Monday, June 29, 2015

Emily Koch is Broadway's New Elphaba Standby!

Emily Koch as Elphaba
Emily Koch, directly from Wicked's 2nd National Tour, has joined the Broadway company of Wicked as the standby for Elphaba, replacing Lilli Cooper.  Koch was a fan favorite on tour, and in my opinion has one of the most distinctive performances in the role in recent years.  She will soar on Broadway!  Congratulotions!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Michele Lee and Fred Applegate to join the Broadway Company of Wicked!

Fred Applegate
Two-time Tony and Emmy Award nominee Michele Lee will join the Broadway company of Wicked in the role of Madame Morrible beginning 7/5.  Lee has appeared on Broadway in many shows, most notably Seesaw.  Joining Lee will be Fred Applegate as the Wizard, beginning performances on 6/29.  Applegate has appeared on Broadway in The Last Ship, Young Frankenstein, Sister Act and The Producers.  They replace Kathy Fitzgerald, and P.J. Benjamin as Madame Morrible and the Wizard respectively.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mary Kate Morrissey will replace Emily Koch on Wicked's National Tour.

Mary Kate Morrissey
Mary Kate Morrissey will replace Emily Koch as the standby for Elphaba on Wicked's U.S. National Tour in Denver, CO, on June 19th.  Morrissey has appeared as Sheila in the International Tour of Hair, and has appeared Off Broadway in Tamar of the River where she understudied the role of Tamar.  Welcome to the Wicked family!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Vote for Wicked Broadway and Tour, plus Caroline Bowman and Kara Lindsay!

Award season is here again!  The Tony Award Nominations were released, and though there were some snubs in some categories, you now have the chance to vote for your favorites this season.  Not only is Wicked nominated for Best Long Running Musical and Best Tour, but Caroline Bowman and Kara Lindsay are nominated for best female replacements!

Other Wicked alums nominated for various awards include Kristin Chenoweth and Andy Karl (On The Twentieth Century), Teal Wicks (Finding Neverland) and Annaleigh Ashford (You Can't Take It With You).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Jennifer DiNoia has temporarily joined Wicked on Broadway.

Jennifer DiNoia
Jennifer DiNoia, straight from the closed First National Touring company of Wicked, has temporarily joined the Broadway company of Wicked as Elphaba.  Caroline Bowman remains out due to injury, and Christine Dwyer played her final temporary performance on Sunday, 3/15.  As of now, Jennifer will be a part of the company for two weeks.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Goodbye Wicked First National Tour

My 12 year old self seeing Wicked in Cleveland in 2008
Ten years.
October 21, 2006. July 1, 2007. March 1, 2008. July 12, 2008. December 5, 2009. May 7, 2011. January 18, 2014. January 18, 2014. January 19, 1014. February 9, 2014.

Toronto, Columbus, Cleveland, Buffalo, Cleveland, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh.

Words cannot describe how much this tour has meant to me over the years. In 2006, I bought the Wicked Grimmerie after seeing it twice before, and quickly fell back in love with this show. The First National Tour was the only company I saw for those first two years of obsession, 2006-9. I’ve basically grown up with this show, but in particular this company. This was the first company of Wicked that I was able to love and obsess over, and I am so grateful for the certain cast members who have all been in constant contact with me along the way.  Those people's love back has meant the world to me, and keeping up with the tour and them has been a blessing.

 I cannot believe that I am able to run Wicked 1NT's fan page on Facebook, allowing me to connect with so many fans of this gorgeous show and company.  It has been such a blessing, and I cannot believe it is over.  Some really amazing things and some really sad things have happened through the course of this tour and all of them have taught me a lot.  But tonight, even though it has not fully hit me yet, it is time to say goodbye for now.

 I don’t really know what I can say to properly express how I feel. But I will miss this company so much. And I hope the rumors of a 3NT are true. I love you my Emerald City tour!

Wicked London: 3/13/15 e, REVIEW!

On Friday, March 13, 2015 I got the amazing opportunity to see Wicked in the West End.  I have been a fan of the show since before the London production opened, and finally getting to see it over there was so exciting and I am so glad I had the chance.

First of all, I love the Apollo Victoria Theatre, it's gorgeous and enormous.  Second, there were not HUGE differences between the American and British productions, but there were several small differences. 
1. "Our paths did cross, at school as students!
2. "I've applied to your sorcery seminar tutorial.
3.  "She doesn't give a twig tail what anyone else thinks"
4. "He means no disrespectation, please understand, we all went to school uni together."

There are a few more that I will add when I find the sheet I wrote them down on.

Right off the bat, the accents seemed totally natural.  Hearing Glinda with a British accent didn't faze me at all for some reason, nor did the ensemble.  But for some reason, hearing 'The Wizard and I' sung in a British accent sounded so strange.  Not in a bad way.  It was very cool, just different.  Madame Morrible always talks in an accent, and hearing Martyn Ellis talk in an American accent was very interesting, he did a fairly nice job with it.

