Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Peter Hollens and Nick Pitera WICKED Medley!

Youtube a capella master Peter Hollens released a new video of he and Nick Pitera performing a medley of Wicked's greatest hits! It's pretty awesome fellow Ozians!  Check it out! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Q&A with former Elphaba Shoshana Bean!

Shoshana Bean as Elphaba
You replaced Tony-winner Idina Menzel in the role of Elphaba after a stint as her standby, even going on for her final performance.  Your interpretations of the role were very different from each other as well.  Was it scary for you to take on the responsibility of being the first replacement for such a huge role?

Bean: Yes indeed it was.  She was so incredibly popular for her interpretation and the role was already becoming iconic.  I definitely felt unworthy and terrified of disappointing people.  I tried very hard to honor what she had created so it’s always interesting to me to hear that people think we are so different!  But yes I knew that eventually I would have to make it my own.

After playing the role for a year on Broadway, what were your feelings about departing, and did you know you’d be doing the tour later in the year?

Bean II was definitely strange leaving, I was ready for a break and ready to move on to other ventures but I had identified with and associated myself, almost defined myself by my job and my role for over a year.  So it was a shock to the system for sure.  Had to figure out who I was again without it.  Yes the plan was always for Megan and I to tour briefly to play our home towns.

With a show like Wicked, I imagine it’s impossible not to get to know your Glinda very personally and come away from the show with fantastic friendships.  Are you still close with your Glindas?

Bean: Still close with Megs! (Megan Hilty)

What is the biggest difference for you between building a role and writing a song?  Do you find them to be similar in any way?

Bean:  don’t find them the same at all!  Building a role I bring myself to the table to something that has already been created and is someone else’s words.  Someone else’s dream.  For writing a song it’s all on me.  It’s all mine...from top to bottom.  I guess they are both very vulnerable and expository...but more so songwriting.

Wicked fans are known for their loyalty, do you find that you still have Wicked fans supporting your career to this day?

Bean: I do, gratefully.  The faces change.  Very few original fans from the beginning remain.  But I would say the majority of my fan base has been garnered from Wicked.

Bean's 2013 release, O'Farrell Street

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chandra Lee Schwartz and Etai BenShlomo to return to Wicked's First National Tour 7/29.

Chandra Lee Schwartz as Glinda
Chandra Lee Schwartz and Etai BenShlomo will return to Wicked's First National Tour in Salt Lake City on 7/29.  Schwartz and BenShlomo will play Glinda and Boq respectively.  Schwartz has played the role of Glinda on the 1NT previously (2009-2011) and BenShlomo has also briefly appeared on the Tour as well (2010) after appearing in the final San Francisco company of the show.  Schwartz and BenShlomo reprised their performances as Glinda and Boq on Broadway.  Departing stars Gina Beck (Glinda) and Jesse JP Johnson (Boq) will play their final performances on July 27, 2014.  Congratulations to all!

Willemijin Verkaik to depart Wicked UK early, Kerry Ellis to return.

Kerry Ellis as Elphaba
A statement was made earlier today buy WICKED UK announcing that current Wicked West End star Willemijin Verkaik will depart the role of Elphaba earlier than expected, in order to have surgery for an ongoing back condition.  Verkaik will play her final performance as Elphaba on July 19th.  Verkaik is the only actress to have played the role of Elphaba in three languages, in four different countries.  Ellis will return to Wicked in the West End from August 4th to October 25th.  As previously announced, Nikki Davis-Jones, currently playing Elphaba on the UK/Ireland tour of Wicked will assume the role at that time.  Ellis was the original standby for Elphaba in 2006 when Wicked opened in London, and has played the role full-time in the West End and on Broadway, including Wicked's 5th Anniversary on Broadway in 2008.  Best of luck to these two lovely ladies!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

VIDEO! Broadway in Bryant Park with Christine Dwyer, Justin Guarini and Jenni Barber!

Here are some videos from Thursday's performances from Wicked at Broadway in Bryant Park, an annual summer concert showing off songs from various Broadway shows.

Christine Dwyer singing 'The Wizard and I'!

Jenni Barber singing 'Popular'!

Justin Guarini and Christine Dwyer singing 'As Long As You're Mine'!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Twitter Tuesday! Idina Menzel and Christine Dwyer!

Wicked tweeted a very special photo of Christine Dwyer, current Elphaba on Broadway, backstage at the Tony Awards with Jenni Barber (Glinda) and original Elphaba Idina Menzel.  For the Tony broadcast, Menzel performed the showstopping number 'Always Starting Over' from her show If/Then, Dwyer and Barber performed 'For Good' to celebrate the show's 10th Anniversary on Broadway.  Dwyer's full quote is below, and her story is very touching and inspiring.

“When I walked through the curtain in the dressing room and saw Idina standing there, I lost my mind! It was the most surreal experience to begin with - I never thought I would be performing Elphaba on the Tonys ever - but meeting the person who created this role and won a Tony for it backstage while waiting to go on was the perfect moment. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect moment. I saw Idina right before she left Wicked in NYC with my mom ten years ago. I waited at the stage door and my mom snapped a picture of me getting her autograph. When I got back to Hartt where I was studying musical theatre, I hung that picture on my bulletin board. I think I have a new picture to hang now :-)” –Christine Dwyer (Quote taken from Wicked's facebook page)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wicked on the Tony Awards feat. Christine Dwyer and Jenni Barber!

Enjoy this video of Christine Dwyer and Jenni Barber performing 'For Good' on the Tony Awards this week!  They nailed it!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wicked takes home FOUR Audience Choice Awards!

The company with their trophies! fans have spoken, and Wicked has been voted Favorite Long Running Show for the SIXTH year in a row.  In addition, Wicked has been voted Favorite Tour, and Lindsay Mendez and Derek Klena were voted favorite female and male replacement for their portrayals of Elphaba and Fiyero in 2013!  

Also, huge congrats to original Elphaba, Idina Menzel, for winning Favorite Leading Actress in a Musical, as well as co-winning Favorite Onstage Pair with If/Then costar James Snyder!  Congratulotions!