Wicked opens with a celebration of the death of the Wicked Witch of the West. The citizens of Oz are elated, and dance joyously through the streets. They welcome Glinda the Good Witch of the North, who descends amongst them in a magic bubble to announce the official time of the Wicked Witch of the West’s death. As Ozians rail about the wickedness of the deceased witch, Glinda calls upon them to empathize with the young green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who was not always known as the Wicked Witch of the West (“No One Mourns the Wicked”). The ensuing story is an extended flashback, as Glinda recounts the tale of Elphaba’s transformation. One Ozian asks a question, which Glinda reframes and carries with her throughout the story: “Are people born wicked or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?”

In the flashback, we begin by seeing Elphaba’s mother, Melena, who was dissatisfied in her marriage to the governor of Munchkinland. Unhappy with her husband, Melena decides to engage in an affair with a mysterious man who offers her a drink of green elixir. Nine months later, Melena gave birth to a green-skinned baby: Elphaba. At this point in the story, Glinda breaks off and tells the citizens that she must leave, but they press her on, explaining that there are rumors that Glinda herself was once friends with Elphaba. In

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