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Will there be a Wicked Musical Sequel?

Posted on the Stephenschwartz.com forum 10/26/05:

Question: Rumor has it you are working on a sequel to "Wicked"?

Answer from Stephen Schwartz, composer-lyricist for Wicked: First of all, let me dispel this rumor immediately: I am not working on a sequel to WICKED, based on Gregory Maguire's new book or any other source. I am thrilled for Gregory's success with SON OF A WITCH, and I am extremely appreciative of his having dedicated the book to me and my collaborators on the musical version of WICKED, but I have absolutely no plans to make a musical out of the new book. I can't imagine that decision changing, so someone else is free to do it if they like.

Son of A Witch

By Gregory Maguire

WHERE TO BUY ONLINE: Son of a Witch : A Novel - Amazon.com ($9.00 off retail price).

In SON OF A WITCH (Regan Books) Maguire follows the story of Liir, the adolescent boy left hiding in the shadows of the castle when Dorothy tragically did in the Witch. A decade after Elphaba was melted away the young Liir is discovered bruised, comatose, and left for dead in a gully. Shattered in spirit as well as in form, he is tended by the mysterious Candle, a foundling in her own right, until failed campaigns of his childhood bear late, unexpected fruit.

Liir is only one part of the world Elphaba left behind. After her passing, the long reign of the despotic Wizard of Oz drew to a close at last, and he disappeared into the clouds in a hot-air balloon. Then came the surprise ascendancy of Glinda, the "good witch," Elphaba's former college roommate, to the Palace throne. Under her reign as a sort of temporary prime minister, much that had gone wrong, at least in the prior atmosphere of Wizardly secrecy was corrected. Eventually she too stepped aside, to be replaced briefly by the Scarecrow, an ineffectual front-man for a cabal of bankers. But although some atrocities had ceased, others had replaced them. Although certain diseases had subsided, others had taken grip. And now Oz is ruled by yet another despot: the sacred Emperor.

As a boy hardly in his teens, Liir is asked to help the needy in ways in which he may be unskilled. Is he Elphaba's son? In an age where even the most blessed of witchcraft has gone underground has he power of his own? Can he liberate Princess Nastoya from the human form in which she has been hiding to escape the pogroms against Animals, and help her into a dignified death? Can he locate his supposed half-sister, Nor, last seen in shackles in the Wizard's protection? Can he survive in an Oz little improved since the death of the Wicked Witch of the West? Can he learn to fly? Can he take up the Witch's campaign for justice on behalf of Animals? And what's his link to the man now ruling the land with an iron fist?

In SON OF A WITCH, Gregory Maguire suggests that the magic we locate in distant, improbable places like Oz is no greater than the magic inherent in any hard life lived fully, son of a witch or no.

For the many millions of readers who have made Wicked, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Lost, and Mirror, Mirror national bestsellers, this much awaited sequel will undoubtedly inspire, amaze, and delight every bit as much as its predecessor.

Gregory Maguire Interviews, Bio, ...

MAGUIRE'S INSPIRATION FOR THE WICKED SEQUEL: From an interview: I was troubled by some letters I got from young girls asking me what had happened to Liir, Elphaba's son. They want to know and I feel obligated to give them a good answer. So I'm writing a new novel that takes place ten years after the death of the Wicked Witch of the West. It's entitled Son of a Witch. (NOTE: At his book talk, he said girls were writing him about Nor and wanted to know what happened to her. So maybe it was both of the characters.)

Gregory Maguire is the bestselling author of Son of a Witch, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Lost, and Mirror, Mirror, and Wicked, The Life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West. Maguire has lectured on art and culture at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the DeCordova Museum as well as at conferences at home and abroad. An occasional reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, he lives with his family in Massachusetts.

See Main Maguire page for more interview links and bio info

Maguire interview here: Maguire on Wicked's Music

Wicked Original Broadway Cast album: Wicked musical - Amazon.com $13.49 (List price $18.98).

Wicked logo used as cover for tie in Wicked Musical Tie-in Edition : The Life... [new browser window]

On the Dedication page of
Son of a Witch

"L. Frank Baum's second Oz novel, The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904), was dedicated to the actors….who performed…in the first theatrical version of The Wizard of Oz.

