Today’s Fan Interview is with Charles F, from New Jersey, who has seen “Wicked” three times. Charles F first saw “Wicked” in August 2007 with Julia Murney and Kendra Kassebaum, and last saw it on July 7, 2009 with Nicole Parker and Alli Mauzey. We would like to thank Charles F for the interview, which you can check out below!
Who is your favorite Elphaba and why?
My favorite Elphaba is Julia Murney, because I think she has such a fantastic voice and her acting is incredible. She truly makes the role of Elphaba different, and the way how she transitions from geeky Elphaba, to the Wicked Witch of the West is incredible. Her “Defying Gravity” is one of my favorites to be sung by an Elphaba, and to me, she has the whole package of Elphaba. She was also my first Elphaba so she really made the experience memorable.
Who is your favorite Glinda and why?
Katie Rose Clarke is my favorite Glinda, because she is such a great actor, and really brings the character of Glinda to life. Her portrayal as Glinda is not a stuck up blonde, or a ditzy one, but is funny, and caring without overacting. Katie also has an amazing voice, and she looks the part of Glinda, which definitely adds to her factor. Another reason why she is my favorite Glinda, is because of her transitions from Galinda to Glinda. In act 2 she changes the role of Glinda to a mature, and grown up woman, and unlike some Glindas, you can tell the change of her character from act 1 to act 2 from the start.
Which Elphaba/Glinda pair do you think has the best chemistry?
I think Carmen Cusack and Katie Rose Clarke have the best chemistry, because you can tell they are really good friends in real life which helps onstage. They are working off each other, and their “For Good” hits everyone’s heart, and they make it much more believable. During “Popular”, you could tell that both Cusack and Clarke were having a great time on stage, and this continues to the end of the show, where during “For Good” they are at the peak of their chemistry, and make Elphaba and Glinda truly best friends.
What other standouts have you seen in other principal roles? What about ensemble?
Another standout in the show that I have seen would have to be Jayne Houdyshell as Madame Morrible. I had seen her during her first run in the Broadway Production, and she was fantastic. She brought new aspects to Madame Morrible, and she acted like a professor in the beginning, and was menacing towards the end of the show. Her standout scene would have to be her small speech at the top of “Defying Gravity”, where she changes character, and it blew me away, because of the intensity, and her expressions. She is definitely on my list of favorite actresses in “Wicked”.
Who are some standout understudies you have seen?
I have not really seen any understudies, but I have heard that Julie Reiber was fantastic as Elphaba standby, and Marissa Lupp is a gem as the Glinda understudy.
Who is the nicest person you have met at the stage door?
The nicest person I have met at the stage door is Kendra Kassebaum. As soon as she came out she was smiling and laughing, and we had a long conversation, and she was so much fun to talk to. She’s so beautiful in person, and she is such a humble person, and it’s like she brought some of Galinda out with her, because of her bubbly personality.
What was your favorite time seeing the show?
My first time seeing Wicked was my favorite time seeing the show, because just being there for the first time was so much fun, and the energy in the theatre was full, and it was a memorable experience. I also got to stage door for the first time, so I had so much fun that night.
Other than “Wicked”, what are some of your favorite shows?
“Memphis” was such a good musical, and I encourage you to go see it in New York. Some other favorites are “Mary Poppins” (which got my hooked to musical theatre), “9 to 5”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Next to Normal”, and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”.
Which “Wicked” alumni/current cast member’s work outside of “Wicked” do you admire most?
I admire Megan Hilty the most, because she is so talented, humble, and funny, and I enjoy to listen to her on the “9 to 5” recording. I hope she comes back to Broadway soon, and hopefully in the near future she will release an album, because I think she would have one heck of an album.