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The Wizard

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"I'm a very good man, I'm just a very bad wizard"-The Wizard of Oz (1939)

"Hey, Look Who's Wonderful, This Corn-Fed Hick, Who Said It Might Be Keen To Build A Town Of All Green And A Wonderful Road Of Yellow Brick!"-Wicked

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The Wizard
Biographical information
Gender

Male

Hair color

White

Born

Unknown
(of Irish ancestry, as stated in the novel)
(heard muttering "Kansas" under his breath as stated in the Grimmerie)

Died

Kansas (in the book)

Relationships

Melena Thropp (lover)
Elphaba Thropp (daughter)
Liir (grandson)
Rain (great-granddaughter)

Title(s)

The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz
Ruler of Oz

Job

Fake Wizard
Ruler of Oz

Affiliation

Oz

Behind the scenes
First appearance

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (1995)

Last appearance

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (1995)

Portrayer

Joel Grey (original Boradway cast)

Wizard of Oz

The Wizard aka Oscar Diggs 1900

Oscar Zoroaster Diggs (aka Wizard) is a character invented by L. Frank Baum. He appeared in Baum's first Oz book titled the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. He is portrayed by late actor Frank Morgan in the 1939 classic musical adaptation by MGM The Wizard of Oz. In both versions of the story he is a humbug ruler who uses deceit and trickery to hide his own mortal shortcomings, he is the main antagonist in Wicked. In the 2013 Disney prequel to the 1939 film, Oz the Great and Powerful, The Wizard is revealed as a carnival magician from Kansas who is not the antagonist, even though he is portrayed as a deceitful, selfish, womanizing conman. His wish is not just to be a good man, but a great man. He was brought to Oz in a hot air balloon by cyclone to be taught a lesson and there, he becomes the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. This prequel ignores the events of Wicked, considering that The Wizard in Disney's film is not the bad guy. He is portrayed by actor James Franco.

In the iconic 1939 movie by MGM, the Wizard only appears as a giant head to Dorothy and her companions. Maguire uses elements of Baum's Wizard from the original book and also has his own Wizard use many different illusions to fool his audience into thinking he really is a force to be reckoned with and the most powerful living source in all of Oz.

"Wizard of Oz, is he good or is he wicked? asked Dorothy. Glinda answers, oh, very good but very mysterious. He lives in the emerald city, that's a long journey from here..." -The Wizard of Oz (1939)

In Baum's original story of 1900, Oz not only appears as a giant green head levitating above a jeweled imperial throne, but also as several other magical beings as well. In the book, Oz only allows Dorothy and her friends to speak with him one at a time on separate days. Oz meets with Dorothy first and appears to the girl and her dog Toto as a big green head. But to the Scarecrow, Oz appears as a beautiful fairy Princess dressed in elegant robes. To the Tin Woodman, Oz takes the shape of a great giant beast with horns. And to the the Cowardly Lion, Oz has no physical form at all, but is a fierce ball of flaming fire burning in mid air. Despite his different forms Oz tells Dorothy and her three friends all the same thing if they want their wishes granted; to kill the Wicked Witch of the West. Oz would later explain to Dorothy and her friends that these illusions were possible by dummies and other special effect props. In the 1939 movie however, the Wizard speaks to Dorothy and her friends all at once, on the same day and tells them to bring back the Broomstick of the Wicked Witch. It is the only way for Dorothy to be sent home to her homeland Kansas.

"Bring me the Broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West, and I shall grant your requests, now go, I SAID GO!!! " -The Wizard of Oz (1939)

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The Wizard speaks to Dorothy 1900.


In The Novel...

The Wizard in Wicked is undeniably a very cold blooded man, with a selfish spirit and a superficial personality. He has no regard for human feelings and comes off as very sociopathic if simply not just a flat out sociopath. He finds that the Ozians are a very gullible folk compared to people from our world and he uses that to manipulate them in every way he can. When he fist arrived in Oz before Elphaba Thropp was born, he came to the land via hot-air balloon just as the Wizard did in the 1900 book and the 1939 film. And he made a living as a con man and a hustler who happened onto a world where he could literally make himself into a king overnight.

