Posts tagged San Francisco Production
Nicolas Dromard (current Fiyero – San Francisco; former swing – 1st National Tour) will depart the San Francisco production in June according to his twitter. He will be joining the National Tour of “Mary Poppins” as Bert.
Today’s Exclusive Interview is with Deedee Magno Hall who currently performs as Nessarose in the San Francisco production of “Wicked”. She was formerly Nessarose on the First National Tour. Previously, she performed the leading role of Kim in “Miss Saigon” on Broadway. We’d like to thank Ms. Magno Hall for her interview which you can check out below!
What was your first professional acting job? What did you learn from it?
The MMC [Mickey Mouse Club] on the Disney Channel was my first professional acting gig. I learned so much on the show…everything from script readings and rehearsing, to blocking, spacing and lighting, cameras 1, 2 and 3, vocalizing, learning choreography, hair, make-up, wardrobe, and making time for family, school and play. It was definitely a wonderful learning experience and stepping stone for my future in the biz.
What has been your favorite acting job thus far?
I LOVE my role as Nessa! It’s a great meaty role with lots of layers, but not too demanding for a newish mommy, so I have quite a bit of much appreciated downtime backstage. But one of my FAVORITE roles, and one close to my heart is Kim in Miss Saigon. It’s the show where I met my husband. All time BEST role…Wife and Mother hands down!
When did you first audition for “Wicked”, and what was the audition process like?
What was your reaction when you found out you had the job?
My first thought was, “what about my baby???” My husband had just been bumped up to play the part of Fiyero on the same tour, and with both daddy and mommy onstage, who was going to take care of our son? After a lot of thought, I asked my baby sister to come on tour with us to help out. She was so amazing with him and he loved bonding with his auntie. And because of the theater hours, we were still able to spend a ton of quality time with him. It was a dream!
What was the rehearsal process like for Nessarose? How was your first performance?
I had 2 weeks to learn the role. First show felt awesome and scary! Being onstage again, tho, was like coming home. It sounds corny, but true. The second show was wonky. It always is.
Could you ever see yourself playing any of the other female roles in Wicked?
I would love to be green someday!
What was it like to be on the road with your husband and son?
AMAZING!!!! We got to do so much traveling and sight seeing together! But it was also hard being on the move all the time.
What are your favorite things about touring, as opposed to performing in a sit-down production.
Getting to see parts of the country we would probably never have the opportunity to see had it not been for the show, and having the chance to visit family and friends.
How much rehearsal was involved in opening the San Francisco production?
Principals rehearsed in NY for 2 weeks and then the entire company rehearsed in San Francisco for about a month before we opened.
Do you have any memorable onstage bloopers you’d like to share?
Oh…there’s so many…Just recently I fell in the curtain call…very embarrassing, and painful! Ouch!
What are some roles that you’d love to play some day?
Eponine. And I’d love to do straight plays as well.
What advice would you give to aspiring actors and actresses?
If you wish it, if you will it, if you strive for it and if it’s meant to be, it will be. Believe in yourself and do your best. That’s all you can do
Check out this video of Alexa Green (current ensemble, understudy Glinda – San Francisco; former ensemble, understudy Glinda – Los Angeles) singing the “The Wizard and I” at the Let There Be Light cabaret posted by YouTube user NewYork2Go.
As those of you on our official twitter know, today, we have an exclusive interview with Annie Funke. Ms. Funke is a member of the San Francisco production in the ensemble and as an understudy for Madame Morrible. If you see her in the ensemble, she will sing, “Like some terrible green blizzard, throughout the land she flies!”. Prior to “Wicked”, she was the final standby for Tracy in the Broadway Production of “Hairspray”. Check out the interview below!
What was your first professional acting job, and how did you get it? What did you learn from the experience?
My first professional job was playing Jan in Grease! at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Growing up in Oklahoma, I had dreamed of being in a Lyric production, and when I was 16 I finally got the chance. I was working with professional actors brought in from New York, and I just thought that was the most amazing thing that would ever happen to me. It was the first time I actually understood that people can make a living in the theatre, and that it is, indeed, a business. I met some wonderful people who really believed in me, and instilled some confidence in me (something I sorely lacked).
When did you first realize that you wanted to be in “Wicked”?
My sophomore year of college, I took a Spring Break trip to NYC and saw Wicked. I had never seen anything like it. I was a blubbering mess by the end of the show. I noticed that there was a girl in the ensemble who looked a lot like me, and I watched her the entire show. I walked out of that theatre so inspired, and thought, “Man, I would kill to be in that show. To be a part of something so amazing.” The track was the Shen Shen track, the track I am now playing…full circle!
How did you come to audition for “Wicked”? How long was the audition process, and what did you have to do?
I actually went to an open call, October of 2008. There were a bazillion girls there, but I was lucky enough to be typed in. I sang my 16 bars, got a “thank you”, and left. 7 months later, I got a call that an ensemble track that covered Morrible was opening in the San Francisco Company. I was in Missouri at the time doing a show, and flew up on my day off. I went in, sang from my book, sang from the score, and then then read the sides. I felt pretty good about it, and got a call the next day saying they wanted me to come back and dance in a week or so. Well, a week or so went by, and I heard nothing, so I assumed they had gone with someone else. Then I got a call saying that the girl who was leaving had extended for a little longer, but they were still interested. About a month later, I had a dance call at the Gershwin. I learned about eight 8-counts, and 30 minutes later I was in a costume fitting, and a week later I was on a plane to San Fran. I had my debut almost a year to the day of my initial Open Call.