"In that spirit, Son of a Witch is dedicated to the cast and creative team of the musical Wicked, which opened on Broadway October 2003….

"To Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz, foremost and first, for their vision; to Wayne Cilento, Susan Hilferty, Eugene Lee, Joe Mantello, Stephen Oremus, Kenneth Posner, and Marc Platt and his associates, for bringing visions to life; and, among all the capable cast, most especially to Kristin Chenoweth (Galinda/Glinda), Joel Grey, (The Wizard), and Idina Menzel (Elphaba), for bringing life to visions." -- Gregory Maguire

Son of a Witch reviews and author interviews

Son of a Witch': No Place Like Oz - Published: October 9, 2005 NY Times:

"....Having recreated the witch as a misunderstood feminist, a kind of pistachio-colored Kate Millett, Maguire's new novel focuses on the child who may (or may not) have been her son. The boy, named Liir, was last glimpsed in the closing pages of "Wicked," locked in the kitchen with the Cowardly Lion as Dorothy did something irreversible with a bucket of water to his "Auntie Witch." "Son of a Witch" explores what happened to Liir next. It's a convoluted quest featuring love, loss and elves, with clear Broadway potential...." - a 2-page review


"...Shortly after Wicked's publication, Maguire was at a Chicago bookstore speaking to a crowd, if that's the word, of seven. Someone asked whether a sequel was planned.

"Yes," Maguire says he joked. "It's called 'Son of a Witch.' "

Nobody's laughing now.

Maguire's Son of a Witch (Regan Books, $26.95) is No. 14 on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list, just two weeks after being published. And the 10-year-old Wicked? It's No. 16....

Maguire prefers to call it a "companion novel," although he has no objection to sequels. Some, he says, are even better than the original, such as A.A. Milne's The House at Pooh Corner, published two years after Winnie-the-Pooh...."

"...USA TODAY: What inspired the main character Liir?

Maguire: I use any material I can to get myself going. On a certain level, I've always wondered what the childhood of Shakespeare's Lear was like. Ten years ago, I named the boy in Wicked Liir just to pique interest. In Wicked he is a lumpy, unfocused child, mostly ignored by the Wicked Witch of the West, who may or may not be his mother. Ten years on, he would be 22 or 23, a much more interesting age to write about...."

To St. Louis Post Dispatch, Gregory said: I have modeled myself on T.H. White, who wrote "The Once and Future King." He treated the Arthurian legend as though it had never been talked about before, and that book is passionate, moving, erudite and funny. White also taught me to be brave and not to skimp.

Q: The appeal of writing fantasy is easy to understand. Who reads it?

Maguire: Roger Scruton, a British philosopher, says, "Consolation of the imaginary is not an imaginary consolation." We all do things to escape, to have a reprieve from the harshness of the world. Once we are consoled, we are stronger. I write for people who need that.

Gregory Maguire 9/28/05 "Son of A Witch" reading

NOTES from his talk:

This book follows ten years on from the end of Wicked the novel. It happens that I wrote it ten years on, which was convenient for me because I and my sensibility had aged at exactly that same rate as the sensibilities and ages of the people whom I had last seen on page 407 of the novel Wicked.

Those of you have read Wicked might remember that Liir was the 14-year-old boy who was hidden in the shadows of the castle on the day that Dorothy had that incident with the bucket of water. [He reads from the book]

Q. Did the rather extreme changes by the scriptwriter and composer of the musical affect what I wrote in this book?

A. Yes they did, but I had practice at charting a path for a narrative between two preceding origin points. When I wrote Wicked, I tried very hard to tip my hat respectfully to the MGM musical of 1939, which we all know and love so well, as well as to L. Frank Baum's original novel published 105 years ago. I tried to write scenes that would evoke both book and movie and contradict neither. ….I tried never to make fun of either of the originals but to use them as mental source material for my readings. In the same way, in the construction of this novel, I have relied on for my starting point, the end of my novel Wicked. But I have also tried not to contradict where the end of the play closes up. I've tried to honor the sensibilities of those readers of mine who saw the play first and think that my book is the one that gets it wrong [laughter in audience] and the play ends the way it does….


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