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April 8–May 3

By Scott Renshaw
Posted // April 1,2009 -

Here’s how you know when a work of literature has truly become an indispensable part of the canon: When writers begin looking at supporting characters as subjects for their own stories. It happened when Tom Stoppard spun-off Shakespeare’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern; it happened when Marion Zimmer Bradley wove the ladies of the Arthurian legend into The Mists of Avalon. And it happened when the unlikely team of composer Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pocahontas) and writer Winnie Holzman (the late lamented TV series My So-Called Life) created a tale from The Wizard of Oz’s witches.

Here in Oz, the green-skinned Elphaba and the lovely, ambitious Glinda aren’t exactly two of a kind. But they’re destined to become both schoolmates and adversaries in a time before a certain little girl from Kansas crash-lands in their world. How did the monkeys come to have wings? Why did the “wicked” witch’s sister have ruby slippers? Learn it all, and come away humming.

Wicked @ Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, 801-355-2787, April 8–May 3.

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Posted // April 3,2009 at 08:09

Fair enough, Okie. As someone who's generally a slave to the source material when writing about movies, I should have known better than to omit Maguire from my comments. Mea culpa.


Posted // April 2,2009 at 13:03

I appreciate the introduction you give to people who may not know the concept of the play Wicked. I also really like the comparisons you draw to the works of Stoppard and Bradley (R&G Are Dead is one of my favorites).

However, I was a little dismayed to see you giving all the credit for Wicked to Stephen Schartz and Winnie Holzman. While it's true that the story has changed from novel to stage, the original "spin-off" was done by Gregory Maguire. Failing to mention his work seems a tremendous oversight. Again, I admit that Maguire's book wasn't a runaway hit per se and its themes are more mature and satirical (not quite pugnacious) than those presented on stage...and yet, without his work, the stage production certainly wouldn't have been what it is...and in fact may never have come to pass.