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Elphaba, also called the Wicked Witch of the West, is the main protagonist of the Broadway musical, Wicked.

History

Act I

Elphaba, the daughter of the governor of Munchkinland, is ostracized for her electric-green skin. She attends the university of Shiz in the magical land of Oz. When Elphaba arrives she is mercilessly shunned for being different. Soon she meets Galinda Upland, the rich and spoiled girl who becomes her roommate. The two young girls take an immediate dislike and loathe for each other. Not even Elphaba knows why she is green but it is explained that Elphaba was born with green skin because her mother drank green elixir on the night Elphaba was conceived. In a moment of anger, trying to help her sister Nessarose, Elphaba reveals an innate magical talent, which impresses Madame Morrible, the "Head Shiztress" of Shiz; she notes that Elphaba's talents may be of use to the Wizard of Oz, and promises to ask him for an audience. Elphaba is ecstatic! (The Wizard and I) Galinda and Elphaba, meanwhile, espouse their mutual loathing in a duet (What is this Feeling).

Carrie-manolakos-2009-photjpg-3cb747eda5b2f84e medium

Elphaba at Shiz

Elphaba meets Dr. Dillamond,  the Goat that teaches History at Shiz. He confides in Elphaba that things in Oz are not what they seem to be (Something Bad).

Galinda, while preparing for a party arranged by a carefree student named Fiyero, receives a black pointed hat in a box and gives it to Elphaba as a “present”; Elphaba arrives wearing the hat, only to be ridiculed. Defiant, she proceeds to dance alone and without musical accompaniment. Feeling guilty, Galinda joins her on the dance floor, marking the start of a new friendship between the two. (Dancing Through Life) After the dance, Galinda and Elphaba talk in their room; Galinda decides to give her new friend a makeover (Popular).

The next day,  Ozian officials take away Doctor Dillamond. The new history teacher arrives with a caged lion cub (Cowardly Lion) as the subject of an in-class experiment, revealing that Animals that are kept in cages never will learn how to speak. Outraged, Elphaba's magical abilities show themselves, and she and Fiyero are able to rescue the cub themselves. The two realize that they may have feelings for each other, but Fiyero leaves, embarrassed. Elphaba takes refuge under a bridge and states that it would be impossible for someone like Fiyero to have feelings for someone like her (I'm Not That Girl ). It begins to rain, and Madame Morrible finds her and announces that she has been granted an audience with the Wizard. Morrible stops the rain, in order to keep Elphaba from getting too wet, announcing that weather is her specialty. At the train station, Galinda and Fiyero see Elphaba off to the Emerald City. 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 seems not to notice, focusing his attention instead on Elphaba, and Elphaba, feeling bad for Glinda, invites her along to see the Wizard.

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Defying Gravity

After a day of sightseeing in the Emerald City (One Short Day), Elphaba and Glinda meet the Wizard. Eschewing the special effects that he employs for the benefit of most visitors, he invites Elphaba to join him. As a test, he asks that Elphaba give his monkey servant, Chistery, the ability to fly using the Grimmerie, an ancient book of spells. Elphaba demonstrates an innate understanding of the lost language, and successfully gives Chistery wings. Showing her how powerful she really is, the Wizard reveals a cage full of winged monkeys, and remarks that they will make good spies to report any subversive Animal activity. Realizing that she has been used and that the Wizard has no power of his own, Elphaba runs away with the Grimmerie, pursued by the palace guards.

Elphaba and Glinda run into the tallest tower, where they hear Madame Morrible declaring to all of Oz that Elphaba is a "Wicked Witch" and is to be distrusted. Elphaba enchants a broomstick to fly and tries to convince Glinda to join her in her cause, but Glinda cannot resist the call of popularity and refuses. Leaving Glinda behind, Elphaba flies off, promising to fight the Wizard with all of her power and defy gravity (Defying Gravity )

Act II

A few years pass, and Elphaba's exploits have earned her the title "The Wicked Witch of the West". Glinda regrets her decision (Thank Goodness) Elphaba arrives at the governor's residence in Munchkinland seeking refuge; Nessarose, now the governess, criticizes Elphaba for not using her new-found powers to help her sister. Guilty, Elphaba enchants Nessarose's jeweled shoes, enabling her to walk. Boq, Nessarose's servant, is summoned and reveals that his affection for Nessarose was put on and his heart lies with Glinda. Furious, Nessarose miscasts a spell from the Grimmerie, accidentally causing Boq's heart to shrink. While Elphaba attempts to save him, Nessarose reflects on how her obsession with Boq has led her to oppress the Munchkins. Elphaba saves Boq by turning him into the Tin Woodman; horrified, Nessarose lays the blame with Elphaba. (Wicked Witch of the East)

