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Wicked: Grimmerie and Defying Gravity

The musical tie-in books that cover the behind-the-scenes story of Wicked

imageThe Wicked Grimmerie was formerly the only fan book for Wicked fans providing stories, photos, lyrics, and a partial script. Now fans can also read Defying Gravity that covers Wicked in an absorbing chronological narrative that reveals the sometimes turbulent creative journey for bringing the show to life. And there's several other books...

The Grimmerie

Wicked GrimmerieWicked: The Grimmerie -Amazon.com - USA - Also available in the UK "Wicked": The Grimmerie- Amazon.co.uk

with partial script.

Defying Gravity - Don't miss out on the juiciest stories

Defying Gravity second editionDefying Gravity: the Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked includes 14 chapters fascinating narrative about the development of Wicked including many never-before-told stories. Autographed copies are available (signed by Schwartz and the author). NOW IN A SECOND EDITION with a new chapter on Wicked Worldwide. DefyingGravityTheBook.com



Unnaturally Green Unnaturally Green memoir  

A humorous romp of a memoir, Unnaturally Green presents the real-life account of Felicia Ricci as she tackles the role of Elphaba, Wicked's green-skinned heroine.

Wicked a Musical Biography

Wicked: A Musical Biography  - ACADEMIC. This book by Paul Laird, a professor of Musicology at the University of Kansas, provides details on Wicked's development.

Changed for Good...

Wicked books Changed for GoodChanged for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical Princeton professon Stacy Wolf highlights the assumptions about gender and sexuality in musicals and looks at the leading musicals, with a special emphasis on Wicked. She explores key aspects of the plays as they relate to women.

Read more about books below

Defying Gravity

Autographed copies are available - signed by Stephen Schwartz

    A chronological narrative covering Wicked's development from the show's conception in 1996 through the Broadway opening in October of 2003. Carol de Giere takes readers into Stephen Schwartz's world as he writes songs, helps develop the story, and interacts with colleagues. She includes comments from the producers, bookwriter Winnie Holzman, director Joe Mantello, and others. 130 pages.
  • Original seven-page outline developed by Stephen Schwartz showing his ideas for converting Gregory Maguire's novel into a musical.
  • "Wicked Witch of the East": Defying Gravity publishes, for the first time, a page of handwritten music and lyrics from the "Wicked Witch of the East" section of the musical, not included on the cast album. This is a duet between Nessarose and Elphaba in which Elphaba performs a "heart" chant.
  • Stephen Schwartz's song stories in context of the show's development. The chapters describe challenges he faced as well as responses from colleagues and cast members that influenced the music or lyrics.
  • "For Good" – Defying Gravity takes readers into the moment "For Good" was conceived and written. It includes notes from Schwartz's interview with his daughter Jessica, and a photo of Jessica with her friend Sarah—the friendship that inspired the song.
  • Stephen Schwartz's handwritten notes to the eleka nahmen section of "No Good Deed."
  • Defying Gravity narrates the process by which the Wicked company grew from its first cast member, Kristin Chenoweth, through auditions, and changes in the pre-Broadway San Francisco production. It includes Idina Menzel's comments about being the first Elphaba and her suggestion to raise part of "Defying Gravity" an octave higher.
  • Defying Gravity includes black and white photos—about 22 production photos for Wicked. It also includes never-before-published photos such as Stephen Schwartz and friends in Hawaii at the time Schwartz conceived Wicked as a musical.
  • Defying Gravity includes "Creativity Notes" in which Stephen Schwartz explains his songwriting methods and ways of working in collaboration with others on a musical.

Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked

Wicked: The Grimmerie


ABOUT THE GRIMMERIE: A keepsake book designed to resemble the Grimmerie, an ancient book of spells that Elphaba uses in the show. (See the musical's Grimmerie in photo - Elphaba gives Glinda the Grimmerie)

"It's fabulous" says Stephen Schwartz. Wicked: The Grimmerie includes script passages and lyrics, photos, profiles, inside stories...

