Wicked: The Synopsis
(companion for the Original Cast Recording)
Synopsis by J.L (Leiaj21@hotmail.com)


We begin with a celebration in OZ  (NO ONE MOURNS THE WICKED.) Citizens dance in the streets, jubilant, because the Wicked Witch is dead.    Glinda The Good of the North arrives (in her magic bubble) to announce the official time of death of the witch ("according to the time dragon clock, the melting occurred at the eleventh hour.")  Fellow Ozians question Glinda about the origins of the witch, and the origins of wickedness.  Glinda stops to speak with them, and proceeds to tell them that the Wicked Witch had a mother and a father and a childhood, as all the rest of us do.  She then asks them whether they believe that wickedness is innate, or whether they believe it can be thrust upon a person.  

No one mourns the wicked
The ensemble

We then see in flashback the witch's mother, who, apparently, was not very faithful to her husband -- the governor of munchkinland. The witch's mother had an affair with a mysterious man who offered her a drink from a green bottle.  Nine months later, the witch's mother gave birth to Elphaba (the witch) who was born green.  

Following this short explanation, Glinda says she must leave; but she is stopped again when her fellow Ozians insist that they heard she was once friends with the witch.  Glinda tries desperately to explain the circumstances of this friendship with Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. 

And thus begins WICKED (which is really told as Glinda's flashback.)

Glinda: It's good to see me, isn't it?
Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda the Good

Glinda begins by saying that she was very young when she met Elphaba at school (DEAR OLD SHIZ.)   The flashback begins, and Elphaba runs into the courtyard at Shiz University, looking flushed and excited and very, very young.  The other students are immediately repulsed by her.  They run away from her and keep their distance.  

Suddenly, another new student arrives: a beautiful young girl named Galinda (which is her given name -- she is Galinda Upland, of the Upper Uplands) atop a very large, fancy pile of suitcases. Galinda loudly announces herself, and is immediately popular.  Elphaba, on the other hand, is a misfit; she explains to the crowd of gawking students that, yes, she has always been green.  She announces the arrival of her sister, Nessarose ("a perfectly normal color") who is confined to a wheelchair, and is their father's obvious favorite, and heir to the governor's throne.  Their father, the governor, bestows upon Nessarose a gift for entering the University -- jeweled shoes.  Nessarose immediately puts them on.  To Elphaba he gives nothing, merely ordering her to "take care of your sister -- and try not to talk so much."

Madame Morrible, the head mistress of Shiz, soon arrives to announce the room assignments.  Galinda proudly states that she has already been reserved a private suite.   Elphaba states that she and her sister have not been given a room at all. Madame Morrible proudly states that Nessarose will be staying in an especially reserved suite  -- without her sister. Elphaba is not happy with this plan because she has always cared for her disabled sister.

Galinda, paying Elphaba and Nessarose very little mind, takes Madame Morrible aside to gush that she is interested in studying sorcery.  Madame Morrible states that her sorcery class is intended only for very talented students, and that she may not even teach a class this year.  Galinda walks away, annoyed.  She is intent on studying sorcery at any cost, and thinks Madame Morrible has not even read her sorcery entrance essay ("Wands: Need They Have a Point?").  The other students insist that Galinda say something more to Madame Morrible.  

"Studying sorcery is my sole purpose here at Shiz."            "I only teach sorcery to truly talented students."
Left: Kristin Chenoweth as Galinda                         Right: Carole Shelley as Madame Morrible

Madame Morrible then asks for a volunteer to room with the alienated, green Elphaba, and Galinda comes forward with her hand raised to question Madame Morrible about the essay.  Madame Morrible thanks Galinda for her kindness in volunteering to room with Elphaba, and, to Galinda's horror, shoos everyone away and refuses to change the assignment.  

Elphaba insists on rooming with Nessarose and demands her sister be released into her care.  Upon Elphaba's anger, Nessa's wheelchair goes crazy and everything in the room shakes, and Madame Morrible realizes Elphaba has a great hidden sorcery talent.  Madame Morrible is quite pleased with this, and even asks Elphaba to join her sorcery class, promising she will take on no other students.  Madame Morrible implies that, in time, Elphaba might even get to meet the wizard.  Galinda is shocked and disgusted by this; for the first time in her life she has not gotten her way.  She walks off to go lie down and think on it.  Elphaba is amazed and excited, and hopes to one day meet the wizard (THE WIZARD AND I.)