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Elphaba with the Wizard

Elphaba returns to the Wizard's palace in order to free the rest of the winged monkeys. The Wizard attempts to regain her favor by agreeing to set them free. (Wonderful) Upon discovering a now-speechless Doctor Dillamond among the monkeys, Elphaba rejects his offer and attempts to escape, but runs into Fiyero. Confirming his true love for Elphaba, he runs off with her. Glinda instructs Madame Morrible and the Wizard of Oz to spread a rumor about Elphaba's sister. They both agree a rumor is not enough, and once Glinda is gone, Madame Morrible decides a "change in the weather" would suffice. (I'm Not That Girl {reprise}) In the middle of the woods, Elphaba and Fiyero profess their love for each other. They are interrupted when Elphaba hears strange noises and sees houses flying through the air. She leaves, and goes off to find her sister. (As Long As You're Mine)

Once Dorothy is gone, Glinda falls to her knees and places flowers near where Nessa had been crushed by the house. Suddenly Elphaba appears, and soon finds out that Nessa's death was no accident. She and Glinda get into a fierce fight, and the Gale Force guards intercede, grabbing Elphaba under the Wizard's commands. Elphaba can't believe Glinda would use such a trick to capture her, and Fiyero arrives, telling the guards to "let the green girl go." Or else he would kill Glinda, and Fiyero convinces Elphaba to leave without him. He is taken out to a distant field, and it is implied he is beaten viciously. He is placed on a pole to represent turning into the scarecrow that Dorothy Gale will soon encounter.

As long as you're mine

Elphaba and Fiyero

Elphaba is in Kiamo Ko, Fiyero's summer castle, and she searches frantically through the Grimmerie trying to find a spell to help save Fiyero. She reflects on all of her past actions, and on how they have affected the people she has loved. She finally discovers that it is not worth trying to do good anymore and she is wicked. (No Good Deed) Later she learns that Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Woodman and The Cowardly Lion are coming to kill her as ordered by The Wizard.

As Elphaba yells at Dorothy who is heard crying while Elphaba looks down into a dungeon door that leads into the ground, she tells the girl to give her the slippers if she wants to see her Aunt and Uncle again. Glinda arrives at her castle to persuade her to let the little girl go and her dog, whom she incorrectly refers to as "Dodo" go as well. But Elphaba refuses and continues to harass Dorothy about the shoes. After receiving a note, she finally realizes what she has done wrong and how to fix it. She makes Glinda promise not to clear her name and to take charge in Oz, and the two say that they have changed because they knew each other (For Good). As the mob arrives at the castle, along with Elphaba's Winkie Guards and Flying Monkey's in tow, Dorothy runs through all the chaos and throws a bucket of water on Elphaba, 'melting' her. Elphaba's voice is heard shrieking and her shadow then shrinks away into the floor and disappears in a cloud of smoke.

Fiyero opens a trapdoor in the castle. Elphaba pops up from underneath and they reunite. Elphaba wishes that Glinda could know that she's alive. They leave Oz forever.

Songs

Solos

Solos (In A Duet)

Solos (In A Group Number)

Others

Trivia

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Caroline Bowman as Elphaba

  • The idea for Elphaba's Act 2 dress was as if she was from the center of the Earth.
  • The fabric for Elphaba’s Wicked Witch bodice is not actually one fabric. It is as many as 20 different fabrics, cut into pieces no bigger than 3” and quilted, cut, stitched, and quilted together.
  • The ruffles in the skirt of Elphaba’s Wicked Witch dress require 40 yards of fabric to complete.
  • It takes one person 2 weeks to sew the entire Act 2 dress together.
  • The Act 2 dress is said to weigh around 25 lbs, worth anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000, and has a zipper down the back that can be easily replaced.
  • There are 20 shades of Elphaba green skin (although the production only regularly use a few).
  • It usually takes about half an hour (depending on actress experience) for Elphaba to “greenify” every night.
  • The most famous actress to portray Elphaba is Idina Menzel. She was the original actress to play the role of Elphaba. Idina Menzel won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role (Musical) for her role as Elphaba in 2004. Idina Menzel returned to the role of Elphaba in the original West End cast in 2006, making her the first actress to perform in the West End and Broadway.
  • There are two almost identical dresses, one's the Shiz dress, the other one is tighter for the party at the Ozdust.
  • In the musical, the wig for the second act is different from the first. It's longer with dark red or brown in it (it really depends on where the show is taking place).
  • On matinee days (days where there are two shows) the actress who plays Elphaba has to de-greenify herself in-between shows because between acts the green skin becomes more defined.
  • The fastest time for applying Elphaba's green make up was 7 minutes. Elphaba does not have a crone face, nor does she have the signature mole on her chin like in the 1939 film.
  • Most actresses playing Elphaba are mostly mezzo-sopranos (a soprano in a lower range or an alto in a higher range)
  • Danna Paola in the Mexican production is the youngest actress to play Elphaba at 18 years old.
  • Stephanie J. Block read for Elphaba in the workshops for Wicked.
  • Kerry Ellis is the only actress who has portrayed Elphaba four seperate times (throughout her time in the West End and Broadway). Kerry Ellis returned to the role of Elphaba in 2014, five years after her departure.
  • Jennifer DiNoia portrayed Elphaba on the West End, and is the fourth actress to have played the role in the West End and Broadway.
  • Jemma Rix starred in a 30-minute shortened version of the show at Universal Studios Japan. This required her to speak some lines in Japanese.
  • Willemijn Verkaik is the longest-running Elphaba, having played over 2,000 performances in Wicked internationally. She originated the role in Germany and the Netherlands, and also played it on Broadway and the West End.  Willemijn is the only actress who has played Elphaba in three different languages (German, Dutch, and English).

