Gregory Maguire's Bastardization of L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz, the alleged bastardization of late 18 and early 19th century American politics, which has been bastardized into an award-winning Broadway Musical. Also, there's sex. Like, a LOT.
Once upon a time, there was a children's author who wrote lots and lots of different stories. The only problem was, none of them were mature enough for his tastes.
To solve this problem our hero,.Gregory Maguire, decided he'd find a fairytale and reinject it with lots of political intrigue, architectural description, discussions of the culture of various parts of Oz, and dissertations over what makes a person evil. Also, did we mention the sex? The great, ungodly, ridiculously huge amount, and of varying types, positions, and fetishes?
You see where she's looking? There's two Munchkins having sex over there.
In the first part alone, there is off-hand, casual discussion of sex at least five times. One of these involves a man with a penis on the front and back pleasuring a mother and daughter at the same time.
Think on this for a moment, would you?
In a world filled with midgets, talking Animals, and lots and lots of villages set quite off the beaten path, there is a great deal of unusual boning going on.
Some highlights include: a sex club where Animals work. A young man is mounted by a male Tiger. A dwarf who runs a puppet show has a gaggle of young, attractive men that work for him. Endless speculation, in the first chapter alone, on whether or not the main character is a hermaphrodite. A nursemaid who is the equivalent of every dirty old countrified lady who works at the feed store. A peeping-Tom Munchkin.
The list could go on forever.
In the Beginning
The young Elphaba is born to a pothead mother and that loser priest who gets puked on in "The Exorcist," only he's blonde. Nobody can stand the sight of her green body, and in a show of rebellion at the world for apparently being green she randomly bites people with her razor-sharp teeth and refuses to get wet.
A Brief Family History
Eventually she grows into a toddler while her parents neglect her- when one day her mother has an affair with a visitor from the Quadling Country, Turtle Heart, a man with dusky red skin and huge hands who has a bad case of Yoda-speak. Elphaba's mother and Turtle Heart grow close as Elphaba's oblivious father lets the man stay at the house. Eventually the affair is acknowledged, one assumes, because Elphaba's father sleeps with Turtle Heart, too, shortly after Elphaba's baby sister is announced.
There is no word on whether or not they ever have a threesome, but one can only guess and/or write bad fanfiction about it.
We cut forward to innumerable years later; We meet the stuck-up Galinda, the future Good Witch. She is a big fish in a small pond who was just thrown in the ocean. After her attendant runs a rusty nail through her foot the big-headed Galinda decides to head to college herself. Through a series of unfortunate events and her own smooth-talking she manages to accidentally become roommates with Elphaba, who at this time has grown up and apparently still remained green and aloof towards anyone else.
The two ignore each other until one day, when a freak rainstorm traps the two in a room together. There is a brief musical sequence, and at the end the two are BFF.
Life moves on at the college- young people meet and develop crushes, and social distrust is evident- the Wizard, who reigns over the Emerald City, has started a series of 'seperate and NOT equal' laws that ban Animals (you know, the ones that can talk) from doing anything but meaningless and petty jobs. The Emerald City McDonald's had no change of hands.
Elphaba and Galinda's little group of friends expands to a Munchkin named after the noise a chicken makes, his asshole friend, the two resident queers from the local library, and a foreign prince who is the novel's equivalent of Fez, Fiyero.
Now imagine blue diamonds all over him.
Enraged after their Professor the Goat is slain, Galinda calls herself by his weird goaty-version of her name and Elphaba continues his research into what the genetic factors that determine whether or not an Animal is different from an animal.
Things come to a head when Elphaba's sister, Nessarose the Gimp, comes to college wearing a pair of glass slippers. They are physical evidence that having no arms makes you more appealing to your father than being green.
After Glinda's discovery that their headmistress has slain their Professor, she and Elphaba approach the Wizard in person to talk about his research and implore him to lift the 'Banns' on Animals. He refuses, waving them away and giving them the equivalent of the 'old Bronx Cheer.'