How did you react when you found out you had been cast in the show?
I was a little in shock because it happened so quickly. They let the others go, pulled me over to the piano and said “Congrats, you need to get to a fitting.” I was stunned, and probably gave them a look of complete confusion. “The job is yours!” they said. So of course, I freaked out, jumping all over the place. They either thought it was endearing, or I was a total nutcase, either way, I had booked it, and was thrilled to death!
What was it like to go from understudying sixteen-year old Tracy in “Hairspray” to covering evil headmistress in “Wicked”?
Pretty gosh darn hilarious, actually! I joked about it for a while, that I was going from a 16 year old to a 60 year old in 9 months. But, it’s been a wonderful challenge, and I feel very fortunate to have both opportunities.
What was your first performance like? How did you feel throughout the show?
You know, it’s always a strange thing transitioning from a dance studio with just you and the dance captain, to being onstage with ACTUAL PEOPLE. You spend 3 weeks in rehearsal completely isolated, and acting and dancing with invisible people. You know that “you stand next to Joe and Bob on 4″ at this time, but you have no idea who Joe and Bob are. So you watch the show every night to try to piece it all together, thinking “this is never gonna come together.” But the beauty of an opening night is: magically, it somehow always comes together. It was a thrilling night, and I felt so supported and encouraged by the company. That’s really what I took away from that night, was just how much good energy was being thrown at me that night!
What were rehearsals for Madame Morrible like? What was your first performance like, and how did you feel througout the show?
I had 3 rehearsals for Morrible. 1 where the stage manager taught me all of the blocking, and 2 where they brought some of the other understudies in for me to rehearse with. About a week later a had my put-in. I took a ton of pictures, because I thought, “I may never get to do this!” Well, a week later, I was on. It was a complete out-of-body experience. I had never done the show with the other leads before, and had no idea what was going to happen. It’s terrifying to do a role with such little rehearsal, and I was just sure I would forget all of my lines. But it actually went very smoothly…definitely some major nerves, and was actually kind of relieved when it was over. But the next day I was on again, and it was much more enjoyable. I knew it was possible to get through it, so I started to have fun with it. Now, it’s a real treat to get to play the role!
What is your favorite part of the show to perform in the ensemble and as Madame Morrible?
I just love my ensemble track, Shen Shen. I would say my favorite scenes are when we play the Shiz students, especially the classroom scenes. My favorite part to sing is the opening! As Morrible, I would say the first “Wizard’s Chamber” scene. It’s a “meaty” scene, and it’s the first time the audience really has an inkling that Morrible has a wicked side!
Have you witnessed – or perhaps been involved in – any onstage bloopers or mishaps that you’d like to share?
I am actually the most accident-prone person in the world. It’s kind of a running joke backstage whenever anything goes wrong, people always say “Where’s Annie?” So this section could be pages long, but I will just mention some big ones. Just last week, I took a huge spill in my ball gown. I turned to fun upstage and fell flat on my face. When I tried to get up my heel got stuck in my hoop skirt and I had to hop off stage on one foot…in a HUGE SEQUIN BALL GOWN!
Are there any dream roles that you’d like to one day perform?
Tracy Turnblad was my dream role for years, and I feel so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to play her. I would love to originate a role – I think that would be my dream. And when I get older I want to play all the greats: Ms. Lovett, Mamma Rose etc. Would also LOVE to play the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods and Nancy in Oliver!
What advice would you give to aspiring performers
Never stop learning, and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Keep your eye on the prize and stay humble.
Eden Espinosa (current Elphaba – San Francisco; former Elphaba – Los Angeles, Broadway, 1NT; Elphaba s/b – Broadway) will now be staying with the San Francisco production through June 26. This information is direct from her Twitter.
Check out these videos of Carrie Manolakos (former s/b Elphaba – San Francisco, 2nd National Tour) and Libby Servais (current s/b Glinda – San Francisco; former u/s Glinda – 2nd National Tour) singing “The Wizard and I” and “For Good” at the Sunvalley Shopping Center on March 27, 2010.
Libby Servais (s/b Glinda – San Francisco; former ensemble, u/s Glinda – 2nd National Tour) has created a fan page on Facebook for fans of the show to keep up with her upcoming performances and career happenings. Click here to view the page and to become a fan!
The San Francsico Cast Page of the official “Wicked” website has been updated.
Felicia Ricci has replaced Vicki Noon as standby for Elphaba (this actually happened March 30, 2010 but the website is now updated).
Kevin Jordan has been added as a swing and understudy for Chistrey (he is a universal swing).
Catherine Charlebois has been added as a swing and understudy for the Midwife.
Kelly Lafarga has been added as a swing and understudy for the Witch’s Mother.
Terrence Spencer (Ensemble) has been removed from the site.
Samantha Zack (Swing; u/s Witch’s Mother) has been removed from the site.
Neka Zang (Ensemble) is now also listed as an understudy for Nessarose.