Portrayers

Broadway

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Lindsay Mendez as Elphaba

Broadway Standbys

  • Eden Espinosa (October 2003-September 2004; also Nessarose u/s)
  • Shoshana Bean (September 2004-January 2005; also Nessarose u/s)
  • Saycon Sengbloh (January 2005-February 2007)
  • Lisa Brescia (February 2007-May 2008)
  • Julie Reiber (May 2008-December 2009)
  • Jennifer DiNoia (December 2009-August 2011; October 2012; August-September 2014; June 2019-current) 
  • Donna Vivino (August 2011-October 2012; November 2012-November 2013)
  • Carla Stickler (November 2013; temporary)
  • Christine Dwyer (November 2013-February 2014, November 2015-January 2016)
  • Anne Brummel (February-August 2014)
  • Lilli Cooper (September 2014-June 2015)
  • Emily Koch (June-November 2015)
  • Alyssa Fox (February 2016-June 2017)
  • Mariand Torres (June 2017-September 2018)
  • Laurel Harris (March - April 2018; September 2018- June 2019)

Broadway Understudies

  • Kristy Cates (October 2003- May 2005)
  • Brandi Chavonne Massey (May 2005-December 2006)
  • Caissie Levy (December 2006- October 2007)
  • Chelsea Krombach (October 2007-July 2009; December 2009- February 2010)
  • Maria Eberline (temporary) (July- December 2009)
  • Stephanie Torns (February 2010-November 2011; June 2014-August 2014)
  • Caroline Bowman (November 2011- August 2012)
  • Vicki Noon (August 2012- May 2013)
  • Anne Eilinsfeld (temporary) (November 2013-January 2014)
  • Carla Stickler (May 2013-June 2015; temp 2018) 
  • Desi Oakley (June-September 2015; May-June 2016) 
  • Hannah Shankman (September 2015-May 2016; July 2016-December 2018; also u/s Nessarose) 
  • Emily Rogers (December 2018-Current) 

1st National Tour

1st National Tour Standbys

  • Victoria Matlock (March 2006- January 2007)
  • Coleen Sexton (January-October 2007)
  • Donna Vivino (October 2007-November 2008)
  • Merideth Kaye Clark (November 2008-May 2010)
  • Mariand Torres (May 2010-February 2012)
  • Carla Stickler (February 2012-February 2013; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Laurel Harris (February 2013-February 2014; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Emmy Raver-Lampman (February 2014-March 2015)

1st National Tour Understudies

  • Jenna Leigh Green (also Nessarose) (March 2005-March 2006)
  • Maria Eberline (also u/s Nessarose) (March 2005-December 2006)
  • Marcie Dodd (also u/s Nessarose) (December 2006- December 2007)
  • Merideth Kaye Clark (December 2007- November 2008)
  • Stephanie Torns (November 2008-February 2010)
  • Carla Stickler (also u/s Nessarose) (February 2010- February 2012)
  • Ashley Dawn Mortensen (February 2012-February 2013; August 2014-January 2015)
  • Shayla Beck (also u/s Nessarose) (February 2013-August 2014; January-March 2015)

Chicago Production

Chicago Standbys

Chicago Understudies

  • Courtney Corey (2005-2006)
  • Dan'yelle Williamson (2006-2008)
  • Anne Brummel (2008-2009)

