Good and evil

By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  December 30, 2009

The music from Wicked is not exactly hummable (though it has been covered many times in the past five years), but it's very emotionally effective, especially when delivered by such terrific voices as Vivino's and Schwartz's. "I'm Not That Girl" is a melancholy lament for unrequited love; "Wonderful" is the Wizard's (Richard Kline) ode to himself; "For Good" is an inspiring testament to the power of friendship, making each person in the pair rise to her best potential; and "Defying Gravity" is a staunch feminist declaration: "I'm through with playing by the rules/of someone else's game . . . I'm through accepting limits/'cause someone says they're so/Some things I cannot change/but till I try, I'll never know."

Elphaba also stands up to the Wizard, who wants to strip the animals of their power (and speech); she despises his enslavement of the winged monkeys, and they flee with her to a distant part of Oz. But when the Wizard and, unwittingly, Glinda conspire against Elphaba, Dorothy's story begins. The re-interpretations of this tale lend new import to its characters and new meaning to the Oz myths.

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