Today, we have a fan interview from C.C., who is from Philadelphia but currently is attending school in New York City. He has seen the show thirty-nine times between five different productions over five years. Check out the interview below!
Who is your favorite Elphaba and why?
Oh dear… this is such a hard question! I’d have to say Nicole Parker simply because of her all-around graciousness and performance. Seeing her first performance and last performance, and many performances in between was an amazing experience… she showed so much growth in that role. I’ve never seen an Elphaba put the acting first, and I honestly believe that made her my favorite. So many Elphabas are purely interested in singing the songs like a pop concert, but Nicole made sure to deliver amazing vocals and a totally different and amazing characterization at the same time.
Who is your favorite Glinda and why?
In that same vein, Alli Mauzey. So many Glindas have a hard time balancing the ditzy, immature Galinda and the more mature, self-concious Glinda. Many times there’s no visible transformation in Act I (where I believe there should be one… not just during Intermissions). Alli is the only Glinda that made me feel like she had a complete character arc. Plus, her vocals were constantly amazing and she RARELY missed a show. Her chemistry with Nicole was among the best I’ve seen, and she could easily hit that optional high note at the end of “No One Mourns the Wicked.”
Which Elphie/Glinda pair do you think has the best chemistry?
I’m going to have to go with a tie here. While I obviously think Nicole and Alli had terrific chemistry, I also have to say Shoshana Bean & Megan Hilty. You can tell both of those duos were really close friends in real life. They knew how to make each other laugh (well, in Alli’s case… how to TRY to make Nicole laugh) and the show was always fresh. Honorable mention goes to Dee Roscioli & Erin Mackey, whose chemistry is also great.
Who are some standout understudies you have seen?
Carrie Manolakos was a fantastic Elphaba. It was such an amazing surprise to see her go on. I’d wanted to see her ever since I’d heard she was going to be the 2NT Standby. All of the stars just happened to align perfectly, and I got to see her go on not once, but twice (well, 1 3/4).
Tiffany Haas was excellent as Nessarose. This was another time where I was lucky to catch an understudy. I had literally said to my friend, “Wouldn’t it be funny if Tiffany went on as Nessa?” And she did! She looks a lot like Eden Espinosa, and the day I saw her go on Eden was on vacation (Brandi Massey was Elphaba). Needless to say, many people thought Eden was playing hookey from work when they saw Tiffany come out of the stage door.
I also really enjoyed Noah Rivera as Boq. It’s such a small role, and in my book it was perfected by Robb Sapp. Noah knew how to capture the sincerity of the role that many actors have a hard time finding.
Who is the nicest person you have met at the stagedoor?
I’ve met so many nice people! As I’ve gotten older, I tend not to stage door simply because I feel like going home right after the show. But on the off chance I’ve done it, I’ve had great experiences. Besides the obvious answer (Nicole Parker, who is in a category by herself), Megan Hilty was always a doll. She would carry on entire conversations with you! Jennifer Laura Thompson was hilarious as well. Stephanie J. Block was another one who seemed to be interested in each person she spoke to. Carrie Manolakos was also so nice. She was very humble and you can tell she really enjoys getting to play the part.
What was your favorite time seeing the show?
I’ve had so many wonderful times! Obviously first and last shows are terrific, but I really love the shows where major faux pas happen. For instance, on the 2/11/09 matinee, during the end of “No One Mourns the Wicked,” Alli walked to her spot where she gets back into her bubble. I watched from the front row as the bubble came down and STOPPED right above her head. The ensemble knew what was going on, but since Alli was looking out into the house, she had no clue… until she turned around to get in. There was a look of absolute horror on her face as she turned around to see NOTHING there. Then she looked up, saw the bubble and did a 360, finishing the song on the deck. It was interesting to see the ensemble completely surrounding her as they finished the number. It actually looked cooler. Many of the Ensemble members had lost it by the end of the song.
That same performance, the bridge in “I’m Not That Girl” didn’t come down, so Alli and Aaron crossed all the way upstage and Nicole hid behind one of the cogs jutting from the proscenium. It was interesting to see that this is how they do it on the 2nd National Tour.
My absolute favorite Wicked memory actually just happened a few weeks ago. During the 1/10/10 Evening performance in Philly, Marcie started the show and left after “Popular.” In the next scene, Carrie came on. Since I was sitting so far from the stage, I didn’t realize it until Carrie started talking. It was at that moment that I realized I’d witnessed my first mid-show Elphie switch!
Other than Wicked, what are some of your favorite shows?
So many! The Marvelous Wonderettes, Evita, Hair, Dreamgirls, Legally Blonde, Rent, 9 to 5, The Wedding Singer, The Sound of Music, Urinetown, Hairspray… just to name a few.
Which “Wicked” alumni/current cast member’s work outside of “Wicked” do you admire most?
I really admire those who have gone on to do other things… originating roles, winning awards, and not really returning to Wicked 600 times. So I’d say Christina DeCicco takes the cake for being generally fantastic. She won a Barrymore Award for Les Misérables and was the absolute best person I’ve seen in The Marvelous Wonderettes. I also love Donna Vivino’s story. Being on Broadway at a young age, then going to college, getting a liberal arts degree and returning to theater as an adult. It’s also amazing to see how far Kristin Chenoweth has gone! I was so happy when she won her Emmy. Well deserved.