West End (London) Production

  • Kerry Ellis (January 2007- June 2008, December 2008- May 2009, August-October 2014)
  • Alexia Khadime (June-November 2008, May 2009- March 2010)
  • Louise Dearman (October 2012-November 2013)
  • Willemijn Verkaik (November 2013-August 2014,January-July 2017)
  • Jennifer DiNoia (October 2014-January 2015)
  • Emma Hatton (February 2015-September 2016)
  • Rachel Tucker (March 2010- October 2012; September 2016-January 2017)
  • Alice Fearn (July 2017-July 2019)
  • Nikki Bentley (July 2019-January 2020)
  • Laura Pick (January 2020-Present)
    Rachel Tucker

    Rachel Tucker as Elphaba

West End Standbys

West End Understudies

  • Cassidy Janson (September 2006-July 2007; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Ashleigh Gray (July 2007-June 2008)
  • Shona White (Emergency Cover;2009)
  • Sabrina Carter (June 2008-March 2010)
  • Stevie Tate-Bauer (March 2010-February 2011; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Jennifer Tierney (February-December 2011; also u/s Madame Morrible)
  • Gemma Atkins (February 2011-October 2012; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Michelle Pentecost (December 2011-November 2013)
  • Katie Rowley Jones (October 2012-November 2013)
  • Jacqueline Hughes (November 2013-September 2014; 2nd u/s)
  • Natalie McQueen (November 2013-September 2016; 1st u/s; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Laura Emmitt (October 2014-September 2016; 2nd u/s)
  • Jessamy Stoddart (September 2016-July 2017)
  • Alexandra Grierson (September 2016-July 2018)
  • Aimee Fisher (July 2017-July 2019; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Rebecca Botterill (July 2018-present)
  • Rebecca Gilliland (July 2019-present; also u/s Nessarose)

Los Angeles Production

Los Angeles Standbys

Los Angeles Understudies

  • Courtney Corey (February 2007-March 2008; May-August 2008)
  • Marcie Dodd (March-May 2008, temporary; also Nessarose)
  • Angel Reda (August 2008- January 2009)

Stuttgart Production

Stuttgart Alternates

  • Sabrina Weckerlin (October 2007-November 2008)
  • Roberta Valentini (November 2008-January 2010)

Stuttgart Understudies

  • Roberta Valentini (October 2007-November 2008)
  • Melanie Gebhard (November 2008-January 2010)
  • Maria Walter (November 2008-January 2010)

Melbourne Production

  • Amanda Harrison (June 2008-August 2009)
  • Jemma Rix (June-August 2009; temporary)

Melbourne Standbys

Melbourne Understudies

  • Patrice Tipoki (June 2008-June-2009)
  • Zoe Gertz (June-August 2009; also u/s Madame Morrible)

Japan Production

  • Hamada Megumi(Original)
  • Higuchi Asami
  • Imai Minori
  • Kimura Chiaki
  • Ebata Masae
  • Miyahara Kei

San Francisco Production

San Francisco Standbys

  • Vicki Noon (January-March 2009, May 2009-March 2010)
  • Merideth Kaye Clark (March-April 2009; temporary)
  • Dee Roscioli (April-May 2009; temporary)
  • Carrie Manolakos (March 9-30, 2010; temporary)
  • Felicia Ricci (March-September 2010)

San Francisco Understudies

AlyssaFox

Alyssa Fox as Elphaba

2nd National Tour

  • Marcie Dodd (March 2009- April 2010)
  • Vicki Noon (April 2010-January 2011)
  • Anne Brummel (January 2011- April 2012)
  • Christine Dwyer (May 2012-March 2013)
  • Jennifer DiNoia (April 2013-April 2014) 
  • Laurel Harris (April 2014-January 2015)
  • Alyssa Fox (January-December 2015)
  • Emily Koch (December 2015-September 2016)
  • Jessica Vosk (September 2016-September 2017)
  • Mary Kate Morrissey (September 2017-October 2018)
  • Jackie Burns (October 2018 - February 2019)
  • Mariand Torres (February-September 2019)
  • Talia Suskauer (September 2019-current)

2nd National Tour Standbys

  • Carrie Manolakos (March 2009-March 2010)
  • Anne Brummel (March 2010-January 2011)
  • Christine Dwyer (January-December 2011)
  • Stephanie Torns (December 2011-October 2012)
  • Alyssa Fox (October 2012- January 2015)
  • Lilli Cooper (August 2014; temporary)
  • Madeline Trumble (October 2014-January 2015; temporary)
  • Emily Koch (January-June 2015)
  • Kennedy Caughell (June 18-29, 2016; temporary)
  • Mary Kate Morrissey (June 2015-August 2016)
  • Emily Schultheis (August 2016-August 2017)
  • Chelsea Emma Franko (August 2017-October 2018)
  • Cecelia Ticktin (October 2018- September 2019)
  • Natalia Vivino (September 2019-current)