Russell Walker was on for Dr. Dillamond, and he did a fine job, though Dillamond never has too much for me to report on.  I liked him though, and his relationship with Elphaba was extremely believable.  Sam Lupton was awesome as Boq.  He has a much deeper voice than a lot of Boqs I have seen, and he has a really beautiful voice.  I really thought he looked awesome for the part as well.  He's very handsome and charming, and he had a little moment with Galinda in the DOS scene where he said "That's so unfair, you should say something!" and then she looked at him and he did this little wave and I loved it.  Katie Rowley Jones was a fantastic Nessarose, and though she wasn't mindblowing like Carla Stickler or Deedee Magno Hall, she was quite good.  I think had her voice been showcased more I would have loved her even more.  She was perfectly bitchy in act two and I loved seeing her just let loose and act freely, and Emma countered her perfectly.  I think she'd make a fantastic Elphaba.  

Liza Sadovy as Madame Morrible was quite good. Morrible as a character has been completely spoiled for me by Alison Fraser, but Liza actually did some of the same awesome stuff that Alison did, but in her own way.  I quite liked her singing voice in Thank Goodness, and I wish she had sung her part in The Wizard and I.  She gave Elphaba that same menacing and jealous look over her shoulder as she went off to the Emerald City, and I noticed that her "siezed" dress was a different color than usual, slightly darker green, which I actually preferred.  I also loved when the Wizard told her "that's a harsh word!" she backed off and looked very hurt and apologetic.  I thought that was kind of cool because it showed the distribution and power and the haste to cover it up.  Her final scene with Glinda was also awesome, and she did the same little laughs and such that Alison Fraser did when Glinda was imitating her earlier speech.  

Martyn Ellis was the loudest Wizard I have ever seen play the role.  His voice was booming, but very
good.  He was a great Wizard, very emotional at the end, and he was wonderfully menacing and fake during act 1.  I loved his scene with Elphaba during Wonderful.  It was charming and genuine, and when he realized he was Elphaba's father, he was completely broken.  I loved it.

Jeremy Taylor was a wonderful Fiyero.  He was motivatingly bored, or in other words, a very strong actor and made Fiyero extremely likable and charming.  I loved his voice and his accent was so great.  He didn't do any special riffs or embellishments in Dancing Through Life, but he did sing it very solidly, and I absolutely loved him in Thank Goodness and As Long As You're Mine.  He was also really endearing at the end with Elphaba, and I totally believed every moment of their chemistry, it 

Sophie Linder Lee as Glinda was absolutely awesome as well.  She is only the second Glinda cover I have seen in a decade, and 23 shows, and she did not disappoint.  I was happy that she was on, even though I would have loved to see Savannah.  Her NOMTW was regal and commanding, she has a beautiful voice.  She didn't get as many laughs as she should have, but that was by no fault of hers.  She continued the charm into DOS and the scene following.  I loved her in WITF too.  She did the same usual little bouncy stuff all over the place that a lot of Glindas do.  Her dance with Emma was so touching, I loved how awkward and uncoordinated it was, and that led right into a very funny and wonderful Popular.  She did the closest thing I have seen to Megan Hilty's giant BAAALLLLGOOOOWN! since actually seeing Megan Hilty nine years ago.  I loved seeing that done again.  The rest of her act one was great, but act two is where she really shone.  Thank Goodness was conflicted and falsely self-assured and I loved watching her facial expressions as she struggled to accept what was happening around her.  I also loved INTG reprise as well, very vulnerable and beautiful.  I also loved that she did not go for laughs when she said "It seems a lot of us are taking things that don't belong to us aren't we?" She went for a heartbroken struggling-to-get-the-words-out approach.  I loved that a lot.  For Good was beautifully sung, the best I have heard in a while, and her finale was heartbreaking.  Her faces were hauntingly beautiful.  

Emma Hatton was SO GREAT as Elphaba.  It was immediately throwing to hear her singing in a British accent, but her "Wiz and I" gave me goosebumps all over my body, and that does not always happen.  I loved her delivery of the line 'blonde' in What Is This Feeling, and I also just adored her sassy and defiant manner in that song.  I actually really enjoyed her scene with Dr. Dillamond.  It was very well acted, and she showed so much compassion.  I also loved her reaction to getting the hat from Galinda, it was sweet and endearing.  I'm Not That Girl was also beautifully sung and acted, as was OSD.  The Wizard's scene and Defying Gravity were incredible on her part.  She was so dramatically brilliant in both.  Her acting was spot on in the Wizard's chamber and she NAILED every single aspect of Defying Gravity, including throwing the broom up on the high F and nailing the bring me downs.  She got huge applause and huge cheers afterwards, which didn't happen much at any of the West End shows I saw, British culture is much more reserved.  Her scene with Nessarose was awesome and wonderfully acted, very dramatic and final, and then the remorse that came in the catfight scene was so distressing and heartbreaking, and that No Good Deed.  She held NOTHING back.  I got goosebumps on just the first "Fiyerooo!"  She absolutely nailed every aspect of that song. And of course For Good/ Finale were beautiful.  I just love those final moments of the show, they're haunting.

The London orchestra and ensemble were on FIRE, it's easily the best orchestra the show has anywhere that I have seen it, and the ensemble does a very nice job.  I loved listening to their harmonies and adlibs.  I was very impressed by their facial expressions and such as well.  All of them were 100% in it the entire show.

Some Stage Door pictures: