Wicked Cast: Elphaba & Glinda

The musical Wicked is based on Gregory Maguire’s novel and focuses on the story of the two witches of Oz, Elphaba and Glinda. They meet as young girls at the school Shiz, where they are aspiring sorcerers. Wicked details their story and later emergence as The Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda The Good Witch. Out of the 38 characters from the novel, the musical focuses on eight key characters as well as the ensemble and a few others.

The character of Elphaba, or Wicked Witch of the West, is currently being played on Broadway by Dee Roscioli. She assumed the role on July 21, 2009. She performed for three years in the Chicago production of Wicked as well as the nationwide tour of Cats in the role of Grizabella. She also participated in the NYSF Workshops of Behind the Limelight and Dangerous Beauty.

Previous Elphabas include Idina Menzel (the original), Julia Murney, Stephanie Block, Kerry Ellis, Marci Dodd and Nicole Parker.

The character of Elphaba, whose nickname is Elphie, is a girl with emerald green skin who later becomes Wicked Witch of the West. Elphaba, in the novel as well as the musical, is smart, intense and broody, and a girl burdened with her oddness.

The teenager Elphaba just wants Ozians to accept her for who she is, and set aside their bigotry for the color of her skin. Her life changes dramatically after meeting Glinda, Fiyero and the great Wizard himself. As she transitions during the “Defying Gravity,” she expresses herself as someone who wants to right the wrongs of Oz.

The character Glinda, later the Good Witch, is currently played by Alli Mauzey. Kristin Chenoweth was the original Glinda, and Megan Hity played Glinda on Broadway from May 2005 through May 2006. Other Glindas include Kate Reinders, Kendra Kassebaum, Annaleigh Ashford and Christina DeCicco.

The character of Glinda, who later becomes the Good Witch, is originally Galinda Upland from the Upper Uplands who later changes her name to Glinda. In both the novel and musical she is a self-centered, ambitious blond. Novelist Gregory Maguire transformed from the pure and good Glinda, to more of a pretentious goodie two shoes.

Writers for the musical show the two girls in juxtaposition where the misfit “bad” Elphaba and the “good” Glinda are practically the opposite underneath until Glinda begins to evolve.

By Julie Harmon On March 1, 2009

All photos made available via creative commons licensing courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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