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“Wicked”: the story of the Witches of Oz

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"Wicked" at Orpheum Memphis

Eva Winfrey

Eva Winfrey

"Wicked" at Orpheum Memphis

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Many people are familiar with the story of the little girl from Kansas who landed in a magical land of munchkins and killed a witch with a bucket of water. Not many, however, are familiar with what happened before those events occurred. Based on the children’s story, The Wizard of Oz, playwright Winnie Holzman’s “Wicked”, tells the story of the Witches of Oz.

Wicked flashes back to years before the events of The Wizard of Oz occur and focuses on Glinda (Mary Kate Morrissey) and Elphaba (Ginna Claire Mason), two college students with completely different perspectives on life. Upon first meeting, the two loathe each other, inevitably launching into the song “What Is This Feeling?”, describing their loathing as unadulterated. Throughout the first act, Elphaba is presented as an admirable and intelligent woman who does things simply because they are the right thing to do. Meanwhile, Glinda is seen as. Morrissey’s performance as Elphaba truly sways the audience to recognize Elphaba as the hero of the story and not the Wicked Witch that pop culture portrays her as.

“In The Wizard of Oz, you didn’t get to see the Wicked Witch of the West’s point of view, and I was glad to see her as a protagonist and hear her side of the story,” Katherine Parker (10) said after seeing the show.

Elphaba becomes “wicked” due to the circumstances people put her in, from the Wizard of Oz betraying her trust, her sister’s disappointment and the love triangle between Glina and another student, Fiyero.

The friendship between Elphaba and Glinda is something to admire because they make their way back to each other even when everyone is against their friendship, which was uplifted in their last song together, “For Good.” Learning about the creation of classic characters such as the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow were some of the major plot twists that made the show much more enjoyable.

Wicked’s plot, actors, and soundtrack have made it one of Broadway’s most memorable spectacles. After fifteen years on Broadway, Wicked is still making rounds across the country. Orpheum Memphis will be showing Wicked until March 25 and is sure to impress viewers all around.

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“Wicked”: the story of the Witches of Oz