The Wicked Witch of the East (song)

The Wicked Witch of the East (song)

"The Wicked Witch of the East" is a song from the hit Broadway musical "Wicked", composed by Stephen Schwartz. It is sung by Nessarose, Elphaba, and Boq.

Context within the musical

The song is the second song of Act Two of "Wicked." It is sung by Nessarose as her sister, Elphaba, known as the Wicked Witch of the West, transforms her longtime love-interest, Boq into the Tin Woodman, brought on by the incorrect spell that Nessarose cast on Boq in an attempt to have him 'lose his heart to her.' She shrinks his heart instead. The song reflects on her evil deeds, in a way to tell of Nessarose's transformation from a "tragically beautiful", innocent girl into, as she describes herself, "the Wicked Witch of the East". During this song, Nessarose also accuses Elphaba of never returning to use magic to cure her disability. She claims that she has always depended on Elphaba, and Elphaba has never done anything for her (which is a lie, Elphaba did repay Galinda for getting Boq to fall in love with Nessarose, despite her hatred of Galinda at the time, at Nessarose's request). It was also hinted that Elphaba did not want to return to save Nessarose, considering that she has always been second to her (stating "there isn't a spell for everything). It is revealed by Boq at this time that Nessarose was just as wicked as Elphaba, and that she had been taking away all of the Munchkins rights. She only does this to keep Boq with her, but makes all the munchkins suffer anyway, leading all the munchkins to hate both her and Boq. At the end, Elphaba states that the winged monkeys were her fault, and that she was returning to the emerald city to rescue them. Nessarose, however, knows better and knows that Elphaba is really going to find Fiyero, after she sees Elphaba jump up when Boq mentions that Glinda is engaged to Fiyero. Before laving Elphaba claims, "Nessa, I've done everything I've ever could for you, and it hasn't been enough, and nothing ever will be." After Elphaba leaves, Boq awakens as the Tin Woodsman, not remembering anything about what happened. Nessarose tells him that he fell asleep and Elphaba came and attacked him, turning him to tin. He instantly believes this because of Madame Morrible and The Wizard's propaganda.

This is the final time in the show that we see Nessarose. After this scene Dorothy's house, (carried by Madame Morrible's magic cyclone) falls on top of her and (as we believe) kills her. This was a trap that Morrible created to draw Elphaba out of hiding.


The "Wicked" original Broadway cast recording does not include "The Wicked Witch of the East". In an earlier workshop version of the song the song included many short sections of song such as Boq pleading with Nessarose, for instance, while she casts the spell.

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