I remember reading Wicked (Gregory Maguire, Regan Books, 1995) when it first came out and loving it! I mean, really loving it. I always liked Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz as well as the MGM film version, even if they were not that much alike. It’s probably one of the very few instances where I like a both the book and the movie, equally.
What I enjoyed about Maguire’s treatment of the story is how he made the film and the book work together, besides adding to the story. I think it’s his best work.
In 2004 I saw the Tony Awards on TV when Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenowith performed the number “Defying Gravity,” and was just thrilled with that, too; though I had little hope of seeing a Broadway show (or any other show besides the local high school musicals—too expensive). But I did just listen for the first time to the complete soundtrack for Wicked: The Musical (5th Anniversary Special Edition, Decca Broadway, 2008) and WOW, it’s just wonderful. It’s funny, but I’d really not given the musical much thought, it was just out of my radar. I’d even gotten the Kristin Chenowith CD Let Yourself Go (Sony, 2001) and I play it all the time; but I didn’t realize it was her. And I loved the movie Enchanted (Walt Disney Video, 2008) and lo, and behold, there’s Idina Menzel. So they must have made a bigger impression on me than I realized at the time.
Call me a fool.