The wizard and I
Idina Menzel as Elphaba

Galinda and Elphaba quickly decide that they hate one another (WHAT IS THIS FEELING?) Elphaba is strange; Glinda is blonde; they have nothing in common.  They are forced to attend class with one another -- Dr. Dillamond, a goat, is their teacher.  During class one day, his blackboard is desecrated with the words, "Animals should be seen and not heard."  The students are shocked and Dr. Dillamond dismisses his class early.  He tells Elphaba, who lingers afterwards, and is quite distressed about the desecration, that animals all over OZ are losing their civil rights.  (SOMETHING BAD.) Dr. Dillamond insists that something sinister is going on. He accidentally pronounces bad as, "baaaaaaaaaaad" (as a non-talking goat might pronounce it) and, embarrassed, walks off.  

Something Bad is Happening in Oz...
Idina Menzel and William Youmans

Later, at the Shiz University park, Galinda is unsucessfully trying to thwart a young munchkinlander named Boq, who has been following her around all day.  She spots a new student, a prince named Fiyero Tigular, who has just arrived by carriage from the last school he was kicked out of.  Excited, and immediately entranced by Fiyero's good looks and obvious charisma, Galinda goes to flirt with him.  Fiyero is charmed by Galinda, and Galinda by him, and he tells her that they need to go find a place to have a great party (DANCING THROUGH LIFE.)  Galinda states that the best place to party is the OzDust ballroom. Boq, who is still hovering about Galinda like a fly, tries to get her attention, and Galinda, annoyed at the unwanted attention, and still focused on Fiyero, suggests that Boq ask poor, wheelchair bound Nessarose, to the party.  Boq complies, hoping Galinda will be impressed with him.  Fiyero tells Galinda that he'll pick her up at 8pm.  All the students go get ready for the party.

Back in Nessa's room, Elphaba tells her sister that she thinks the party is a dumb idea.  Nessa disagrees, and announces she even has a date, and that Galinda was the one who orchestrated the whole thing.  Nessa wants desperately to repay Galinda, but doesn't know how.  She asks Elphaba to please understand, and not say another bad word about Galinda.  

Elphaba, please try to understand.
Michelle Federer

Back in Galinda and Elphaba's room, Galinda and her friends are getting ready for the party.  Galinda opens up a present from her aunt -- a long, black, pointy hat, that -- as Galinda says -- is "absolutely hideodious."  Her friends suggest Galinda give the hat to someone she hates.  Galinda agrees, and gives it to Elphaba, promising that the gift is given "out of the goodness of her heart."  

The party begins, and Fiyero and Galinda dance.  Madame Morrible comes to the party, and approaches Galinda with a training wand, informing her that Elphaba was the one who insisted that Galinda be included in sorcery class.  Madame Morrible hasn't any idea why.  In fact, says Madame Morrible, Elphaba even threatened to quit the class unless Galinda was included.  Galinda is puzzled.  Madame Morrible states that she thinks Galinda will not be up to snuff.  Galinda feels awful about having been so mean to her roomate.  

Galinda: That's my roomate.  Please, don't stare.                We deserve each other, don't you see?
Left:  Idina Menzel                                     Right: Christopher Fitzgerald and Michelle Federer

Elphaba arrives at the dance -- wearing the hat -- and all the students laugh at her.  She stays anyway and proceeds to dance the way she wants, which only incites more laughter.  Galinda feels even worse, and goes to dance with her roommate, hoping that the stares and laughter will stop if they dance together.  They are awkward together at first, but proceed to have a marvelous time at the party.

Later, Galinda and Elphaba return to their room, where Galinda promises to make her new friend POPULAR.  Galinda questions Elphaba about a green bottle that Elphaba sleeps with under her pillow.  Elphaba explains that the bottle was her mother's, and that her mother died when Nessarose was born.  She says that it was her fault; Elphaba's father made her mother eat milkweed to keep Nessa from being green like Elphaba, and the milkweed made Nessa's legs stop growing properly, and in the end, it killed their mother in childbirth. Galinda tells Elphaba that her mother's death wasn't her fault.

