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Becoming Green In Oz Is More Than Skin Deep

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Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Audiences are spellbound by the musical “Wicked” now playing at the Hippodrome in Baltimore.

Mary Bubala has a look at how the lead performer becomes “green-ified.”

“Wicked” is set in the land of Oz before Dorothy came into the picture.

The musical tells the story of the two witches: blonde and popular Glinda and the emerald-skinned Elphaba. Christine Dwyer brings the role of Elphaba to life in Baltimore.

The process of becoming the only green girl in Oz starts with the hands.

“Just if you take a look at my face now I will look completely different in a matter of minutes and it’s kind of incredible,” said Dwyer. “It’s just a water-based makeup. MAC makes it.  It’s called landscape green.  You can buy it this Halloween if you want.”

Dwyer has gone green hundreds of times with eight shows a week.

The goal is to make everything very translucent and natural.

The transformation is more than skin deep because Elphaba’s green-ness is made fun of and ridiculed.

“She’s never really been accepted because of the color of her skin, because she has these powers that people don’t understand,” said Dwyer. “It’s a story about acceptance, it’s a story about not judging a book by its cover, it’s about friendship.”

And it finally provides insight on one of the theater’s well-known villains.

Dwyer was the understudy and standby for two years, and has been touring as Elphaba for five months.

Tickets are still available.  “Wicked” is at the Hippodrome through Sunday, Nov. 4.

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