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Frequently Asked Questions about Wicked


1. What is Wicked the Musical about?

Wicked logoWicked the musical is a loose adaptation of the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.

The musical offers a "backstory" to the Wizard of Oz, in other words a buoyantly creative version of what happens to Elphaba, the supposedly 'wicked' witch and Glinda, the reputedly good witch during the college years. Their buddy story is only one of several storylines and subplots in a carefully constructed, surprise-filled musical adventure.

Related question: I have the CD but haven't seen the show. How to the songs fit with the story? Read about the Wicked synopsis - song contexts.

2. Should I read the novel before seeing the show? and related question: How do Wicked (musical) and Wicked (novel) compare?

Wizard of OzIt's not necessary to read the novel first, and if you do, don't expect to see it adapted closely on stage. The musical gives Elphaba and Glinda's story a new life. I suggest you review The Wizard of Oz film though, now available in a special edition.

In the novel and the musical, what is the name of the Wicked Witch of the West? "Elphaba." For hints about how the novel and musical compare, read about Wicked's characters Elphaba, Glinda, Fiyero, Dr. Dillamond, Nessarose, Boq, and the others. Find out which characters from the novel were included for the stage adaptaton and which were left out.

3. I love the Wicked CD. What else has Stephen Schwartz written?

Read about Stephen Schwartz and his musicals or check out the CDs and sheet music on our shop: for Godspell, Pippin, etc. Schwartz musicals shop

4. Is the Wicked show appropriate for children?

For older children, yes. See details Is Wicked for children?

5. Where can I find Wicked lyrics and Wicked play libretto (script)?

Wicked the GrimmerieWicked's 200-page keepsake book designed to resemble the Grimmerie, an ancient book of spells that Elphaba uses in the show. (See the musical's Grimmerie in photo - Elphaba gives Glinda the Grimmerie). It includes script passages and lyrics, colour and black/white photos, profiles, inside stories...

Wicked the Grimmerie: A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Hit Broadway Musical

The lyrics are also provided with the wonderful CD. See our Wicked shop

6. Where can I see Wicked video clips? or Is there a Wicked movie?

See Wicked Clips and Photos

7. Does Wicked novelist Gregory Maguire approve of Wicked the musical?

Gregory Maguire loves this musical. At a book talk with Winnie Holzman, Maguire said, "I have been so pleased with the work that Winnie Holzman has done for Wicked. She has taken a novel that is like a symphony in my heart and she has turned it into an opera." Holzman promptly gave much credit to Stephen Schwartz for his ideas. "It literally was a vision--he just saw that Wicked the novel was a Broadway musical. So then he brought me into his vision."

8. What is the running time of the show Wicked?

In America it runs approx. 2 hrs 45 mins. -- Act 1: 1hr 30 min / Act 2: 1hr - plus intermission. But it takes awhile to get in and out of the theatre - maybe at least ten minutes with the crowds.

9. Will Wicked be changed for London and other productions?

This is still an open question. If it is changed, the changes will be slight. Stephen Schwartz discussed this with an interviewer who wanted to know if it would be retooled for audiences less than totally conversant with The Wizard of Oz. "We are extremely curious as to how the show is going to play in some of these foreign productions," he says. "We don't know how much the success of the show is due to the fact that people in the United States come in with this myth as part of their cultural inheritance." Schwartz, Holzman, the director and producers will decide later this year if they might clarify a few moments for the London production. "There are things that we refer to extremely obliquely in the show that American audiences get but foreign audiences may not," Schwartz says.

10. How to write to a cast member

How to write to the Wicked London cast:

Cast member name

c/o Stage Door
Apollo Victoria Theatre
Wilton Road
United Kingdom

11. How can I learn more?

Visit our sister site's Wicked section:

For London...

London Travel section

Other pages in this section of the site

Wicked characters - a Who's Who | Is Wicked for Children? | Wicked links | About Maguire's Wicked novel and sequel
Carol's Wicked UK Site. Carol is also webmaster for the official fan site for Wicked's composer Stephen Schwartz

UK edition of Maguire's novel Wicked.