Galinda:  oooohhh, pink goes good with green!
Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth

The next day in class, Dr. Dillamond gets fired, and carried bodily from the classroom.  A mysterious government scientist comes in to teach the class; he is accompanied by a terrified, caged lion cub.  The scientist insists that cages are the next big thing, and that it is for the animal's own good. Elphaba is horrified by the idea of animals in cages, and her anger turns into magic that makes the class go crazy.  Only Fiyero is unnaffected, and he and Elphaba steal the lion cub to return him to the forrest.  

In the forrest, with the cub, Elphaba and Fiyero talk and tease, and -- while very different -- realize they are mysteriously drawn to one another.  After an awkward moment, Fiyero rushes away to release the lion cub, and Elphaba, certain that her green skin could never attract a man like Fiyero, laments over her situation.  (I'M NOT THAT GIRL.)  

It begins to rain.  

Madame Morrible arrives at that moment, and says that Elphaba's progress in sorcery class has landed her an invitation to see the wizard.  Elphaba is thrilled.  Madame Morrible orders Elphaba under an umbrella, saying, "you mustn't get wet."  Then, an idea comes to her, and Madame Morrible waves a hand to stop the rain.  Weather, says Madame Morrible, is a specialty.

As Elphaba gets ready to leave for the Emerald City, Galinda, Boq, and Nessa all gather to see her off.  Boq, still pining for Galinda, stalks away, distressed that Galinda ignores him.  Nessa, distresssed that Boq is acting strangely, follows him home, wishing her sister a good journey.  Galinda, distressed that Fiyero has been acting strangely ever since the day Dr. Dillamond got fired, complains to Elphaba that their relationship is not working.  Fiyero arrives at that moment, bearing good luck flowers for Elphaba.  Galinda rushes to him, her face full of love.  Fiyero practically ignores Galinda, and tells Elphaba good luck.  He says that he thinks about the day Dr. Dillamond got fired -- he thinks about it a lot.  

Galinda, annoyed that she has been left out, informs both Fiyero and Elphaba that she has convictions, too; she is changing her name from GA-linda to simply "Glinda," in honor of Dr. Dillamond, who never could pronounce her name correctly. Fiyero is relatively unimpressed, and makes a quick exit.  Galinda (now "Glinda") cries on Elphaba's shoulder that Fiyero doesn't seem to care for her anymore.  Elphaba invites Glinda come with her to the Emerald City, to take Glinda's mind off Fiyero. Glinda agrees, and the two friends are off.  (ONE SHORT DAY.)

The ensemble (ONE SHORT DAY)

In the Emerald City, Elphaba and Glinda are given an audience with the wizard.  Elphaba is eager to talk about the Animals, who are losing their civil rights all throughout OZ.  The Wizard tries to distract Elphaba by telling her how impressed he is with her sorcery skills. He tells her he wishes to "raise her high."  (SENTIMENTAL MAN.)

Wizard: Elphaba, I'd like to raise you high.
Joel Grey as The Wizard

Madame Morrible arrives, announcing that she works for the wizard as his press secretary, which surprises both Glinda and Elphaba.  Madame Morrible is carrying the Grimmerie, which is the high books of OZ spells.  She gives it to Elphaba, and the wizard asks Elphaba to read a spell from it, to prove her worth.  A levitation spell, says the Wizard, for his monkey -- Chistery -- so that Chistery might be able to better watch the birds.  Elphaba (to the Wizard and Madame Morrible's amazement and delight) can actually read the book.  

The levitation spell works -- but Chistery ends up in pain, with wings, and Elphaba is horrified that she was the cause of his mutation, and that she was lied to about the spell.  The wizard promises her that these new flying monkeys will act as spies, flying about Oz to stop any subversive Animal behavior. Further, he continues, Elphaba and Glinda will now become very powerful.  Glinda is quite taken in by the offer, while Elphaba is disgusted; she realizes the wizard has been the cause of all the animal abuse.  Elphaba runs off, and Glinda rushes after her.

Elphaba runs to the highest room in the Wizard's tower, and Glinda finally catches up.  Glinda tells Elphaba that she thinks Elphaba is being melodramatic and stupid, and that Elphaba has, perhaps, now ruined any chance she might have had of becoming partners with the wizard.  Elphaba tells Glinda that she thinks Glinda is foolish and shallow if she'd rather give up her principals just for a bit of fame.  

