Today, we are pleased to share a fan interview from Wayne, who lives in New South Wales and has seen the show twelve times between the Sydney and Melbourne productions. Check out his insights into the Australian “Wicked” below!
Who is your favorite Elphaba and why?
I have gone back and forth between Jemma Rix and Patrice Tipoki and it’s still a tight race. For my first two shows I had Jemma and, while I was not that impressed at first, she managed to win me around a couple of months back and I finally understand the hype around her. She has a great voice and is the stronger actor, she has a great presence on stage and you find yourself really believing she is Elphaba. With Patrice, she really throws herself into the role to the point where she can be scary and backs it up with an amazing voice. Her Defying Gravity and No Good Deed are out of this world amazing and takes her performance to a whole other level. Watching Patrice you feel like she is putting everything she has into the performance and you cannot help rooting for her.
Who is your favorite Glinda and why?
I’ve seen Lucy Durack in the role many times and while she is a great Glinda who brings a lot of comedy to the role, it has to be Erin Hasan, our Standby Glinda. Erin has such an amazing voice, very operatic, and kills No One Mourns The Wicked.I would pay just for her Cheno note! Her acting goes from strength to strength and her Glinda is grounded more in reality, she plays it almost as sad, tragic, figure, and really brings out of the poignancy of the character. You really feel for her and I have found myself choking up when she has to say good bye to Elphaba. She has only be on stage for around 150 performances during the 2 years and it’s a shame to have such a talent wasted waiting in the wings.
Jemma and Lucy have been together so long and feed off of each so well but hands down Jemma and Erin. They are such great friends and they have such an unspoken bond on stage you really feel the love between them and they are free to play around and be cheeky.
What other standouts have you seen in other principal roles? What about ensemble?
James Smith as Boq is a real stand out, an amazing singer and such a strong actor. He brings so much emoition especially in Act 2 when he loses his heart. Elisa Colla as Nesarose is amazing as well, she has such a strong presence and her Wicked Witch of the East is gut wrenching. In the ensemble, I really like Nathan Carter as the Witches Father/Ozian official.
Who are some standout understudies you have seen?
As Patrice and Jemma alternate as Elphaba and generally do 4 shows a week each it’s rare to see Zoe Gertz so I was extremely happy to win lottery the night she was finally on. I was a little scared for her but she owned Elphaba that night, she had so many unique little touches, such a beautiful voice, and a great comic touch especially in Popular. Johanna Allen as Morrible was on for the same show and was brilliant, she is much younger than Maggie who is normally in the role and she bought so much enthusiasm and evilness to the role it was scary good.
Who is the nicest person you have met at the stagedoor?
All of the cast extremely nice and very giving but hands down its Jemma Rix. She is so down to earth and spends so much time with her fans no matter how late it is. The first time I met Jemma, I was telling her how she had managed to make me a fan and she her face lit up and she wanted to know what is was that had won me around. She is great to talk to and for my birthday she spent 10 minutes with me laughing and sharing stories. Patrice is great as well, the first time I went back there she recognised myself and my cousin from the front row, it really made our night. Special props also go to Elisa Colla, a very sweet girl who is forever smiling.
What was your favorite time seeing the show?
July 18th 2009 my first time seeing the show in Melbourne . I had heard about the show for 4 years and had a chance to see it on Broadway so sitting in the Regent Theatre was everything I could have ever asked for. I was hooked as soon as I saw Glinda descend in her bubble! The performance on March 26th this year also really stands out. I was with my cousin, another Wicked die hard, and we were expecting Jemma when Patrice ran out and proceeded to rock our worlds. She had so much raw emotion and energy, she threw herself complete into the role we kept turning to each other mouthing öh my go did she really just do that? Her Defying Gravity was breath taking she was hitting so many notes that we had never heard before we literally had goosebumps. After the show, we were able to go on a back stage door and just seeing all of the costumes and walking onto the stage where Patrice has just been made the night perfect.
Other than Wicked, what are some of your favorite shows?
Wicked has been my introduction into musical theatre so everything is so new for me. I’m looking forward to getting to Melbourne later in the year for Hairspray and Mary Poppins.
Which “Wicked” alumni/current cast member’s work outside of “Wicked” do you admire most?
It goes without saying Kristin and Idina, they are and will always be Glinda and Elphaba to me. I’ve also fallen in love with Eden Espinosa.