WICKED THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE WITCHES OF OZ By Stephen Schwarz (Godspell, Pippin, Children of Eden, The Hunchback of Notre Dame) ACT I The citizens of Oz celebrate the death of the Wicked Witch of the West as Glinda descends in a floating bubble. She recalls that the green-skinned Elphaba, who would become the "Wicked" Witch, was conceived during an affair between Munchkin Governor's wife and a mysterious stranger with a bottle of green elixir. Everyone was repulsed by Elphaba from the moment she was born, and so Glinda asks the Ozians to empathize ("No One Mourns the Wicked") with her side of the story. The remainder of the plot forms an extended flashback through the events of Glinda's and Elphaba's lives. At Shiz University, the pair first meet amongst students reuniting with their friends ("Dear Old Shiz"). Elphaba is hardly surprised that all the students, including the popular but shallow Galinda, revile her. Elphaba was sent to Shiz to take care of her beautiful, wheelchair-bound younger sister Nessarose, who is presented with a bejeweled pair of Silver Shoes, being their father's favorite. Despite Elphaba and Galinda's instant mutual loathing, Madame Morrible, Shiz's headmistress, makes them roommates. Galinda has been excluded from the Sorcery Seminar, but when Elphaba betrays an innate magical talent in sudden anger, Morrible notes that her talents may be of use to the Wizard of Oz. Elphaba dreams of what she and the Wizard could accomplish together ("The Wizard and I"). Galinda and Elphaba later write home about their unfortunate room-mate assignments ("What is this Feeling?"). The students gather in a history class taught by Doctor Dillamond, a Goat and Shiz's only Animal professor, who keeps mispronouncing Galinda's name as "Glinda". Doctor Dillamond confides in Elphaba that something is causing the Animals of Oz to lose their powers of speech ("Something Bad"). Elphaba believes that the Wizard is the only one who can help. Fiyero, a Winkie prince, then arrives at Shiz and impresses his cavalier and carefree living on the students ("Dancing Through Life"). Besotted with Galinda, a Munchkin named Boq asks her to accompany him to a party, but having felt "perfect together" with Fiyero, Glinda asks him to invite Nessarose instead. Nessarose, not realising Galinda's real motives, is delighted, and tells Elphaba that she wishes she could repay Galinda. Later, Galinda discovers a black pointed hat and gives it to Elphaba as a mock present. Elphaba, remembering how happy Galinda had made Nessarose (and not realising that she had ulterior motives), asks Madame Morrible to reconsider Galinda in her Sorcery Seminar, in return. When, however, Elphaba arrives at the party wearing the hat, she is only ridiculed. Defiant and unfazed, she proceeds to dance alone. Feeling guilty, Galinda joins her, marking the start of their friendship. Meanwhile, Boq convinces Nessarose that it was not pity that prompted him to ask her out, but the fact that she is "so beautiful", not realizing the full extent of Nessarose's affections towards him. Elphaba tells Galinda that her father hates her, for good reason. When her mother became pregnant again, she had been fed milk-flowers to prevent her second child from being born green-skinned; the milk-flowers instead caused Nessarose to be born prematurely, which left her crippled whilst her mother died in childbirth. Feeling sympathetic, Galinda decides to give Elphaba a personality makeover, making her admirable to fellow students ("Popular"). The next day, Doctor Dillamond is arrested. The new history teacher arrives with a caged lion cub as the subject of an in-class experiment, revealing that Animals are to be kept in a new invention he has created, called a cage, the benefit of which is that Animals raised in them will not have the power of speech. He reveals that soon all Animals will be turned dumb, and Elphaba is outraged. She and Fiyero steal the cub and set it free, and as Elphaba begins to discover romantic feelings towards Fiyero, she personally reaffirms that she "wasn't born" to be loved ("I'm Not that Girl"). Madame Morrible finds her, announcing that Elphaba has been granted an audience with the Wizard in the Emerald City. At the train station, Galinda, Fiyero, Nessarose and Boq see Elphaba off, all happy for her accomplishment. When it becomes apparent that Boq is not genuinely interested in Nessarose, Galinda feels guilty and suggests that Boq is not the right person for Nessarose, who in turn insists that it is herself "that's not right." Elphaba expresses concern about leaving her younger sister, but a protesting Nessarose insists she will manage without her and leaves. In an attempt to impress Fiyero, Galinda announces that she will change her name to "Glinda" in honor of Doctor Dillamond's persistent mispronunciation. Fiyero fails to notice and leaves. Glinda breaks into tears. Feeling badly for Glinda, Elphaba invites her along to see the Wizard. After a day of bonding and sightseeing in the Emerald City ("One Short Day"), Elphaba and Glinda meet the Wizard. Eschewing the special effects he employs for the benefit of most visitors, he invites Elphaba to join him ("A Sentimental Man"). In testing Elphaba's true talents, the Wizard asks Elphaba to perform a levitation spell on his monkey servant, Chistery, using the Grimmerie – an ancient book of spells. Madame Morrible delivers the book to Elphaba. Elphaba demonstrates an intrinsic understanding of the lost language in the book, and successfully gives Chistery wings. However, Elphaba can see that he seems to be in pain and demands that they show her how to reverse the spell. Unfortunately, Morrible tells Elphaba "spells are irreversible". The Wizard then reveals a cage full of winged monkeys, proving the extent of Elphaba's powers. He makes the comment that they will make perfect spies. Elphaba now realizes that they have been behind the troubles in Oz all along. It was he who robbed the animals of their speech and created the cages. Elphaba is shocked that her once-admired hero is actually a criminal and a fraud. The Wizard wants Elphaba to join him in "creating a really good enemy" for the Ozians using her powers. Elphaba grabs the Grimmerie and runs off and Glinda runs after her. Realizing that she may know too much about his plans, the Wizard sends Morrible and his guards after Elphaba and Glinda. They finally reach the attic where Elphaba uses a broom to barricade the door. Morrible's voice is then heard outside a nearby window, warning all of Oz of this "Wicked Witch" and her horrible deed to the innocent monkeys. Elphaba and Glinda now must choose which path their lives will take. Ultimately, Glinda chooses to take a life living with the Wizard and becoming a public figure within Oz. Elphaba, however, decides to use her newly learned powers of levitation to fly away from the palace, against the Wizard and do what she believes is right. Using the Grimmerie, she places a spell on the broom (with which she barricaded the door). Elphaba tries to persuade Glinda to join her but she refuses. Elphaba understands and calmly accepts her friend's choice and they wish each other the best before Elphaba flies away from the palace guards when they break into the attic. But this public act of defiance convinces the Ozians of her true wickedness forever. ("Defying Gravity").