After the Wizard used his fake illusions and false magic to overthrow King Pastoria, the Wizard had him assassinated. He then kidnapped Pastoria's baby daughter, the Princess Ozma and gave her to a Witch from Oz's northern Gillikin Country named Mombi (spelled La Mombey in the Wicked series) to keep and hide away forever and transform her to a kitchen boy she would later call "Tip" and use as her personal servant. Since there was no Heir to the throne of Oz, the Wizard proclaimed himself as the new official ruler and made everyone call him Wizard instead of King. Shortly after he ordered construction on the Emerald City and the yellow brick road to began. When his city and road were both eventually finished, the Wizard took up residents in the Royal Palace in the middle of the city and slowly brainwashed many of his subjects. He ruled over the Emerald City while secretly requiring people with true magic talent such as Glinda, Elphaba, Madame Morrible and La Mombey to cast all sorts of spells for him.

It is revealed that the Wizard is indeed behind some of the most horrific and disastrous events in the story, with one of his accomplices being Madame Morrible. Glinda and Elphaba met the Wizard of Oz when they were still students at Oz's Shiz University. But when they spoke to him they both realized that the Wizard wasn't so "Wonderful" after all.
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Joel Grey as The Wizard OBC

In both the book and Broadway Musical, the Wizard is revealed the illegitimate father of Elphaba Thropp decades before the Wizard's deluded power trip and Dorothy Gale's unexpected arrival. Melena was filled with promiscuity, this resulted in the Wizard seducing Melena with a mysterious green beverage known as "Green Miracle Elixar", they had a one night stand before he became the ruler of Oz and Melena became pregnant while her religious husband Frex was away.

It is also hinted that the drink Melena was given was the reason why Elphaba's skin is green. But Melena did not know this because people from the world where the Wizard and Dorothy come from cannot make out Oz's unique writing system. Vise-Versa.

In the Musical, this fact is revealed to the character Glinda, who accosts the Wizard with this information. It is also under the Wizard's direction that the Animals of Oz — most notably the Goat teacher from Shiz University, Doctor Dillamond — are caged and placed under strict control. This cruelty causes the final split between Elphaba and the Wizard, leading to her transformation into the Wicked Witch of the West.

  • In the end of Maguire's book, it is hinted that the Wizard may have committed Suicide after he returned to Kansas, leaving his empire in Oz behind.

In the Broadway MusicalEdit

After a day of sightseeing in the Emerald City, Elphaba and Glinda meet the Wizard. He immediately reveals his true self to them and invites Elphaba to join him as his personal assistant. He uses Madame Morrible, a woman whom Elphaba dearly trusts, to get Elphaba to join him. As a test, he asks that she give his Monkey servant, Chistery, the ability to fly using the Grimmerie, an ancient book of spells. Elphaba demonstrates her innate magical talent and successfully gives Chistery wings. After realizing that she's helping a fraud continue his fraudulance, Elphaba runs away, setting the stage for the show-stopping Defying Gravity .

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Stephanie J. Block and David Garrison as Elphaba and The Wizard in the Original First National Tour

Wizard reveals an entire cage full of monkeys who now also have wings because of Elphaba's spell, 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 real power of his own, Elphaba runs away with the Grimmerie, pursued by the palace guards, after the wizard tries to convince Elphaba and Glinda to join him. Elphaba and Glinda run into the tallest tower, where they witness Morrible, revealed to be the Wizard's press secretary, declaring to all of Oz that Elphaba is a "Wicked Witch" who is not to be trusted, and was so cruel as to curse monkeys by giving them wings .

Some time later, Elphaba returns to the Wizard's palace 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, running into Fiyero and taking him with her.

In recapitulation, it is revealed that the Wizard is actually Elphaba's father. Glinda orders the Wizard to leave Oz in his balloon, and indeed he does, returning to the world where he belongs.

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David Garrison as The Wizard-Original 1st Tour Cast

Differences in the book and musical, WickedEdit

No more than a con man with knowledge of how to work with human emotion and beliefs, this version of the Wizard works to maintain his own position and prestige, regardless of the pain and grief it causes to others, and is not beyond subversion or mandated murder.

