Mental Floss

The Quick 9: Nine Wicked Facts

Stacy Conradt
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I'm, oh, five years behind the rest of the world, but I finally saw Wicked. It was, as promised, awesome. Even my husband liked it (although he still wonders why they have to sing everything). I was so taken with it I had to come home and do a little research on its background "“ here's what I found out.

WICKED
WICKED /

3. The Wicked Witch didn't actually have a name in L. Frank Baum's Oz books. When Gregory Maguire wrote Wicked, he named her using Baum's initials "“ L.F.B. = El-pha-ba.

judy
judy /

6. You'd probably never recognize it, but there's a tiny little tribute to "Over the Rainbow" in the song "Unlimited/I'm Limited" theme. It's only the first seven notes of the song because, Schwartz said, copyright law dictates that eight notes can be considered the theft of a song. "Of course it's obviously it's also disguised in that it's completely different rhythmically. And it's also harmonized completely differently.... It's over a different chord and so on, but still it's the first seven notes of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow,'" he said.

WICKED004_kw.JPG
WICKED004_kw.JPG /

9. If you're like me, you watched the show and thought, "How does Elphaba's makeup not rub off on everything she touches?" The answer? MAC makeup, and yes, it already came in that color of green. They dilute it a little bit with water; Menzel likens the makeup application as watercoloring. You can see her getting the green treatment here:

Any Wicked aficionados out there who can give us the scoop on some more fun trivia? I hear there's a book called Wicked: The Grimmerie that has all kinds of secrets and tricks within. Anyone have it?

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