Today, we have a fan interview from Rachel, a London based fan of the show who has seen the show a total of fifteen times between February 2009 and April 2010.
Who is your favorite Elphaba and why?
I find it really hard to pick between who I’ve seen because I’ve been lucky and loved everyone, but up until now Kerry Ellis has just about beat the others, she has a fantastic voice and I loved her dorky Elphaba. However I saw Rachel Tucker recently and I can definitely see her becoming a favourite once she settles in – I loved her interpretation of the role (a lot more mature than the others I’ve seen) and she has a lovely voice. She was really fantastic for her first week in the show. I can’t wait to see what she does with the character after a month or so.
Who is your favorite Glinda and why?
Dianne Pilkington. She was the main reason I went back to see the last cast so many times – every single performance is fresh from her and I loved all the little quirks she added each show. I just think she’s phenomenal in the role, she’s exactly how I envisage Glinda – she’s so regal and caring (almost motherly) as the older Glinda but at the same time hilarious as Galinda without losing the heart of the character. She really treated the character as a genuine person and not a caricature and made the role so easy to sympathise with. And her voice is fantastic, especially in the belting sections, and I honestly haven’t seen her having anything less than outstanding chemistry with everyone else in the cast. She’s amazing, I’ll miss her!
Which Elphie/Glinda pair do you think has the best chemistry?
Probably Kerry Ellis and Dianne Pilkington – their off-stage friendship really seemed to help, and their portrayals of the characters really balanced each other. Ashleigh Gray and Sarah Earnshaw probably come second, though – they were very cute together!
What other standouts have you seen in other principal roles? What about ensemble?
George Ure’s Boq is absolutely fantastic, I’m so thrilled he’s been made lead. He’s so adorable in the role and I really love how Wicked have a tendency to promote their understudies – I saw his first show back when he was second understudy so it’s been nice seeing him move up the ranks. I also loved Natalie Anderson’s Nessa – she takes the character to extremes that I’ve never really seen anyone else do before, and she makes a really brilliant transition from Act 1 to Act 2. Out of the ensemble, Jennifer Tierney always really stands out to me, she’s brilliant.
Who are some standout understudies you have seen?
I really enjoyed Sabrina Carter as Elphaba, I felt her voice wasn’t entirely suited to the score but her acting really shone through, and I thought Ashleigh Gray had a killer voice and I’ve always enjoyed seeing her, too. Sarah Earnshaw’s also very cute as Glinda, and I thought Aileen Donohoe’s Morrible was really good and a nice change from Harriet Thorpe.
Who is the nicest person you have met at the stagedoor?
All of the London cast are lovely but Oli Tompsett wins, hands down. It’s impossible not to smile when he’s around, and he’s always more than happy to stop for a chat, photos etc. Really don’t see how it’s possible not to love him, he’s absolutely lovely!
What was your favorite time seeing the show?
27th March 2010, the most recent cast change – Alexia was absolutely phenomenal for both shows, she really put out all the stops for her last day, and all the other principals were the same, since they were all leaving! It was sad seeing them all go – especially Dianne – but I’m happy I got to see the last of such a great cast. Also loved the matinee on that day (although last year’s was funnier) – the spoons, spray bottles, umbrellas, shoes, and various other random items as weapons in March of the Witch Hunters were genius!
Other than Wicked, what are some of your favorite shows?
Next To Normal, Sister Act, Avenue Q, Legally Blonde, Sweeney Todd, and RENT.
Which “Wicked” alumni/current cast member’s work outside of “Wicked” do you admire most?
Stephanie J. Block. 9 to 5 was a fantastic show, it really sucks that it closed! I also saw her in concert about a month ago, and even though she was ill (she had to cancel the second show) she was absolutely phenomenal. Also Kerry Ellis’ work outside Wicked is great, I can’t wait for her album in September!