The Wizard is portrayed in a slightly better light in the musical, Wicked. Instead of being very amoral, he is carried away by the belief of the people of Oz that he is "wonderful." In the play the Wizard is also more of a figurehead controlled by Madame Morrible and though he is responsible for some of the things that happen in the play he is truly not made fully aware of how his actions affect others. This portrayal is however slightly different based upon the actor portraying him, with some depicting him more as a ruthless manipulator, or slimy con artist, whilst others depict him as honestly benevolent but misguided. When he learns that Elphaba is his daughter, he expresses visible sorrow when he learns of her supposed death, agreeing with Glinda to leave Oz in his balloon.

In the musical, when he sang the reprise of 'I'm a Sentimental Man', it is revealed he always wanted to be a father, so the sorrow of Elphaba's death hits him more as he finds out he is actually her father, and thus in part, the cause of his own daughter's death.

SongsEdit

Wizardsh

Susan Hilferty's sketch of the Wizard's costume.

SolosEdit

Solos (In A Duet)Edit

Solos (In A Group Number)Edit

PortrayersEdit

Broadway ProductionEdit

Tom McGowan

Tom McGowan as The Wizard

  • Joel Grey (2003-2004)
  • George Hearn (2004-2005, 2006; temporary)
  • Ben Vereen (2005-2006)
  • Gene Weygandt (2005; temporary)
  • David Garrison (2006-2007)
  • Lenny Wolpe (2007-2008)
  • P.J. Benjamin (2008-2011, 2012, Current)
  • Tom McGowan (2011-2012, 2013-2014, 2015)
  • Adam Grupper (2012-2013)
  • Kevin McMahon (2014-2015)

Broadway UnderstudiesEdit

  • Sean McCourt
  • Michael DeVries
  • Wade McCollum
  • William Ryall

1st National TourEdit

  • David Garrison (2005-2006)
  • P.J. Benjamin (2006-2007)
  • Lee Wilkof (2007-2008)
  • Lenny Wolpe (2008-2009)
  • Richard Kline (2009-2011)
  • Mark Jacoby (2011-2012)
  • P.J. Benjamin (2012)
  • Tom McGowan (2012-2013)
  • John Davidson (2013-2014)
  • Tim Kazurinsky (Current) 

Chicago ProductionEdit

  • Gene Weygandt (2005-2007, 2008-2009)
  • Ben Vereen (2005; t/c)
  • Peter Kevoian (2007-2008)
  • David Garrison (2007; temporary)

West End (London) ProductionEdit

Rachel Tucker and Clive Carter

Rachel Tucker as Elphaba and Clive Carter as The Wizard in the London Production 2010

  • Nigel Planer (2006-2008)
  • Andy Mace (2008; temporary)
  • Desmond Barrit (2008-2009)
  • Sam Kelly (2009-2010)
  • Clive Carter (2010-2012)
  • Desmond Barrit (2012)
  • Keith Bartlett (2012-2013)
  • Sam Kelly (2013-2014)
  • Martyn Ellis (Current)

Los Angeles ProductionEdit

Stuttgart ProductionEdit

  • Carlo Lauber (2007-2010)

Melbourne ProductionEdit

  • Rob Guest OBE (2008)
  • Rodney Dobson (2008; temporary)
  • Bert Newton (2008-2009)

San Francisco ProductionEdit

2nd National TourEdit

  • Tom McGowan (2009)
  • Don Amendiola (2009-2011)
  • Tom McGowan (2011)
  • Don Amendolia (2011-2012)
  • Paul Kreppel (2012-2013)
  • Walker Jones (2013-2014)
  • Gene Weygandt (2014)
  • John Davidson (Current)

Auckland, New ZealandEdit

  • Jay Laga'aia

Sydney ProductionEdit

  • Bert Newton (2009-2010)

Oberhausen ProductionEdit

  • Carlo Lauber (2010-2011)

Asian Tour Edit

  • Bert Newton (2011-2012)
  • Glen Hogstrom (2012-Present)

Scheveningen ProductionEdit

  • Bill van Dijk (2011-2013)

Scheveningen UnderstudiesEdit

  • Jochem Feste Roozemond (2011-2013)
  • John ter Riet (2011-2013)

Mexico City Edit

  • Paco Morales (original)

Australian RevivalEdit

  • Reg Livermore (2014-2015)
  • Simon Gallaher (2015-Present; Brisbane & Perth)

External LinksEdit

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