Suddenly, both girls overhear Madame Morrible yelling down to the guards and to the gathered citizens of OZ: Madame Morrible cries out that Elphaba is loose in the castle, and is not to be trusted; she is evil, says Madame Morrible, and is responsible for the horrible mutation of the flying monkeys. Her green skin is merely an outward manifestation of this evil.  She calls Elphaba a wicked witch, and orders her guards to hunt Elphaba down.  

Elphaba, trapped now in the tower, consults the Grimmerie to try the levitation spell again and give herself wings.  Instead, she ends up levitating a broom by accident.  Glinda begs Elphaba to reconsider her position and apologize.  Elphaba begs Glinda to get on the broom and come with her (DEFYING GRAVITY.)  The guards infiltrate the tower, and Glinda tells Elphaba she must leave, quickly.  Elphaba rises up on the broom above the guards, and tells them that if they want to find her, they can "look to the western sky."  She will not bow down to the wizard.  

Guards, capture her!
The Wizard orders the guards after Elphaba

End of Act 1.  

Act 2 begins with Glinda (now Glinda the Good) making a speech about Oz, and the troubled times they live in.  She is flanked by Fiyero and Madame Morrible.  (Madame Morrible's rumors about the "wicked witch" have been spreading, and people are saying all kinds of things -- that the witch can turn herself into a snake, that she is so evil water can melt her.)  Fiyero, who is now captain of the guard, is mortified that Glinda is not saying anything to defend their friend (when both Fiyero and Glinda know the truth of what happened that day, and Glinda is the only one anybody would believe.) Glinda reasons with Fiyero, saying that Elphaba doesn't want to be found; Fiyero has been looking for years, and has never been able to find her.  Glinda then announces to the crowd (to Fiyero's surprise) their upcoming engagement.  Fiyero, taken aback, belatedly agrees to marry Glinda, and Glinda is slightly distressed that Fiyero is not more excited.  She hides her dismay, and celebrates her engagement with Madame Morrible and the citizens of OZ (THANK GOODNESS.)

Fiyero: That's not how you explained it to me!
Carole Shelley, Kristin Chenoweth, and ensemble

Back in munchkinland, Nessarose is the new governor.  Boq is now her servant, imprisoned by laws Nessarose has enacted in order to keep him by her side.  Elphaba  makes an impromptu visit, and asks for Nessa's help.  Nessa refuses, and tells Elphaba that their father died of heartsickness from Elphaba's "crimes."  Further, Nessa insists that she is an "unelected official, and thus, cannot harbor a fugitive."  Besides this, Elphaba has been selfish in her pursuits.  

Elphaba feels awful that she has not helped Nessa more, and puts a spell on Nessa's jeweled shoes to help her walk.  Nessa is thrust out of her chair, and her shoes glow red. Thrilled, Nessa invites Boq back into the room, and tells him they can be together now that she is mobile. Boq spots Elphaba and orders her to stay back.  Elphaba says that she won't hurt Boq, but Boq doesn't believe her, having heard all the rumors of her wickedness.  Boq sees suddenly that Nessa can walk, and -- hoping that Nessa won't need him anymore -- begs for Nessa's permission to attend Glinda's party, for he must tell Glinda he loves her before she marries Fiyero.  

Enraged, Nessa grabs the Grimmerie from her sister and tries to put a magic spell on Boq to shrink his heart.  Elphaba, in an attempt to save Boq's life, puts another spell on him to save him.  Nessa laments over the fact that she is alone, truly, and sings a song that is not featured on the CD, because apparently, there was too much dialogue and not enough song.  (WE DESERVE EACH OTHER: REPRISE.)  In the end, Nessa sings, "Just the girl in the mirror and me, the Wicked Witch of the East - we deserve each other..."  

Elphaba leaves, heartbroken.  Boq then awakens from the spell; he has been changed into a tin man.  Nessa screams that it was Elphaba's fault.  Boq runs off.  

Later on, a party officially announcing Glinda the Good's engagement to Fiyero has just gotten underway.

