Described as a dense epic fantasy, 'Wicked," based on a novel, is an intricate work. It tells the story of Elphaba, the bright but neglected young girl born with green skin who is good and kind. How she turns into the wicked witch is a long, winding road filled with bizarre characters and strange plot twists. The problem with the show's book, by Winnie Holzman, is that it has to cover so much ground in a connect-the-dots fashion that we're deprived of the necessary depth and character development to make us really care about Elphaba or her unlikely friend Galinda, who later becomes Glinda the good witch. Director Joe Mantello handles the intimate scenes well, but he's not quite as successful moving the traffic on Eugene Lee's dark, mechanical set. The ensemble numbers are indistinguishable. The special effects were impressive but a show of this caliber needed more. Stephen Schwartz, the composer behind "Godspell" and "Pippin," has written some lovely music, particularly his ballads for the witches, but the score is uneven and the beautiful melodies that marked his earlier works are disappointingly absent here.