The thing is, my green girlie, it is not for a girl, or a student, or a citizen to assess what is wrong. This is the job of leaders, and why we exist.
— The Wizard to Elphaba, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

Oscar Zoroaster Diggs (aka the Wizard) is the main antagonist in Wicked. He is a humbug ruler who uses deceit and trickery to hide his own mortal shortcomings.

Maguire uses elements of L. Frank Baum's Wizard from the original book to make the 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.

In The NovelEdit

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 Ozians are a very gullible folk compared to people from his world (our world), and he uses that to manipulate them in every way he can.

When Oscar Diggs first arrived in Oz before Elphaba Thropp was born, he came to the land via a hot-air balloon originally seeking the Grimmerie. While in Oz 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 he used his fake illusions and false magic to overthrow the Ozma Regent, Pastorius, Oscar had him assassinated. He then kidnapped Pastorius's baby daughter, the Ozma Tippetarius, and gave her to La Mombey Impeccata, a witch from Gillikin to keep and hide her away forever. The witch transformed the princess into a kitchen boy she would later call "Tip" and use as her personal servant. Since there was no heir to the throne, Oscar proclaimed himself the new official ruler and made everyone call him "Wizard" instead of "King". Shortly after he ascended to the throne, he ordered the construction of the yellow brick road. He took up residence in the Royal Palace in the centre of the city and slowly brainwashed many of his subjects. He ruled over the Emerald City with an iron fist while secretly requiring people with true magical talent such as 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 Upland and Elphaba Thropp met the Wizard 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

The Wizard is later revealed to be the illegitimate father of Elphaba Thropp, having conceived her with Melena Thropp decades before the former's deluded power trip and Dorothy Gale's unexpected arrival. Melena was filled with promiscuity, this resulted in the Wizard seducing her with a mysterious green beverage known as the "Green Miracle Elixir". They had a one night stand before he became the ruler of Oz and Melena became pregnant while her religious husband Frexspar was away.

It is also hinted that the elixar 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.

It is also under the Wizard's direction that the Animals of Oz — most notably the Goat teacher from Shiz University, Doctor Dillamond — are 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 the novel, 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 .


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 musicalEdit

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.

Songs Edit


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


Solos (In A Duet)Edit

Solos (In A Group Number)Edit


Broadway ProductionEdit

Tom McGowan

Tom McGowan as The Wizard

  • Joel Grey (2003-2004)
  • George Hearn ([tel:2004-2005, 2006 2004-2005, 2006]; temporary)
  • Ben Vereen (2005-2006)
  • Gene Weygandt (2005; temporary)
  • David Garrison (2006-2007)
  • Lenny Wolpe (2007-2008)
  • P.J. Benjamin ([tel:2008-2011, 2012 2008-2011, 2012], 2015)
  • Tom McGowan (2011-2012, [tel:2013-2014, 2015 2013-2014, 2015])
  • Adam Grupper (2012-2013)
  • Kevin McMahon (2014-2015)
  • Fred Applegate (2015-2016)
  • Peter Scolari (2016-2017)
  • Fred Applegate (2017-2018)
  • Kevin Chamberlin (2018-present)

Broadway UnderstudiesEdit

  • Sean McCourt
  • Michael DeVries
  • Wade McCollum
  • William Ryall
  • Keith A. Bearden (Current-also u/s Dillamond, Witch's Father/Ozian Official)
  • Brian Munn(Current-Swing; also u/s Dillamond, Witch's Father/Ozian Official)

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 (204-2015) 

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 (2014-2015)
  • Tom McGowan (2015-2016)
  • Mark Curry (2016-2017)
  • Andy Hockley (2017-Present)

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 (2014-2015)
  • Stuart Zagnit (2015-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; also Dillamond)
  • John ter Riet (2011-2013; also u/s Dillamond)

Mexico City Edit

  • Paco Morales (original)

Australian RevivalEdit

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

UK/Ireland Tour Edit

  • Dale Rapley (Original; also Dillamond)
  • Steven Pinder (Final; also Dillamond)

Brazilian Production Edit

  • Sérgio Rufino (2016)

External LinksEdit