Elphaba, meanwhile, sneaks back into the wizard's lair -- which is upstairs in the tower that's hosting Glinda's party -- hoping to release the flying monkeys.  The Wizard catches her, however, and tries to win her over again (WONDERFUL.)  Elphaba is almost convinced by the wizard's charm, and asks him to let the monkeys go in exchange for her cooperation.  The wizard agrees, and releases them.  But before the deal is done, Elphaba is mortified when she accidentally discovers Dr. Dillamond, who has been imprisoned by the wizard, and has lost his powers of speech.  Elphaba tells the wizard that she will never be like him, and she will fight him till she dies.  

Fiyero arrives at that moment, flanked by two guards, and discovers Elphaba.  He realizes something is not right, and orders the guards out (telling them to find a large quantity of water.)  He pulls out his rifle and orders the wizard to stay put.  Glinda rushes in, looking for Fiyero, and spots Elphaba.  The two long lost friends embrace.  Glinda sees that Fiyero is threatening the wizard, and realizes that the situation may intrude upon her good standing and popularity.  Glinda insists to the wizard that Fiyero must be having some strange moment of insanity.  Fiyero tells Glinda that he is perfectly fine, but he cannot marry her, and wants to go with Elphaba.  Glinda is floored, but there is no time for Elphaba to explain.  Elphaba and Fiyero run off together, and Glinda is left alone with the wizard.  

The wizard feels sorry for Glinda, and offers her a drink from a green bottle he keeps in his pocket.  Glinda turns him down.  Madame Morrible arrives, saying she heard the Wicked Witch was almost caught, and that the captain of the guard has mysteriously disappeared.  Both the Wizard and Madame Morrible try to figure out how they should go about capturing the Witch.  Glinda, in a moment of desperation and rage, suggests that they threaten Nessarose, so that Elphaba will return.  She runs off, crying, to go lie down.  

Madame Morrible tells the wizard that Glinda is on to something, but that simply threatening Elphaba's sister isn't enough. Something more must be done.  Madame Morrible suggests a change in the weather. She waves her hand, and suddenly, it starts to thunder.  

Glinda wanders around the tower, still sobbing.  She realizes Fiyero has never loved her (I'M NOT THAT GIRL: REPRISE) and descends the stairs, depressed.  

Elphaba: I wish I could be beautiful for you...
Norbert Leo Butz and Idina Menzel

In the forrest, Elphaba and Fiyero can finally be alone together (AS LONG AS YOU'RE MINE.)  But just as they begin to kiss, Elphaba hears screaming in the distance, and feels that her sister is in danger.  She sees a house flying through the sky.  She tells Fiyero that she must go to Nessa.  Fiyero tells her that if anything goes wrong, Elphaba should go to his castle in Kiamo Ko -- nobody in his family has ever lived in it, and it is full of secret passageways and hiding places.  Elphaba agrees and rushes to Munchkinland.  

In Munchkinland, Glinda has just told Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road, when Elphaba comes to pay her last respects.  Elphaba is angry, and tells Glinda that she cannot believe Glinda gave away her sister's shoes.  Glinda tells Elphaba that apparently, lots of people in OZ are taking things that don't belong to them. Elphaba laughs angrily, and tells Glinda that Fiyero never loved her, much as Glinda might not be able to comprehend that idea.  Filled with rage, Glinda slaps Elphaba across the face.  Elphaba slaps Glinda back.  The two of them circle like birds and then attack one another, when the wizard's guards appear, and take Elphaba into custody.  

Glinda: Let me go, I almost had her!
Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel

Fiyero swings in just in time, and orders the guards to let Elphaba go --- or else watch as Glinda the Good is slain.  Glinda is at first terrified, and confused.  Quickly, however, she realizes Fiyero is not going to hurt her.  Fiyero tells Elphaba to leave, quickly.  Glinda, realizing finally that Fiyero truly IS in love with Elphaba, tosses Elphaba her hat, and tells her to do as Fiyero says.  

Once Elphaba is gone, Fiyero is tied to a pole by the guards and ordered to be placed in a field, where he will either give away the witch's whereabouts or else die in the hot sun.  

Once safely in Kiamo Ko, a heartbroken Elphaba does a spell to make sure Fiyero can never die.  She laments that all of her good deeds have only gotten her friends and loved ones into trouble, and says she will never do anything good again.  (NO GOOD DEED.)

