Today we have a fan interview with Joe Weinberg, a San Francisco based fan of the show who has seen the production there 34 times since April 2009. Many thanks to Joe!
When was the last time you saw the show and what production?
Last time I saw it it was on the closing show of the San Francisco production. Saw both the Matinee and the Evening show and they were both amazing!
Who is your favorite Elphaba and why?
Can’t decide one, but my favorite Elphabas are Teal Wicks and Felicia Ricci. They are both really great singers and awesome takes on the role.
Who is your favorite Glinda and why?
My favorite Glinda is Kendra Kassebaum. She has such a great take on the role and a really great voice. Plus, she’s totally hilarious 🙂
Who is your favorite Fiyero and why?
Definitely Nicolas Dromard! He has awesome stage-presence and an amazing voice. And he’s just about the nicest guy you’d ever meet.
Which Elphaba/Glinda pair that you’ve seen do you feel had the best chemistry?
I thought Eden and Kendra had great chemistry, I saw them together about 10 times, and they were always so perfectly matched. Also, once I saw Felicia Ricci and Libby Sevais, the two standbys, together and they were really awesome. they were both really quirky but still very sincere.
What other standouts have you seen in leading roles? (these can be other standouts in the three main leads and/or the other big roles in the show)
Etai Benshlomo as Boq, and Deedee Magno Hall as Nessarose. Etai is an amazing actor and Deedee’s voice is incredible.
Have you seen any understudies in the show? If so, what did you enjoy most about their performances?
Lets see…in terms of understudies and covers, I’ve seen Felicia Ricci, Vicki Noon, and Alyssa Fox as Elphaba. Vicki I don’t really remember, but Alyssa and Felicia were both awesome! I saw Libby, the standby for Glinda, twice and she was amazing both times. I’ve seen Kyle Mcdaniel as Fiyero he was good. I saw Jeremy Kocal as Boq, he was good. I’ve seen Betsy Struxness, Neka Zang, Natalie Daradich and Laura Dysarczyk as Nessarose. All great understudies, but my favorite of them is Neka. I’ve seen Fiama Fricano, as well as Annie Funke as Madame Morrible. They were both fantastic, they are both amazing, especially since Annie is very young and did a great job playing an old woman. I’ve seen Keith A. Bearden as the Wizard, he was pretty young for the wizard but I still really liked him. I saw Tim Talman as Dr. Dillimond, i don’t remember much of his performance but I remember it also being good. I’ve never seen an understudy i didn’t like!
We all know that the orchestra plays a huge part of the “Wicked” experience. Has one production’s orchestra stood out to you? If so, which one, and why?
Well since I’ve only seen one production I have to say the San Francisco Orchestra. but just because they’re my favorite by default, doesn’t mean they aren’t totally awesome! They are all such talented people. I went into the orchestra pit of the Orpheum Theatre once, and the Percussionist, Allen Biggs gave us a demonstration and I just thought it was so amazing.
If you stagedoor, tell us about your favorite stagedoor experience.
That is a really difficult question, since I’ve stagedoored all but one of the shows I’ve been to. But if i had to choose I would say the most memorable stagedooring experience was on June 26th, 2010. This was Eden, Nic and Kendra’s last day, and the stage-door line was extremely long. It was so moving because all these actors, especially Nic, were very talented and awesome people. I got to say goodbye to Eden, Nic and even Kendra. Kendra almost never came out the stagedoor, and even on this day, she only signed a few autographs and didn’t get to me. but later, she was by her car, and I went up to her and talked to her. This was really special for me because it was the first time I had a real, substantial conversation with her, and she was so sweet and awesome to me. It was such an amazing experience; to have a conversation, and to be hugged by Kendra Kassebaum isn’t something you can do every day.
Where is your favorite place to see the production from (ie. Orchestra, Balcony, etc.) and why?
I sat in orchestra almost every time, because that was where the lottery seats were, and I came to prefer it and get used to it. so much so that when i saw it in the Mezzanine I would feel disconnected and almost disoriented. We all considered B2 to be sort of the golden lottery seat, if you will. It was in the first row and as close to the center as any other seat in its section. so that was one of the best places to sit.
Have you seen any fun bloopers or mishaps occur?
I’ve seen a bunch of little things, but one of my favorites happened in Popular with Kendra and Teal. she throws the wand offstage saying “just wear the frock, it’s pretty!” but the wand hit something and bounced back onstage. Kendra didn’t notice it at first, but Teal silently pointed to it, and Kendra looked at it, totally confused. and she — completely in character– picks it up and looks at it, then with a really big and dramatic wind-up, she turns around and throws it between her legs, and into the wings. Then she just had a look on her face like she was saying “we took care of that, didn’t we?” totally hilarious!
What are some other shows that you enjoy?
Some of my favorite shows, besides Wicked, include Rent, Next to Normal, Phantom of the Opera, In the Heights, Spring Awakening, Hair and Avenue Q. But I love all Broadway!