Today, we have a fan interview from Robert M., a Michigan-based fan of the show who has seen It seven times between the tours and Broadway. Check it out below!
Who is your favorite Elphaba and why?
My favorite Elphaba is Jennifer DiNoia, the Standy-by in New York. She was my 4th Elphaba, but she definitely surprised me the most. I had never had anyone but the lead for this role, so I came in expecting the worst, but overall, her voice and ability to riff was far beyond anyone else I had seen! She also seemed to play the role a bit less bitter in the opening scenes than did many of the others, which was a refreshing change of pace!
Who is your favorite Glinda and why?
By far, Katie Rose Clarke. She was supposed to be my first Glinda, but I ended up having an understudy, so I had to wait half a year to finally get to see her… and she was worth the wait. She has the purest singing voice I have ever heard, and is fairly light on the vibrato, so to me, she sounded a lot of what I would imagine an angel would sound like! Also, her speaking voice isn’t as nasally or as high pitched as most other actresses who play the role, so her ability to hit the high notes was all the more impressive!
Which Elphie/Glinda pair do you think has the best chemistry?
The best chemistry had to be Natalie Daradich and Vicki Noon on the 2nd National Tour. When I saw it, it was Vicki’s first night on as lead Elphie on the tour, but I had known in advance that they had become close friends when they were in the San Francisco Production, and it showed. They just seemed to have a stronger bond on stage, which made the more emotional parts (such as For Good) much more believable.
What other standouts have you seen in other principal roles? What about ensemble?
Deedee Magno Hall was my first Nessarose, and she was phenomenal! Her ability to seem devastated is unparalleled! Jayne Houdyshell as Madame Morrible was so amazing, that I am almost also a bit sad when I see anyone else in the role! She definitely played the role more evil than others I have seen, and specifically, during Sentimental Man, when the Wizard takes Glinda’s hand, Jayne actually chuckled briefly in the background and looked at Glinda in disgust, as if she were thinking how gullible she is. Even in the background, Jayne stole the scene from the leads!
Who are some standout understudies you have seen?
Michelle London, who I am excited to say, will be seeing her again in a few days as Nessa! Her take on Nessa was so much different than others. She didn’t even try to gain sympathy from the audience, she instead chose to be the villain- I love her for that! She played the role as nasty as could be in the second act, which made for an even nicer contrast to Elphaba’s character! Also, I would be remiss if I excluded Melissa Bohon as Glinda, seeing as she was my first Glinda, and her comedic timing was beautiful!
Who is the nicest person you have met at the stagedoor?
Without a doubt, Alex Brightman (Boq in New York). He gave my father and I so much time, he literally stood there chatting with us for ten minutes! He has got to be the nicest guy I have ever met. Of course, everyone at the stage door at Wicked has been very nice, but he definitely stood out!
What was your favorite time seeing the show?
My favorite time would have to be the third time I saw the show. This was my first time in New York, and just the experience in general of finally getting to see the Broadway production, in the massive Gershwin Theatre was absolutely thrilling. This was also not long after Nicole Parker joined the production, and after hearing her first few shows were rocky, I was quite nervous about what was to come! She did a fantastic job, as did the rest of the cast that day (Alli Mauzey, Jayne Houdyshell, P.J. Benjamin, etc) and it really made the trip completely worth it!
Other than Wicked, what are some of your favorite shows?
Into the Woods is a fantastic show, ironically also a retelling of a classic fairy-tale, so it does have that similarity to Wicked in that regard! I also, and I am nore sure why, love Evil Dead: The Musical! Something about how they managed to actually make a low quality zombie movie into a musical is just rather impressive!
Which “Wicked” alumni/current cast member’s work outside of “Wicked” do you admire most?
Although this will probably sound cliche, but Kristen Chenoweth. I am glad she has had a movie career and been back to Broadway recently for Promises, Promises, and I am just really impressed with her versatility and comedic skills. She is hilarious in everything she is in, and let’s face it- her voice is adorable!