Loosely based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Wicked revisits The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and provides colorful explanations for how the iconic characters might have come to be. As students attending Shiz University, bright green Elphaba (the future Wicked Witch of the West) and angelic Galinda (the future Good Witch of the North, who later drops the “a” to become Glinda) start off loathing one another, but after a bonding makeover, the spell-casting duo is “Dancing Through Life” together. Among the subplots and surprises to be found in Wicked, which unfolds as a flashback in two acts, are the origins of the Tin Woodman (a former munchkin named Boq), the Scarecrow (Fiyero Tiggular, a former Winkie prince), and the Cowardly Lion (the subject of a class experiment), as well as the Wizard’s plan to subjugate the animals of Oz, and the emergence of Elphaba as a misunderstood character who just happens to be green. Directed by Tony-winner Joe Mantello with musical staging by Tony-winner Wayne Cilento, Wicked casts a spell on the Majestic for an exclusive three-week run that starts Wednesday. $37.25-$137.25, 8pm Wed, Feb 16; 2pm and 8pm Thu, Feb 17; 8pm Fri, Feb 18; 2pm and 8pm Sat, Feb 19; 2pm and 7:30pm Sun, Feb 20; 8pm Tue, Feb 22; The Majestic Theatre, 224 E Houston, (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com. Through March 6.
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