Meanwhile, outside, a mob gathers -- headed by Boq -- to storm Kiamo Ko and kill the witch (MARCH OF THE WITCH HUNTERS.)  

Watching all of this are Glinda and Madame Morrible.  Glinda contemplates Nessa's accident, and asks Madame Morrible if she is responsible for the tornado.  Madame Morrible does not deny it, but instead insists that Glinda has gotten exactly what she's always wanted, and now she needs to shut up.  Feeling guilty, Glinda rushes off to warn Elphaba.  

Elphaba, meanwhile, who still at Kiamo Ko, tries unsucessfully to figure out how to get the shoes off Dorothy's feet.  Out of sight, Dorothy sobs.  Glinda then arrives, and tells Elphaba she has to flee  -- the mob is coming to kill her.  Elphaba, still annoyed, tells Glinda to go away.  Glinda refuses; she tells Elphaba to let the shoes go.  Chistery presents Elphaba with a note, and Elphaba reads it, looking stunned.  Glinda asks if the note is about Fiyero -- if Fiyero has died.  Elphaba tells Glinda that they have seen his face for the last time.

Glinda tries to comfort Elphaba, and Elphaba tells Glinda that she needs to leave before she is caught in the castle and accused of witchery. Glinda refuses to leave, insisting that she will tell all of OZ the truth about Elphaba to clear Elphaba's name.  Elphaba tells Glinda that she cannot tell the truth because it will ruin Glinda.  Glinda says she no longer cares if she is ruined.  Elphaba insists, however, that Glinda's position is important now -- for both of them -- because Elphaba has been ousted from OZ.  Glinda reluctantly agrees to keep secret the truth about her friend, the supposed wicked witch of the west.  The two friends say a tearful goodbye (FOR GOOD.)

Elphaba: Now it's up to you, Glinda.  For both of us.
Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth
Elphaba orders Glinda to run and hide as the mob approaches.  Dorothy is broken free, and (from behind a screen, where Glinda watches) melts the witch with a bucket of water.  

Glinda is heartbroken at her friend's demise, and clutches Elphaba's pointy hat to her chest.  Chistery comes forward and presents Glinda with a green bottle.  A light bulb goes on above Glinda's head, and she quickly leaves Kiamo Ko with the bottle, headed for the Emerald City.  

In the Emerald City, the wizard and Madame Morrible muse over the death of the witch.  Glinda arrives and presents the Wizard with Elphaba's bottle.  She tells him it had belonged to Elphaba's mother, and the only one like it she's ever seen belonged to the wizard -- when he offered her a drink.  The wizard puts two and two together and realizes he is Elphaba's father.  He collapses to the floor with regret.  Madame Morrible realizes that Elphaba had power because she was "a child of both worlds."

Glinda, filled with grief, orders the wizard to leave OZ immediately.  She then orders the guards to take Madame Morrible into custody, and proceeds with a heavy heart to Munchkinland, where a celebration is taking place over the death of the wicked witch.

Meanwhile, a walking scarecrow wanders into Kiamo Ko -- it is Fiyero.  He drops to the floor where Elphaba melted, and clutches her hat.  He then knocks on the floor, saying, "It worked!" -- in the floor is a trap door, and out of it emerges Elphaba, who was never really melted.  The lovers embrace.   Fiyero tells Elphaba they can never return to OZ.  


Back in munchkinland, Glinda -- up in her bubble, where no one else can see her -- clutches the Grimmerie, tears running down her face.

Back in Kiamo Ko, Elphaba insists to Fiyero that they tell Glinda she is alive.  Fiyero insists that the danger is too great. Glinda can never know.  

Back in Munckinland, the citizens of OZ have gathered to celebrate, and Glinda sucks up her grief, and smiles, and tells the citizens of OZ that they have been through a frightening ordeal, but now she is here to help.  

Back in Kiamo Ko, Elphaba looks longingly to the North, to Glinda.  

Back in Munchkinland, Glinda tells her citizens that she will now rule them as "Glinda the Good."

Back in Kiamo Ko, Elphaba and Fiyero escape together.  

The end.
All images courtesy of The Official Website for WICKED: THE MUSICAL