On Broadway and around the world, Wicked has worked its magic on critics and audiences alike. Winner of over 50 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards, Wicked is “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” (The New York Times). Wicked is set to return to Winnipeg’s Centennial Concert Hall August 20-30… but before you go, you’ll want to do some reading first!
Many have heard of the musical Wicked, but did you know that it started life as a book? Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire is the author’s revisiting of the familiar Wizard of Oz story. In it, he steps away from the childhood tale and adds darker twists to his spin. The story centres on Elphaba, the girl who grew up to be the Wicked Witch of the West, and develops through three sequels. Son of a Witch follows Elphaba’s son Liir. A Lion Among Men picks up the plot several years later, and is told through the perspective of the Cowardly Lion. Out of Oz closes the series with the story as seen by Rain, Elphaba’s granddaughter. This long, dark tale is available on CD and in print, perfect to while away the hours on a long road trip. Musical fans may want to check out the Broadway cast recording, or flip through Wicked: the Grimmerie by David Cote, a companion to the Broadway musical.
Those looking for more family-friendly entertainment can head to the original inspiration. L. Frank Baum wrote the well-known classic Wizard of Oz on which Maguire’s books are based. The original is available at the library in many formats—book, graphic novel, CD, movie score, DVD, and streaming video. But did you know he wrote at least a dozen other titles in the series? WPL has many of them, including Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, and Glinda of Oz. Go back to the source and find out where all the popular characters originated and what happened to them!
So read up, then check out the musical Wicked this summer! You won’t regret it!