'Gregory Maguire wasn't thinking about creating one of the great popular-entertainment franchises of our day. He didn't set out to provide a heartening role model for teen girls who feel unattractive or like social outcasts. He didn't even start by thinking of how to flip the script on a beloved tale.'
'The central character in "Wicked" is Elphaba, a girl born with a strange green complexion and an aversion to water who winds up, near the end of the tale, being known as the Wicked Witch of the West, even though her wickedness is a matter of some debate. The stage version -- created by songwriter Stephen Schwartz and librettist Winnie Holzman -- puts a stronger emphasis on Elphaba's relationship with Glinda the Good Witch (and, accordingly, changes the subtitle from "The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" to "The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz") and such themes as friendship and the deceptive nature of appearances. This, in part, explains the show's runaway popularity with girls.
But Maguire's initial preoccupations were of a darker order... '
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