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Oscar Zoroaster Diggs (aka the Wizard) is the main antagonist in the Broadway musocal, Wicked. He is a humbug ruler who uses deceit and trickery to hide his own mortal shortcomings.

Life

After a day of sightseeing in the Emerald City, Elphaba and Glinda meet the Wizard. He immediately reveals his true self to them and invites Elphaba to join him as his personal assistant. He uses Madame Morrible, a woman whom Elphaba dearly trusts, to get Elphaba to join him. As a test, he asks that she give his Monkey servant, Chistery, the ability to fly using the Grimmerie, an ancient book of spells. Elphaba demonstrates her innate magical talent and successfully gives Chistery wings. After realizing that she's helping a fraud continue his fraudulance, Elphaba runs away, setting the stage for the show-stopping Defying Gravity.

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Stephanie J. Block and David Garrison as Elphaba and The Wizard in the Original First National Tour

The Wizard later reveals an entire cage full of monkeys who now also have wings because of Elphaba's spell, 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 real power of his own, Elphaba runs away with the Grimmerie, pursued by the palace guards, after the wizard tries to convince Elphaba and Glinda to join him. Elphaba and Glinda run into the tallest tower, where they witness Madame Morrible, revealed to be the Wizard's press secretary, declaring to all of Oz that Elphaba is a "Wicked Witch" who is not to be trusted, and was so cruel as to curse monkeys by giving them wings .

Some time later, Elphaba returns to the Wizard's palace to free the rest of the winged monkeys. The Wizard attempts to regain her favor by agreeing to set them free. Upon discovering a now-speechless Doctor Dillamond among the monkeys, Elphaba rejects his offer and attempts to escape, running into Fiyero and taking him with her.

In recapitulation, it is revealed that the Wizard is actually Elphaba's father. Glinda orders the Wizard to leave Oz in his balloon, and indeed he does, returning to the world where he belongs.

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David Garrison as The Wizard-Original 1st Tour Cast

Differences in the book and musical

No more than a con man with knowledge of how to work with human emotion and beliefs, this version of the Wizard works to maintain his own position and prestige, regardless of the pain and grief it causes to others, and is not beyond subversion or mandated murder.

The Wizard is portrayed in a slightly better light in the musical, Wicked. Instead of being very amoral, he is carried away by the belief of the people of Oz that he is "wonderful." In the play the Wizard is also more of a figurehead controlled by Madame Morrible and though he is responsible for some of the things that happen in the play he is truly not made fully aware of how his actions affect others. This portrayal is however slightly different based upon the actor portraying him, with some depicting him more as a ruthless manipulator, or slimy con artist, whilst others depict him as honestly benevolent but misguided. When he learns that Elphaba is his daughter, he expresses visible sorrow when he learns of her supposed death, agreeing with Glinda to leave Oz in his balloon.

In the musical, when he sang the reprise of 'I'm a Sentimental Man', it is revealed he always wanted to be a father, so the sorrow of Elphaba's death hits him more as he finds out he is actually her father, and thus in part, the cause of his own daughter's death.

Songs

Wizardsh

Susan Hilferty's sketch of the Wizard's costume.

Solos

Solos (In A Duet)

Solos (In A Group Number)

Portrayers

Broadway Production

Tom McGowan

Tom McGowan as The Wizard

  • Joel Grey (2003-2004)
  • George Hearn ([tel:2004-2005, 2006 2004-2005, 2006]; temporary)
  • Ben Vereen (2005-2006)
  • Gene Weygandt (2005; temporary)
  • David Garrison (2006-2007)
  • Lenny Wolpe (2007-2008)
  • P.J. Benjamin ([tel:2008-2011, 2012 2008-2011, 2012], 2015)
  • Tom McGowan (2011-2012, [tel:2013-2014, 2015 2013-2014, 2015])
  • Adam Grupper (2012-2013)
  • Kevin McMahon (2014-2015)
  • Fred Applegate (2015-2016)
  • Peter Scolari (2016-2017)
  • Fred Applegate (2017-2018)
  • Kevin Chamberlin (2018-present)

Broadway Understudies

  • Sean McCourt
  • Michael DeVries
  • Wade McCollum
  • William Ryall
  • Keith A. Bearden (Current-also u/s Dillamond, Witch's Father/Ozian Official)
  • Brian Munn(Current-Swing; also u/s Dillamond, Witch's Father/Ozian Official)

1st National Tour

  • David Garrison (2005-2006)
  • P.J. Benjamin (2006-2007)
  • Lee Wilkof (2007-2008)
  • Lenny Wolpe (2008-2009)
  • Richard Kline (2009-2011)
  • Mark Jacoby (2011-2012)
  • P.J. Benjamin (2012)
  • Tom McGowan (2012-2013)
  • John Davidson (2013-2014)
  • Tim Kazurinsky (204-2015)

Chicago Production

  • Gene Weygandt (2005-2007, 2008-2009)
  • Ben Vereen (2005; t/c)
  • Peter Kevoian (2007-2008)
  • David Garrison (2007; temporary)

West End (London) Production

Rachel Tucker and Clive Carter

Rachel Tucker as Elphaba and Clive Carter as The Wizard in the London Production 2010

  • Nigel Planer (2006-2008)
  • Andy Mace (2008; temporary)
  • Desmond Barrit (2008-2009)
  • Sam Kelly (2009-2010)
  • Clive Carter (2010-2012)
  • Desmond Barrit (2012)
  • Keith Bartlett (2012-2013)
  • Sam Kelly (2013-2014)
  • Martyn Ellis (2014-2015)
  • Tom McGowan (2015-2016)
  • Mark Curry (2016-2017)
  • Andy Hockley (2017-Present)

Los Angeles Production

Stuttgart Production

  • Carlo Lauber (2007-2010)

Melbourne Production

  • Rob Guest OBE (2008)
  • Rodney Dobson (2008; temporary)
  • Bert Newton (2008-2009)

San Francisco Production

2nd National Tour

  • Tom McGowan (2009)
  • Don Amendiola (2009-2011)
  • Tom McGowan (2011)
  • Don Amendolia (2011-2012)
  • Paul Kreppel (2012-2013)
  • Walker Jones (2013-2014)
  • Gene Weygandt (2014)
  • John Davidson (2014-2015)
  • Stuart Zagnit (2015-Current)

Auckland, New Zealand

  • Jay Laga'aia

Sydney Production

  • Bert Newton (2009-2010)

Oberhausen Production

  • Carlo Lauber (2010-2011)

Asian Tour

  • Bert Newton (2011-2012)
  • Glen Hogstrom (2012-Present)

Scheveningen Production

  • Bill van Dijk (2011-2013)

Scheveningen Understudies

  • Jochem Feste Roozemond (2011-2013; also Dillamond)
  • John ter Riet (2011-2013; also u/s Dillamond)

Mexico City

  • Paco Morales (original)

Australian Revival

  • Reg Livermore (2014-2015)
  • Simon Gallaher (2015-Present; Brisbane & Perth)

UK/Ireland Tour

  • Dale Rapley (Original; also Dillamond)
  • Steven Pinder (Final; also Dillamond)

Brazilian Production

  • Sérgio Rufino (2016)

External Links

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