DIVA TALK SPECIAL: The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken

By Andrew Gans
28 Oct 2008

Just a few of the many changes on Wicked's way to Broadway: Elphaba's first song — eventually replaced by "The Wizard and I" — was originally titled "Making Good"; "Bad Situation," a duet between Glinda and Elphaba, was replaced by "What Is This Feeling?"; and an odd song entitled "Easy as Winkie Wine" was scrapped altogether. In fact, it seems several references to Winkie Wine were deleted: At one point in the script Fiyero says, "I told Galinda I had urgent Winkie business." Also removed: "Emerald City Stomp," a chorus number prior to Elphaba's entrance in the witch hat; and "Step By Step," a solo for Nessarose after her father presents her with the ruby red slippers.

 


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Some of the evening's highlights: Stephanie J. Block was in terrific voice, belting out a thrilling "Making Good" and sending the audience into spontaneous applause during her portion of "Defying Gravity." Mario Cantone drew laugh after laugh for his manic rendition of "Popular," and the "Defying Gravity" finale led by pop singer Ashanti and featuring dueling Elphabas and Glindas (Block, Bean, Thompson and Reinders) was thrilling. There were also a few welcome political barbs added for the occasion: Both "I hate that goat because he reminds me of John McCain" and Joy Behar's reference to a "hockey mom" also drew applause.

One left the theatre wishing to return to see the final version of Wicked; in fact, all of the changes that have been made since this draft were not only "for good" but "for the better."



The complete program for The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken, which was directed by Matt Lenz and featured a small band conducted by musical director Ben Cohn, follows:

Scene 1: The Emerald City
Opening Number (Company)

Scene 2: A Train Station in Munchkinland
"Making Good"
Elphaba (Stephanie J. Block)

Scene 3: A Parlor at Shiz University
"Dear Old Shiz"
Morrible (Joy Behar), Students

Scene 4: Elphaba and Galinda's Dormitory Room
"Bad Situation"
Galinda (Jennifer Laura Thompson), Elphaba (Stephanie J. Block), Phannee (Kristen Leigh Gorski), Shenshen (Sonshine Allen), Company

Scene 5: Biology Lecture Hall
"Making Good" (Reprise)
Elphaba (Stephanie J. Block)

Scene 6: The Sorcery Seminar
"Easy as Winkie Wine"
Fiyero (Daniel Reichard), Boq (Mark Indelicato), Galinda (Jennifer Laura Thompson), Phannee (Kristen Leigh Gorski), Shenshen (Sonshine Allen)

Scene 7: The Annual Festivities Frolick
"Emerald City Stomp"
Company

"We Deserve Each Other"
Fiyero (Reichard), Galinda (Thompson), Boq (Indelicato), Nessarose (Michelle Federer), Students

Scene 8: Elphaba and Galinda's Dorm Room
"Popular"
Galinda (Mario Cantone), Elphaba (Stephanie J. Block)

Scene 9: The Biology Lecture Hall
"I'm Not That Girl"
Elphaba (Shoshana Bean)

Scene 10: Train Station

Scene 11: Dr. Dillamond's Laboratory
"As If By Magic"
Dr. Dillamond (Timothy Britten Parker), Fiyero (Matthew Settle), Elphaba (Shoshana Bean)

Scene 12: Munchkinland, The Governor's Private Quarters
"Step By Step"
Nessarose (Federer)

Scene 13: A Funeral Procession
"Dear Old Shiz" (Reprise)
Mourners (Company)

Scene 14: The Emerald City
"One Short Day"
Glinda (Reinders), Elphaba (Bean), Company

Scene 15: Inside the Wizard's Palace
"A Sentimental Man"
Wizard (George Wendt)

"The Chance to Fly"
Wizard (Wendt), Glinda (Reinders), Morrible (Behar), Elphaba (Bean)

Scene 16: The Attic at the Top of the Wizard's Palace
"For Goodness Sake"
Glinda (Reinders), Elphaba (Bean)

"Defying Gravity"
Elphaba (Ashanti, Block, Bean), Glinda (Thompson, Reinders), Company

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Based on Gregory Maguire's novel, which turned every Oz myth inside out, Wicked explores the early life of the witches of Oz: Glinda and Elphaba. The two main characters meet at Shiz, a school where both hope to take up sorcery. Glinda is madly popular and Elphaba is, well, green. By a misunderstanding, they wind up roommates and, after an initial period of mutual loathing, begin to learn something about each other. Their life paths continue to intersect through a shared love, entry into the Emerald City and interaction with the Wizard himself. Eventually, their choices and convictions take them on widely different paths.

For more information visit www.wickedthemusical.com.