“Changed for the Better”: Queer Conventions in Wicked (2003)
This chapter demonstrates how Wicked, the blockbuster Broadway musical that opened in 2003, is an exemplar of musical theatre’s generic conventions put to feminist and queer use. This chapter explores how Wicked combines girl power, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s organizing principles, and megamusicals’ marketing strategy. Wicked ties together other themes explored in the book, such as race and Jewishness, the individual and the ensemble, female duets, and the dispensable male lead, and ends with the formation of a queer female couple. The chapter reads closely Wicked’s structure in relation to that of a traditional formally integrated book musical.
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