2nd National Tour Understudies

  • Natalie Weiss (March-April 2009)
  • Anne Brummel (April 2009- March 2010)
  • Christine Dwyer (March 2010- January 2011)
  • Laurel Harris (also u/s Nessarose) (January 2011-January 2012)
  • Anna Eilinsfeld (January 2012-February 2013; also u/s Nessarose)
  • Lilli Cooper (February 2013-February 2014)
  • Madeline Trumble (February-November 2014)
  • Shayla Beck (October 2014; temporary)
  • Kennedy Caughell (November 2014-June 2016)
  • Olivia Valli (June 2016-January 2019)
  • Sarah Anne Fernandez (January 2019-Current)
  • Marie Eife (September-November 2019)

Tokyo Revival

  • Okamura Minami  

​1st UK/Ireland Tour

UK/Ireland Tour Standby

  • Jemma Alexander (September 2013 - August 2014)
  • Jacqueline Hughes (September 2014-July 2015)

UK/Ireland Tour Understudy

  • Zoë George (September 2013-July 2015) (also 2nd cover Nessarose)
  • Natasha Ferguson (September 2013-July 2015) (also 1st cover Nessarose)

2nd UK/Ireland tour

  • Amy Ross (November 2017-current)

2nd UK tour standby

  • Nikki Bentley (November 2017-current)

Understudies

  • Amy Webb (November 2017-current)
  • Amy Goodwin (November 2017-current)

Mexico City

  • Ana Cecilia Anzaldúa (October 2013- January 2015)
  • Danna Paola (October 2013- January 2015)

Mexico City Understudies

  • Edén Pintos (October 2013- January 2015)
  • Viviana Barrera (October 2013- January 2015)

Seoul, South Korea

  • Oak Joo Hyun (November 2013-May 2014)
  • Park Hye Na (November 2013-May 2014)
  • Kim Sun-Young (May-October 2014)

Seoul Understudy

  • Kim Ga Hee (November 2013- October 2014)

Sydney Production

  • Amanda Harrison (September-November 2009)
  • Jemma Rix (November-December 2009; temporary)
  • Jemma Rix / Pippa Grandison (December 2009-May 2010)
  • Jemma Rix / Patrice Tipoki (May-September 2010)

Sydney Standbys

Sydney Understudies

  • Zoe Jarret (September 2009-September 2010; also u/s Madame Morrible)

Australian Tour

Australian Tour Standby

  • Laura Bunting (January-September 2011)

​Australian Tour Understudy

  • Zoe Jarrett (January-September 2011; also u/s Madame Morrible)

Oberhausen Production

Oberhausen Alternates

Oberhausen Understudies

  • Melanie Gebhard (March 2010-September 2011)

Scheveningen (Dutch) Production

Scheveningen Alternate

  • Renée van Wegberg (October 2011-January 2013)

Scheveningen Understudy

  • Bettina Holwerda (October 2011-July 2012)
  • Suzanne de Heij (July 2012-January 2013)

Asian Tour Production

Asian Tour Standbys

  • Zoe (Gertz) Jarrett (December 2011-May 2012)
  • Jennifer DiNoia (May 2012-October 2012)

Asian Tour Understudies

  • Gretel Scarlett (December 2011- October 2012; also u/s Nessarose)

Helsinki City Theatre Production (non-replicated version)

  • Maria Ylipää (2010-2011)

Helsinki Understudy

  • Raili Ruutu

Copenhagen Production (non-replicated version)

  • Maria Lucia Heiberg Rosenberg (2011)

Copenhagen Understudy

  • Christina Elisabeth Mørkøre (1st u/s)
  • Caroline Glomnes Johansen (2nd u/s)

Australia/Asian Tour

Australia Standby 

  • Ali Calder (September 2013-May 2014; June 2014-June 2015) 
  • Lilli Cooper (May-June 2014;temporary) 

Australia Understudy 

  • Sophie Wright (September 2013-June 2015)

Brazilian Production

Brazil Standby

  • Talita Real (February-October 2016)

Brazil Understudy

  • Roberta Jafet (February-December 2016)

International Tour

  • Jacqueline Hughes (July 2016-June 2017)  
  • Jodie Steele (June-July 2017)  

International Tour Standby

  • Jodie Steele (September 2016-June 2017)

International Tour Understudy

  • Natasha Ferguson (July 2016-June 2017; 1st u/s)
  • Zoë George (July 2016-June 2017; 2nd u/s)
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