One Shady Thing About Wicked Everyone Just Ignores

Last Saturday I finally got around to seeing a little show called Wicked that’s only been running on Broadway since I was nine years old. Like all red-blooded Americans I enjoyed watching the green lady defy gravity and Not Kristin Chenoweth giggle about being popular. But I left the show unnerved by an alarming bit of Cronenbergian body horror that no one ever mentions: the fate of Fiyero, the male participant in the show’s central love triangle. He’s a slightly dim but handsome prince who falls in love with not-so-wicked witch Elphaba and defends her from the evil wizard’s smear campaign, leading to his capture by a group of baddies, who drag him off to torture him. We see them hoist him atop a fence in a field, and then we see Elphaba frantically declaiming a spell: “Let his flesh not be torn, let his blood leave no stain/Though they beat him, let him feel no pain/Let his bones never break, and however they try to destroy him, let him never die.” The next time we see Fiyero, he’s been transformed into…the Scarecrow.

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Go away, I can’t look at you.

What?? Why is he so willing to skip merrily down the Yellow Brick Road with a random little girl and two idiots when less than 24 hours ago he was a human man undergoing brutal torture? Why is he singing about wanting a brain when he should be screaming “OH MY GOD, I’VE BEEN FORCIBLY TRANSFORMED INTO A HIDEOUS SACK MONSTER!!!” And why does no one ever talk about this???

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