Stephen Schwartz will discuss and preview a new song from his highly anticipated musical, Wicked, July 8 at New York City's Duplex Cabaret Theatre. This entry in The Storefront Theatre's New Mondays songwriters series will feature performances and songs by John Bucchino and Amanda Green, who will sing the new Wicked song. Two shows are scheduled, at 7 and 9 PM. Wicked is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire ("Lost," "Confessions of a Wicked Stepsister"), which purports to tell the true story of Elphaba, "Oz"'s Wicked Witch of the West. Raised in the backwaters of Oz but sent to school in the city, the future Wicked Witch suffers through her dormmate Glinda's prissy behavior, becomes a radical animal rights activist (when the Wizard arrives, he immediately reduces all animals, even the talking ones, to their former roles as beasts of burden and food) and falls in love. She is first a revolutionary, then a reclusive ruler, disgusted by the tactics of her armless sister's tyrannical religious regime and her schoolmate Glinda's pompous royalty. Maguire conceived "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" as a funny and twisted look at how good and evil is perceived.
Schwartz, creator of the hits "Godspell" and "Pippin," is writing the score with a book by Winnie Holzman. In recent New York readings, Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown) played Glinda, the Good Witch, with Idina Menzel of Rent as her polar opposite, Elphaba. Chenoweth will reprise her role in the musical's San Francisco debut at the Curran Theatre in spring, 2003, followed by a Broadway run beginning the following Halloween. Menzel is likely to join her.