Today’s Fan Interview comes from Kyle Filbeck. Kyle has seen the show ten times between the Broadway production, 1st National Touring production, and Chicago production between 2005 and this year. Check it out below!
When was the last time you saw the show and what production?
I saw the May 7th Matinee in Buffalo NY, the 1st National Tour with Mariand Torres and Amanda Jane Cooper. Carla Stickler was Nessarose, and Adam Sanford was Boq, but other than those three we had everyone.
Who is your favorite Elphaba and why?
Carmen Cusack. I think she brings such a unique energy to the role. Her voice fills the theatre, and your eyes are drawn to her when she is onstage. She has fantastic comedic timing, and I just don’t think it is possible to not like her interpretation of the role. Also such a kind person all three times I met her.
Who is your favorite Glinda and why?
Amanda Jane Cooper because she really knows how to make Glinda FUNNY yet sincere. I loved watching her faces, and I loved her especially during Popular and the catfight scene. She is incredible. Lots of depth and such an incredibly nice person. I run her fanpage on facebook, and if you have seen her, join! 😀
Who is your favorite Fiyero and why?
This is hard. A three way tie between Cliffton Hall/Aaron Tveit/Colin Hanlon. Cliffton and Colin play the role a bit rougher than all the other people I have seen in the role. Their “Dancing Through Life” were both very raw, but enjoyable to watch, and they both had great Chemistry with their Elphabas. I saw Cliffton three times and Colin once so far. Aaron Tveit was a very “smooth” Fiyero, who had a grace onstage, and managed to charm the audience. His voice was the strongest of any Fiyero I have ever seen and he and Nicole Parker had awesome Chemistry together. All three are also exceptionally nice people.
Which Elphaba/Glinda pair that you’ve seen do you feel had the best chemistry?
Carmen Cusack and Katie Rose Clarke. You could tell they were awesome friends and they really played off of each other well. Their differences shined through individually too.
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)
(that I have not mentioned before) Shoshana Bean (twice), Jennifer DiNoia, Mariand Torres, Stephanie Torns, Nicole Parker, Coleen Sexton and Ana Gasteyer for Elphaba. JLT, Kate Reinders, Megan Hilty, Christina DeCicco, Meggie Cansler, Alli Mauzey, Chandra Lee Schwartz and more for Glinda. Andy Karl, Brad Weinstock, Alma Cuervo, Deedee Magno Hall, Lori Holmes (Nessa), Lee Wilkof, Barbara Tirrell, Adam Sanford, Carla Stickler (Nessarose) and many more 🙂
Have you seen any understudies in the show? If so, what did you enjoy most about their performances?
Many Understudies. Coleen Sexton for Elphaba is the Rawest Elphaba I have ever seen in the role. Such a different voice, but I loved it. She was very loud 🙂 I saw Kyle Dean Massey’s first ever performance as Fiyero on July 1st, 2007 in Columbus. He was really into the role. He had an EXCELLENT voice as well. Lori Holmes was an absolutley outstanding Nessarose as well. I loved Meggie Cansler as Glinda too. She was very much like Katie, which is understandable due to her being her understudy, but was also very much her own Glinda if that makes sense. She has an exceptional voice and I am so happy she has found more success on and off Broadway. Stephanie Torns was amazing as Elphaba. I saw her in Cleveland with an otherwise full cast. The whole energy of the show had changed, and I loved it. Same with Jennifer DiNoia. She was very funny as Elphaba and had an excellent voice. Mariand is my 2nd favorite Elphaba. I loved her. Very very powerful voice. Carla is the best Nessarose ever. Adam Sanford is one of the best Boq’s I have ever seen as well. Very very good.
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?
It’s funny you mentioned that because the Orchestra in Buffalo last month was absolutley OUTSTANDING. I noticed so many new things that I had never noticed before. Lots of new guitar, and drums. I really loved it.
If you stagedoor, tell us about your favorite stagedoor experience.
So many. Well, the casts on Broadway and the 1st tour all know who I am because I communicate with them via facebook and Email, so I always love it when they recognize me immediatley. That’s always fun 🙂 I love all of them, and I can’t share them without typing forever. I have written about them on my website, www.flyinghighwithwicked.blogspot.com
Tell us about your favorite performance of “Wicked” that you have seen.
I honestly cannot pick. I have seen the show 10 times. They have all been so amazing. I guess If I had to go with one, it would either be Cleveland in 2008, Buffalo in 2008 or Buffalo in 2011. It’s so hard for me to describe!
Where is your favorite place to see the production from (ie. Orchestra, Balcony, etc.) and why?
The back of the floor is my favorite. You can see the whole picture, and everything that is going on, but you still can see their faces! It’s awesome!
Have you seen any fun bloopers or mishaps occur?
Nothing Big, but Carmen’s hat once fell off in the Catfight scene. Christina DeCicco’s wand caught on her dress when she was spinning it, but she got back on track 🙂 Katie Clarke forgot some of the words in Dancing Through Life, but got back on track really well. Nicole Parker switched around some of the lines in Popular, but it was not that big a deal. That’s really it though. 🙂
What are some other shows that you enjoy?
I LOVE Next to Normal. 2nd favorite hands down. I love Rent, Book Of Mormon, In The Heights, Rock of Ages, Mary Poppins, Xanadu, Phantom of the Opera, Pippin, Wonderland…. there are so many.
Which “Wicked” actor or alumni’s work do you enjoy the most, and why?
Idina Menzel is a huge one. I love her work so much. I am not a Glee fan at all. But She made me watch it. I LOVE “I Stand.” It is an amazing showcase of her talent, and I love that she wrote nearly every song on it. They all have something special about them, and they all carry a great message. She can really belt it out, or just keep it quiet. I had the amazing ability to see her in concert last summer, and she is able to sound PERFECT live, just like she does on her CD. I hope she returns to Broadway soon.
I like Kristin Chenoweth’s work as well. Again, she is the only reason I watched some of the Glee episodes. I like her music, and I love her film work. She is so very funny.
Adam Lambert, Caissie Levy, Aaron Tveit, Norbert Leo Butz, Carole Shelley etc… I just love following all these people’s careers. They are awesome.