun-Young
- Kim Ga Hee
- Amanda Harrison (2009)
- Jemma Rix (2009; temporary)
- Jemma Rix / Pippa Grandison (2009-2010)
- Jemma Rix / Patrice Tipoki (2010)
- Jemma Rix (2009)
- Jennifer DiNoia (2009; temporary)
- Patrice Tipoki (2009-2010)
- Zoe Gertz (2009-2010; first understudy; also u/s Madame Morrible)
- Jemma Rix (2011)
Australian Tour Standby
- Laura Bunting (2011)
Australian Tour Understudy
- Zoe Jarrett (2011; also u/s Madame Morrible)
- Roberta Valentini (2010-2011)
- Anna Thorén (2011)
- Melanie Gebhard
Scheveningen (Dutch) Production
- Willemijn Verkaik (2011-2013)
- Renée van Wegberg (2011-2013)
- Bettina Holwerda (2011-2012)
- Suzanne de Heij (2012-2013)
Asian Tour Production
- Jemma Rix (Original)
Asian Tour Standbys
- Zoe (Gertz) Jarrett (Original)
- Jennifer DiNoia (May 2012-October 2012)
Asian Tour Understudies
- Gretel Scarlett (also u/s Nessarose)
Helsinki City Theatre Production (non-replicated version)
- Maria Ylipää (2010-2011)
- Raili Ruutu
Copenhagen Production (non-replicated version)
- Maria Lucia Heiberg Rosenberg (2011)
- Christina Elisabeth Mørkøre (1st u/s)
- Caroline Glomnes Johansen (2nd u/s)
- Jemma Rix (2014-Present)
- Ali Calder (2014-Present)
- Lilli Cooper (temporary)
- Sophie Wright (2014-Present)