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A Return to Oz in the Legitimate Theatre

The L. Frank Baum classic The Wizard of Oz was a highly complex universe of fictional and fantastic characters, though most people only remember the original musical of 1939. Wicked is perhaps the most ingenious of all these post-movie productions, as it strives to recreate the depth of the original novels (by L. Frank Baum, as well as the Gregory Maguire expansion of Oz continuity, published in 1995), while also including many allusions to the film version that everyone knows and loves. In fact, the musical Wicked adapts the novel, which parallels the movie, which is derived from the source material. Simply put, that means that Wicked is practically an official prequel/sequel to The Wizard of Oz, though it doesn’t have official studio backing.

The premise of the musical play is to ask the audience if they ever believed that there were two sides of the story to Dorothy-gate scandals of Oz. Wicked takes its name from the “Wicked Witch of the West”, or as those in the know like to call her, Elphaba. This little green woman presents a fresh new angle of the Wizard of Oz storyline, and is actually modeled after Margaret Hamilton’s character in the classic 1939 film, since Baum’s original novel explained very little about this “wicked” witch.

Wicked, the Broadway sensation is based on the book by Winnie Holzman, with music and lyrics by Steven Schwartz. The plot that unravels is a morally ambiguous tale of misunderstandings, social differences and corrupt government. Despite its heady pretentions, the musical Wicked is funny in dialogue, vivacious in song, and truly visionary, just as the original Hollywood film. This multi-award winning production has been running since 2003 and has immortalized songs such as “Defying Gravity”, “No One Mourns the Wicked”, “Popular” and “I’m Not That Girl.”

Come enjoy a true piece of American culture, and an iconic story that has captured the hearts of millions. It’s not just a movie sequel–it’s a live production with full costumes, an excellent soundtrack, and a fascinating glimpse into a fantasy world that truly comes to life in the details.

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