It’s humorous how time can change a present.

I’m speaking about “Depraved,” the beloved musical that reveals the various mysteries left unexplained by “The Wizard of Oz.”

Don’t panic. The present hasn’t modified. The producers wouldn’t dare. “Depraved” followers are far too passionate to permit that.

So all these little Ouncesian nuggets are nonetheless there. We study why the Depraved Witch of the West is inexperienced, why the lion is cowardly and the way these monkeys received their wings.

What’s totally different about “Depraved” is the world round it. Round us.

First, in case you haven’t seen “Depraved,” a fast as soon as-over of the plot. We start with the start of Elphaba, the little woman who will in the future turn into that Depraved Witch. Due to her mom’s dalliances with a shady touring salesman promoting a brilliant inexperienced elixir, her child is born inexperienced. (See? One thriller resolved already.)

Due to her colour, Elphaba’s father scorns her. And when she goes off to ending faculty, she is ridiculed and harassed by classmates. However when her magical powers are acknowledged by the headmistress, Elphaba and her roommate Galinda – later, Glinda the Good – are summoned to satisfy the Wizard.

Even after so many viewings, I’m nonetheless struck by how sensible and refined Winnie Holzman’s script is. In fact, she had Gregory Maguire’s sensible 1995 ebook to construct on. And Stephen Schwartz’s music and lyrics are as recent as ever, particularly in iconic numbers like “Defying Gravity” and “No Good Deed.”

What feels new, although, is the present’s social and political content material. Once more, not a phrase has been modified. However the substance of it resonates a lot extra profoundly than it did even three years in the past when the present final got here to Cincinnati.

“Depraved” is full of subplots and dialogue that really feel like they have been lifted immediately from as we speak’s headlines; xenophobia, disinformation – “pretend information,” in right now’s…