As an Adult
Glinda and Elphaba part ways- while Glinda continues through college, Elphaba becomes the equivalent of a terrorist, trying to aide the Animal resistance and impede the Wizard's every order.
Five years later, Elphaba is still hard at it. Her name is legendary- she is a Dark Horse, an unsettling green shadow that kicks soldiers in the crotch in the darkest of nights. One chance day she meets Fiyero from college, who has a wife and kids in town with him.
Desperately horny due to married life being one unending tunnel of boredom, he and Elphaba begin a regular booty call. She falls in love with him, and we learn that instead of water she cleans herself with goat milk, making her probably the smelliest terrorist ever.
But all things must end eventually- the Wizard's Gale Force follows Fiyero back to Elphaba's hideout after an assassination attempt, clubs him, kills him, and drags him back to the prison (probably to rape his body.) She is devestated, and her mind is broken. She drags herself to a Nunnery, stricken mute.
We jump forward another seven years. Elphaba is now accustomed to black robes, and with her tags along a small child that she neither cares for nor thinks of as her own. She travels to Fiyero's old Kingdom, along the way learning every cool thing she can ever do on the Tran Ride From Hell. Shortly after she arrives she meets the remnants of the family that she's homewrecked and attempts to confess everything.
Choosing ignorance, Fiyero's widow invites Elphaba and boy to be a part of the family. In a tall tower in the castle she discovers a book she calls 'A Grimmerie,' a black leather book with purple pages and silver ink. She takes to deciphering it whileshe gains little bits of power bit by bit and the ability to brain people with ice.
But her little family unit does not last forever. Elphaba is summoned to The Gimp, AKA the Wicked Witch of the East, her sister Nessarose. Apparently her head has grown too big in exchange for her lack of arms, and her deft spell-casting has cursed more than one person into fear and obeyance of laws. Elphaba is promised the shoes upon her death- the glass shoes, the reminder of her father's love.
But upon her return to the Castle the Wizard has captured Fiyero's family, leaving only her aging Nanny and the little boy of hers who apparently talks to fish.
And then- Dorothy arrives, a whirlwind of spinning death who manages to singlehandedly disrupt the entire political climate and even ecosystem simply by existing. Like a gigantic shoe stepping on a ketchup packet, the Witch of the East is squashed down to her stockings. Not knowing what to do with the shoes, and knowing that whomever sees them will drop a deuce the size of a small Winnebago in their pants, Glinda panicks and gives them to Dorothy, hoping they'll keep her out of harm's way.
Serial Killer, Arsonist, and Dangerous Lunatic
But Elphaba is losing her grip- her sister is dead, even if she was a bitch. Promptly arriving at the funeral for her inheritance, she discovers the shoes are gone and the little girl is on the way to see The Wizard, whom she finds out is actually the man that date-raped her Mother.
But a little part of her is happy to see them when they arrive to 'kill her'- and Elphaba, at her age, had already reached menopause. She did not, and was not, sure that Fiyero had died. Maybe- maybe he was hiding as the scarecrow to escape detection by the Wizard.
In successive waves, she sends out her pets to lead them home, each of which is executed in a macabre way due to a misunderstanding that might be humorous in any other situation. Finally they come inside, and Elphaba is so mad that the scarecrow really isn't Fiyero that she inadvertently bursts into flame.
Dorothy throws a bucket of water at her to put her out- but she melts, melts, melts into a puddle. She may have been green- she may have been unpopular- but she was human, goddamnit, human enough to go mad.
Bored with his life, Stephen Schwartz decided he'd try to write a musical based on something that everyone and their dying mother has done before- The Wizard of Oz. Seriously... how many versions have there been now? 13? Including one with Michael Jackson?
It is generally believed that the idea was to make it an even gayer version of that one episode of Rick & Steve where they parody it.
Stephen Schwartz decided that in order to even scratch the surface of the depth of this tragic story, he'd have to throw everything out the window but the characters themselves. Also, let's throw in a happy ending, anyway, because really, who doesn't like those?
Guaranteed to be your girlfriend's request when it rolls through your town, and also guaranteed to shrink your testicles to half their previous size.