The following is a brief recapitulation of the events happening in Wicked, the stage musical.
The musical starts off by the citizens of Oz celebrating Elphaba's (the "wicked" witch) supposed demise. Glinda, the good witch, recalls that she was conceived during an affair between the Munchkin Governor's wife and a mysterious stranger from Kansas, who posessed a bottle of green elixir. After being asked about her relationship with the witch, Glinda explains she met her at Shiz University. The rest of the plot is told through flashbacks.
Elphaba joins Shiz University to take care of her wheelchair-using sister, Nessarose. Instantly, a vast majority of the students excluded her due to her green skin. Despite Glinda and Elphaba's instant loathing, the headmistress makes them roommates. After noticing her displaying of a magical talent, the headmistress tells Elphaba she could end up being a very useful counselor or assistant to the Wizard of Oz.
Shiz's only animal professor, Dr. Dillamond, warns Elphaba about a sinister conspiration flying around in Oz. A new student, Fiyero of Winkie, arrives and surprises everyone with his relaxed and carefree attitude. A Munchkin named Boq shows that he has a severe attraction for Glinda, so he invites her to a dance. Glinda has already been invited by Fiyero, so she suggests that he should invite Nessarose instead.
Before attending to the party, Glinda finds a pointy black hat and gives it to Elphaba as a sick joke. She accepts it, and tries to play nice after remembering how happy Nessarose was because of Glinda. Innocently, Elphaba arrives to the party wearing the hat. She is ridiculed by everyone. Glinda feels guilty, and dances with Elphaba. This starts their friendship.
Elphaba's father hates her, Elphaba reveals, because he made her pregnant mother eat milk-flowers to prevent her second child from being born green-skinned. The milk-flowers instead caused Nessarose to be born prematurely, leaving her with a disability while her mother died in childbirth. A sympathetic Glinda gives Elphaba a personality makeover.
The next day, Doctor Dillamond is arrested. His replacement arrives with a lion cub as the subject of an experiment, kept in a cage that causes Animals in it to lose their power of speech. Outraged, Elphaba and Fiyero set the cub free. Elphaba begins to discover romantic feelings towards Fiyero, but says that she "wasn't born" to be loved.
Madam Morrible finds her, announcing that Elphaba has been granted an audience with the Wizard in the Emerald City.
Galinda, Fiyero, Nessarose and Boq see Elphaba off, all happy for her accomplishment. In an attempt to impress Fiyero, Galinda announces she will change her name to "Glinda" in honor of Doctor Dillamond, who had mispronounced her name that way. Fiyero fails to notice and leaves. Feeling bad for Glinda, Elphaba invites her along to see the Wizard.
After a day of bonding and sightseeing in the Emerald City, Elphaba and Glinda meet the Wizard. Eschewing the special effects he employs for the benefit of most visitors, he invites Elphaba to join him. The Wizard asks Elphaba to perform a levitation spell on his monkey servant, Chistery, using the Grimmerie, an ancient book of spells. Elphaba demonstrates an intrinsic understanding of the lost language in the book, and gives Chistery wings. When Elphaba sees he seems to be in pain and demands they show her how to reverse the spell, Morrible tells her that spells are irreversible. The Wizard then reveals a cage full of winged monkeys, proving the extent of Elphaba's powers. He says they will make perfect spies. Elphaba now realizes he was the one who robbed the animals of their speech and created the cages. The Wizard wants Elphaba to join him in "creating a really good enemy" for the Ozians, using her powers.
Elphaba takes the Grimmerie and runs away with Glinda. Realizing that she knows too much about his plans, the Wizard sends Morrible and his guards after Elphaba and Glinda. They hear Madam Morrible warning all of Oz of this "Wicked Witch" and her horrible deed to the innocent monkeys. Elphaba and Glinda now must choose which path their lives will take. Ultimately, Glinda chooses to take a life living with the Wizard and becoming a public figure within Oz. Elphaba, however, decides to use her newly learned powers to stand against the Wizard and do what she believes is right. Elphaba accepts her friend's choice and they wish each other the best. Elphaba uses the Grimmerie to place a levitation spell on a broom and flies away from the palace guards when they break into the attic she and Glinda had barricaded themselves in. This public act of defiance convinces the Ozians that she is truly wicked.
A few months later, Elphaba's opposition of the Wizard's regime has earned her the title "The Wicked Witch of the West". Informing him that Elphaba does not want to be found, Glinda puts on a happy front despite Fiyero's waning affections.