Wicked: The Grimmerie offers fans a behind-the-curtains peek at the musical, profiles of the cast and creative team, and inside stories, with photographs and drawings. Through interviews, readers learn how the musical's book was written, what approach the director Joe Mantello took, how the costumes and sets were designed and made, and more. The author interviewed the stars from the original Broadway cast, the second cast, and the tour cast, and so comments from each are included.

Special features include an "Ozian" glossary, a step-by-step look at how Elphaba gets green before each show, original handwritten notes from Stephen Schwartz's first draft of "Defying Gravity." Hardback. 190 Pages. By theatre writer David Cote and show photographer Joan Marcus.

See also: Wicked Grimmerie Reviews and Street Buzz

From Jessica, age 18: "The Grimmerie is a wonderful resource for any fan. The pictures, behind the scenes information, descriptions of the creative process, interviews with the cast and crew, as well as the more whimsical entries such as the character profiles and Ozian slang dictionary were "wonderful". All these insights are an amazing treat for any serious Wicked fan, and as far as they were concerned "I couldn't be happier". The one piece of the Grimmerie I would have to say I was disappointed with was the liberetto. Everyone I spoke to prior to the book's release seemed to believe that it would contain the full script; which obviously was not the case.

Order it now: Wicked: The Grimmerie (Your orders support this independent website.)

Also visit our Wicked quotes page for a small sampling.

Other Wicked or Oz Books

Pop up visual sensation

Wicked The Musical: A Pop-Up Compendium of Splendiferous Delight and Thrillifying Intrigue

Finding Oz Wizard of Oz background

FINDING OZ - We also recommend a Wizard of Oz-related book "Finding Oz"

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West - Novel Musical Tie-in Edition : The Life... [new browser window]

Best sources of "Making of" the musical stories before the release of this book:

Q and A about Wicked & The Grimmery...

Wicked defying gravity scene[Photo by Joan Marcus from Broadway production]


1. Who is Elphaba,... Galinda/Glinda, Madame Morrible, Dr. Dillamond?? Visit the Wicked Characters page is you haven't seen the musical.

2. What is the Grimmery in the musical and Novel?

MUSICAL: In Act I - MADAME MORRIBLE has been scheming with the Wizard about how to get Elphaba to use her magic skills to serve their interests. Morrible wants her to use a levitation spell on the monkeys, and she hands Elphaba the book. Glinda stares at in in awe: " I don't believe it. Is that…The Grimmerie!?"... The Grimmerie plays an important role in ACT II: its use demonstrates how knowledge and power can be abused.

NOVEL: Gregory Maguire introduced the Grimmerie much later in the story of Elphaba's life. In the castle section, when Elphaba is hidden away at Kiamo Ko, she discovers it and begins to experiment with it. In an early paperback edition, the Grimmerie first appears on page 265. [Note that this was written in the pre-Harry Potter era.]

"Elphaba was bent almost double over a huge folio laid out on the carpenter's work bench.... [She explains to Sarima] "As I understand it," Elphie said, "a sort of encyclopedia of things numinous. Magic; and of the spirit world; and of things seen and unseen; and of things once and future. I can only make out a line here or there. Look how it scrambles itself as you watch."

Then Sarima (Fiyero's wife) describes the sorcerer who brought it. "...He said it was a book of knowledge, and that it belonged in another world, but it wasn't safe there. So he brought it here--where it could be hidden out of harm's way."

The implication is that the sorcerer is the man from Earth's Kansas (another world) who became the Wizard of Oz. The reason why Elphaba can just make out some of the writing, even though it's from another world, is that she has a connection with the Wizard.

Read about WICKED VOCABULARY - WICKED script Q and A

For more Wicked Q and A see the FAQ section of the WICKED home page: Wicked home page

Articles and reviews

Read all about Stephen Schwartz (songs); Winnie Holzman (script); Gregory Maguire (Novel)