Wicked explores the concept that the Wicked Witch of the West, here known as Elphaba, is a misunderstood, victimized person whose behavior is merely a reaction against the charlatan Wizard’s corrupt government. It also displays her relationship with the beautiful and ambitious Galinda Upland, who ultimately becomes Glinda the Good Witch of the North.
The extraordinary success of Wicked has made several of the show’s songs popular and has resulted in references to the show, characters, and songs in popular culture. The Broadway production has been featured in episodes of television programs, including Brothers & Sisters and The War at Home while, for filming purposes, the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles doubled for the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway in an episode of Ugly Betty titled “Something Wicked This Way Comes” where Betty, the show’s protagonist, goes to see Wicked on a date and accidentally stops the show. In the episode previous to this, “Brothers”, Betty gets tickets to see Wicked and discusses with a friend how much she relates to Elphaba’s outcast status in a popularity and beauty-oriented environment. In addition, The Simpsons episode “Donnie Fatso” sees Homer Simpson and Moe Szyslak accidentally sneak into a Springfield production of the show.