Meanwhile, Elphaba arrives at her old home, the Governor's residence in Munchkinland, seeking refuge. Nessarose, now the Governor, criticizes Elphaba for not using her powers to help her. Guilty, Elphaba enchants Nessarose's shoes, turning them into the ruby slippers and enabling her to walk. Boq bemoans that Nessarose is as "wicked" as Elphaba for stripping the Munchkins of their rights and prohibiting them from leaving Munchkinland. Nessarose explains that she did this to keep Boq with her, but is sure that he will stay with her of his own accord now that she no longer has a disability. However, Boq insists that he should now be free to pursue Glinda instead. Hurt and angry, Nessarose attempts to cast a spell from the Grimmerie to make Boq fall in love with her. However, the spell backfires, causing Boq to literally lose his heart. While Elphaba attempts to save him, Nessarose reflects on how being "alone and loveless" has led to her wicked actions, and fears that she deserves her new title: "The Wicked Witch of the East". Elphaba says that nothing will ever be enough for her sister and leaves her for good, despite Nessarose's frantic pleas for her to stay. When Boq wakes up, he is horrified to discover that Elphaba has transformed him into a Tin Man, so he could live without a heart, and Nessarose lays the entire blame on her sister while Boq runs away in horror.
Returning to the Wizard's palace, Elphaba tries to free the remaining winged monkeys. The Wizard attempts to regain her favor by agreeing to set them free, recounting how the Ozians hailed him as the Wonderful Wizard when he first came to Oz. He says that she could be hailed by everyone if she joins him. . Elphaba rejects his offer upon discovering the now-speechless Doctor Dillamond amongst the monkeys. While attempting to escape, she bumps into Fiyero, who runs away with her, confirming that he loves her in return. Glinda sees this and is crestfallen that she has been betrayed by those closest to her. When Glinda states that Elphaba can be lured by spreading a rumor that Nessarose is in danger, Madame Morrible creates a cyclone that brings Dorothy's house to Oz and crushes Nessarose to death. During this, Fiyero and Elphaba express their love, but Elphaba senses that her sister is in danger. Before she rushes to help, Fiyero explains to Elphaba that his family has an empty castle far away. He promises her she can hide there and that he will go to join her. She flies to Nessarose, but is too late. Dorothy has since taken the slippers and is walking to Oz with her dog Toto. The palace guards capture Elphaba, but Fiyero intervenes, allowing Elphaba to escape before surrendering himself and taken away to a cornfield to be tortured unless he tells them where Elphaba is. At the castle, Elphaba tries to cast any spell she can to prevent Fiyero the pains of torture, transforming him into the Scarecrow from afar, but suspecting that she has failed, begins to accept her reputation as "wicked".
Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, Boq – now the Tin Man – and the Cowardly Lion, who is revealed to be the lion cub Elphaba set free, are sent to kill Elphaba and bring her broomstick to the Wizard. Elphaba captures Dorothy, refusing to release her until she relinquishes Nessarose's slippers – the only things left of her dead sister. Glinda travels to Elphaba's castle to warn her of the trouble and persuade her to let Dorothy go. Although Elphaba refuses, the two women forgive each other for all grievances, acknowledging they have both made mistakes. To help her in her future, Elphaba gives the Grimmerie to Glinda. The two friends embrace for the last time before saying goodbye forever, and acknowledge that they are who they are because they knew each other. Immediately afterward, Dorothy throws a bucket of water on Elphaba, who appears to melt away. Grief-stricken, Glinda sees that all that remains of her friend is her black hat and a vial of green elixir. Back at the Emerald City, Glinda reminds the Wizard that he has an identical bottle, and it is revealed that the Wizard is Elphaba's biological father, being the stranger with whom her mother had an affair. Madame Morrible surmises that Elphaba had special powers because she was a child of both Oz and the outside world. Glinda orders the Wizard to leave Oz and sends Madame Morrible to prison for murdering Nessarose.
Meanwhile, back at the castle, Fiyero (the Scarecrow) comes to the spot where Elphaba was melted. Making sure that no one is observing, he knocks on the floor and out from a trap door steps Elphaba, very much alive: the entire thing was a ruse to convince her enemies of her death and to ensure her future with Fiyero. Before leaving, Elphaba sadly states that she'll never see Glinda again. Simultaneously, Glinda sadly reports to the people of Oz that the Wicked Witch of the West has been killed.
As the people of Oz celebrate, assured of Elphaba's demise, Elphaba and Fiyero leave Oz to pursue an uncertain but much brighter future.
A recent version of the full show starring Willemijn Verkaik as Elphaba and Katie Rose Clarke as Galinda can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FjgIxmD4mY