Today’s Fan Interview is from Holly. Holly has seen WICKED seven times since September 25, 2010 between London, England and Scheveningen, The Netherlands.
Who is your favorite Elphaba and why?
Willemijn Verkaik. She’s absolutely incredible. She just embodies what I think of as Elphaba. When I look at her performing I know it’s Willemijn but I see Elphaba. And I’ve never had any other actress do that for me. Also, her singing is bliss and she makes all of Elphaba’s crazy high belted notes sound like a walk in the park.
Who is your favorite Glinda and why?
My favourite Glinda that I’ve seen is hard…Chantal Janzen and Louise Dearman tie for top place to me. Both of their Glindas are so different yet they’re both so believable. I love their chemistry with whomever they are performing with, you can see that they are close with them. I really love Chantal because I went into the theatre with low expectations of her and walked out adoring her.
Who is your favorite Fiyero and why?
My favourite Fiyero is Mark Evans. He’s just…Fiyero. I love his voice and the subtlety you can see in his Fiyero.
Which Elphaba/Glinda pair that you’ve seen do you feel had the best chemistry?
Willemijn Verkaik and Chantal Janzen. When I saw them for the first time it was the first preview in the Netherlands and you could tell it was a special moment for both of them. Willemijn has great chemistry with all her Glindas but she seemed really close to Chantal. Chantal was a great, bubbly Glinda to go with Willemijn’s Elphaba and they were awesome together.
Have you seen any understudies in the show? If so, what did you enjoy most about their performances?
I have seen many understudies now. My favourite by far is Nikki Davis-Jones as Elphaba (she is actually my second favourite Elphaba after Willemijn). She was my first Elphaba and she was so passionate and just what I could hope for from an Elphaba.
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?
The Netherlands orchestra stood out to me, just because the percussion was so loud in that production, it made some of the music sound strange. But it was also interesting to be able to hear what the percussion is doing in certain parts of the show.
If you stagedoor, tell us about your favorite stagedoor experience.
Once again…the Netherlands. (I’m getting predictable, aren’t I?) I think it’s because I finally got to meet this incredible woman I’ve been longing to meet all year and she was completely lovely and kind. My favourite out of the two times I stagedoor’d in the Netherlands was the 27th October 2011. I had given Willemijn a card with a letter inside which would fall out if she opened it right then and there. So she asked, “Should I open it now, or later?” and I told her, “Later.” She said, “Okay,” and proceeded to start opening the letter. So I had to stop her. But it was quite funny. After we were done talking to her she wished us a safe trip back to England (we had told her the day before that we were going to see the second show and then go home and being the sweetheart she is, she remembered). And so we told her we’d come back and see the show again and she said, “Good, I look forward to it!”.
I think my first successful stagedoor deserves a mention too, on the 24th September 2011, when I met pretty much the entire principle I had seen that evening. That was a great moment as well.
Tell us about your favorite performance of “Wicked” that you have seen.
My favourite performance of Wicked that I’ve seen was the 26th October 2011 in Scheveningen. The atmosphere was incredible because it was the first performance of Wicked there for the public. And it was also the first time I saw Willemijn Verkaik perform in the flesh. And it was all amazing. I didn’t care that it was in Dutch and I don’t speak very much of it, I just loved it.
Where is your favorite place to see the production from (ie. Orchestra, Balcony, etc.) and why?
Well, so far I’ve mostly sat in the Dress Circle for London and in the 3rd range seats right near the stage for Scheveningen and both were great. They’re both cheaper seats so I can afford to get to where ever I’m going and still have a good view.
Have you seen any fun bloopers or mishaps occur?
For London the last time I went, Nessa’s chair didn’t work. Poor Charlotte Scott (who was on for Zoe Rainet because Zoe was on a Glinda) had to just wheel herself back to Nikki.
For Scheveningen on both nights there were mishaps. On the first night the dry ice leaked just before the catfight and Jim (who plays Fiyero) ended up falling all over the place. They had to stop the show and someone came on with a cloth to wipe it up. We gave him a round of applause. On the second night, when Willemijn was meant to grab the broom after making it fly, she couldn’t get it off the wire and it floated off again. She and Chantal had to hold hands and then someone must have passed her a broom before she went up the machine because she had one then.
What are some other shows that you enjoy?
I adore the German show ELISABETH to death. I also love BLOOD BROTHERS, We WILL ROCK YOU, LEGALLY BLONDE, RENT…all sorts really!
Which WICKED actor or alumni’s work do you enjoy the most, and why?
Mostly I enjoy Willemijn Verkaik’s work because she’s just so passionate about everything she does and you can tell she’s always putting her heart and soul into it. She doesn’t do it for money, she does it because it’s what she loves to do.