Today’s fan interview is provided by Ohio native Sarah Welch, who has seen the show five times between both tours and the San Francisco production. Enjoy the interview!
Who is your favorite Elphaba and why?
I’ve seen Wicked 5 times (twice in Toledo, Ohio; twice in San Fransisco; once in Columbus, Ohio), and have had a different Elphaba every single time (even when the shows were merely days apart!) Before seeing Wicked in Columbus, I would have said Eden Espinosa (San Fransisico) without hesitation. But after seeing Jackie Burns’ portrayal of Elphie (Columbus)… wow, this is now a really hard question! I would have to say that Eden is still my absolute favorite, as it was clips of her on Youtube in the LA production that made me fall in love with the show to begin with. The night I saw Eden, you could tell she wasn’t feeling the best, but she still gave an AMAZING performance. Her voice was a little weak that night, but her acting was top notch and definitely made up for it! So getting to actually see her on stage, and then meeting her at the stagedoor afterwards…. total fangirl moment, for sure!! However, Jackie is a VERY close second, because holy crap! She brought down the house!! Her voice was so strong and it just soared on the high notes. I can honestly say she sent chills down my spine with her rendition of No Good Deed. Her voice and acting on this powerful number made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end! And at the stagedoor, she was SO incredibly nice and so happy to hear from a fan!
Who is your favorite Glinda and why?
Lauren Ashley Zakrin, understudy for the First National Tour. When I saw it in Columbus, I didn’t even realize it was the understudy performing that night until intermission and one of my friends remarked that the understudy was on that night. She was SO amazing!! She was so natural in the role that I would have thought she had been the principal for some time! She absolutely nailed Popular, and I was practically in tears, I was laughing so hard! Her voice, her facial expressions, the way she carried herself…. she became my definition of Glinda that night!
Which Elphie/Glinda pair do you think has the best chemistry?
My favorite is definitely Jackie Burns and Lauren Ashley Zakrin. Every time they were on stage together, sparks just flew! And when their voices blended together…. perfect harmony!
What other standouts have you seen in other principal roles? What about ensemble?
Oh, I absolutely have to mention Nicolad Dromard here! I saw him as Fiyero in San Francisco, and Oh. My. Goodness. He can SING!! He was absolutely PERFECT as Fiyero, and I was amazed by how nice he was at the stagedoor! He even remembered me when I saw him the second time in SF! It was a real treat seeing Tom McGowan as The Wizard in San Francisco. Also, DeeDee Magno Hall (San Francisco) and Michelle London (Columbus) were so wonderful as Nessarose.
Who are some standout understudies you have seen?
I saw it twice in San Francisco, May 20 and May 22. For the second performance, Alyssa Fox was on as Elphaba, filling in for Felicia Ricci, who was filling in for Eden Espinosa. She had put on the green makeup for the VERY first time only a few days prior, and this was her first time ever performing it for an audience…. She blew the roof off of the theater!! You could tell she was new to the part, as her staging and timing were a little jerky, but her VOICE…. my goodness, I can’t stop raving about it, even to this day! I am still so excited I got to see her Elphie debut, and I can’t wait to see what she does next!
Who is the nicest person you have met at the stagedoor?
This would be a tie between Nicolas Dromard and Jackie Burns… they not only took the time to sign autographs and take pictures with me, they actually stood and chatted for a few moments and really made me feel like they appreciated all of the fans waiting for them.
What was your favorite time seeing the show?
I would have to say my favorite is when I saw it in Columbus. Everyone was having a great night vocally and you could tell the energy was high and everyone was there to give an absolutely spectacular performance. And boy, did they deliver! I will say the first time in San Francisco is a close second, however, because I got to meet Eden Espinosa, and honestly, there was very little that could ruin that night for me, because she is amazing!!
Other than Wicked, what are some of your favorite shows?
RENT, Les Miserables, Legally Blonde, Mary Poppins… I’ll be seeing Nicolas Dromard as Bert in Mary Poppins in Detroit this December… I can’t wait!!
Which “Wicked” alumni/current cast member’s work outside of “Wicked” do you admire most?
I love the show Glee, and I was SO incredibly excited to see both Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel on the show! Now, if we could just get their characters to meet in the show… man, their combined awesomeness would probably explode my television screen!