Wicked is structured like a queer 1950s Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. It follows many narratological and musical conventions of the “golden age musical” but places two women as the central couple. Like the heterosexual couples of mid-twentieth-century musicals, Glinda and Elphaba begin as enemies and competitors, as opposites in voice and temperament. Constructed as a butch- femme couple, they eventually merge vocally through the show’s numerous duets. By the end, they express their love for one another and promise eternal commitment in “For Good,” as they sing, “Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” In this duet, they cross voice parts: Glinda sings alto, Elphaba sings soprano, and they finish the song together on middle C. Wicked’s very project is double divadom.
“I honestly didn’t think too far ahead. Every single time I finished a job, that was it: I was screwed; I was never gonna act again,” she says with a laugh. Even at this point, “longevity” is the no-nonsense goal she’s setting for herself. But Maslany overlooks the simple fact of her own star quality.