Friday, May 13, 2011

Wicked In Buffalo Review!

I saw Wicked in Buffalo at Shea's PAC on Saturday, May 7th, 2011 at 2pm. It had been over a year since I saw the show last so needless to say I was very excited. I went with My Mom, My best friend, and my other friend and her family. I wanted to Stage Door before the show, because I wanted to meet absolutley everyone. We ate at the Friday's across the street from the Theatre, and me and my two friends left around 12:20. We ran over to the stage door and waited for the cast to start trickling in. After about 15 minutes of waiting, I saw a black haired woman coming toward the stage door, and I recognized her. "Are you Mariand?" She said "Yes, I am!" "Hi, I'm Kyle, we talk on facebook, we just talked the other day?" "Oh, yeah! Hey Kyle, how are you?!" "I'm great! Are you on today?" "Yeah haha I am!" I asked her to sign my grimmerie picture where I put her head over Idina's (picture will come). She spit out laughter. "Oh my gosh, this is so great! I love this!" She wrote' I'm honored you beheaded Idina for me xo, Mariand Torres' she signed my poster, and program, and then took a picture. "Did that turn out?" "Yeah! I also have something for you!" I gave her the drawing I did of her as Elphaba. She looked at it and said "Oh my... Oh my GOSH, YOU drew this? You're amazing!" "Thanks so much Mariand!" As she signed my stuff, I saw Amanda Jane Cooper walking down, and the only thing I could say was "Oh My God, HI!" She said "Oh, hello! How are you?" "Great! How are you?" "I'm good!" I showed her the picture of her in my Grimmerie where I put a pic of her head over Kristin's. She Laughed very very hard. "I can't think of anything funny to write, I'll just sign it for now." She asked my name and I said "Kyle" and she said "Oh! Kyle (My last name)? I JUST Responded to your letter thank you so much for the support!" "My friend Jonathan told me you were great!" "Oh, thank you so much, I think I actually remember him, he was at the stage door in Ft. Lauderdale!" "Yeah!" "Tell him I said hi!" I then gave her the drawing I did of her, and she said "Oh my GOD, you're so talented! You did this?" "Yeah! Thanks so much!" "Do you want me to sign it, or...?" "No, that's for you!" " Thank you so much!" Mariand then said to Amanda "Oh, he did one for you too? Aren't they phenomenal!?" "Yeah!" I then took a picture with Amanda, and she asked how it turned out. "Great, thanks so much Kyle, enjoy the show! See ya after, I can't believe this picture thanks!" She and Mariand then went in. They were both very nice. After about 5 more minutes of waiting, Randy Danson walked down, and I said "Hey Randy, will you sign this stuff?" "Of Course, how are you?" "Great!" I showed her the Grimmerie picture where I put her head over Carole's, and again, she laughed for quite a few minutes actually, and wrote "Finally where I belong, thank you, Randy Danson" "That's quite funny Kyle..." and Chuckled a bit more. I said "I saw you in the It gets better video, and that was great." and she said "thanks, its a great organization!" (for the record I am not gay, bi or transgender, but I fully support all of the above, and the video they did was awesome) She signed my other stuff, and then posed for a picture, where she made sure to hold the picture that I drew for her up so it was in the picture. I said "I hope I did that costume SOME justice" "Oh, it's great, Its actually my favorite one! Thank You so much, enjoy the show!" After that, my mom, and everyone else joined us at the stage door. Next person down was Terra Lynn Arrington. I said "Hi Terra!" and She looked a bit shocked that I knew her name. I said "I've met you several times before, you're awesome!" and She said, "oh, you're Kyle! When did we last see each other...?" I said "I think it was in Buffalo in 08?" she shook her head, and then I said "Oh, never mind it was Cleveland in 09!" and she said "Uh, yeah Thank you I knew it hadn't been that long, you know i left the tour for a while but I came back cause they needed me, so here I am!" She is one of the nicest people ever. Next down was Brandon Tyler, and I asked him if he was Brandon (I recognized him from the It Gets Better video) and he said he was. I asked him to sign, and he did, and then I got a picture with him. He is a very nice guy! (From Here on, I will not really describe the conversations in detail, for the sake of this not being super long) Next was Lauren Ashley Zakrin. I recognized her, and asked her if she was Lauren. She said yes, and I asked her to sign my Wicked Program, Poster, and Legally Blonde Playbill. She did, and we chatted for a few minutes. She was a very quiet person, but she was very nice, and kindly took a picture with me. Then, she went inside. Next down was Renee Lawless Orsini, who I recognized from the last time I saw her. I asked her if she was Renee, and she stopped and signed, and joked around about how I must be "her stalker" because she was only the midwife, and not that important. I asked her if she got my letter, and she said she thought she did. Then Paul Slade Smith came down, and I asked him to sign, and told him he was an awesome Dr. Dillamond. He was very nice as well. He and Renee took a picture with me, then went in. Next in was a group. Philip Dean Lightstone, Bud Weber, Marissa Lupp, Emily Ferranti and Spencer Jones. I talked to each of the four of them for a couple of minutes, which was nice. They are all so kind. I thanked Marissa a few times etc... I asked Marissa if the Man coming toward the Stage Door was Mark Jacoby and she said it was. I asked him to sign. He said sure! He signed all of the stuff at the table, but had to get inside, so he couldn't talk very much, but he seemed very friendly. Kevin Jordan was next, and we talked for a few minutes. He is a very nice person, and an extremely talented dancer, there were several times I could pick him out. Next in was another group: Napoleon Gladney, Brenda Hamilton, Adam Sanford, Luis Figueroa, and Rick Desloge. They all signed for me, and were very nice, and thanked me for coming, and talked for a few minutes. Adam was very nice, and I had no idea at the time that he was actually on for Boq. They were all very nice :) Next was Colin Hanlon. We talked for a good 5 or 6 minutes, he signed all my stuff, and took a picture. He was very Nice, and an excellent Fiyero. Next was Kelly LaFarga, and she signed, and talked for a bit :) Then Christopher Russo walked in. I asked him if he was Christopher, and he said he was, so i told him he was an awesome Dillamond/Witch's father :) The last ones in were Adea Sessoms, and Allison Leo. They were both very nice, and I talked to Allison about Ugly Betty a bit :) Then we went inside....

The Show Started at two, so we left the stage door at about 1:40 to get inside the theatre. I bought some new stuff, including a Wicked Projector pen, which is like a flashlight that projects the logo. We had 5 understudies, three of whom were for the leads. Mariand for Elphaba, Carla for Nessarose, and Adam for Boq. We had Christopher Russo for the Witch's Father, and Allison Leo for the Witch's Mother. This is officially the most understudies I have ever had at WICKED.

Amanda Jane Cooper was absolutley phenomenal as Glinda. She had the perfect voice for the role. I loved her take on the role. She was very funny, but not as Spazzy as Katie or Chandra. Even though she had only been on with Mariand once before, they had excellent chemistry. She got lots of laughs when she came down in the bubble and began talking. Her voice was very high, and clear, and I have a hard time deciding whether of not she was better than Katie Rose Clarke. She is tied or better. I have yet to decide. Her popular reminded me a lot of Kate Reinders and Megan Hilty, and she had no problems maturing for act two. I was very pleased with her Glinda. When she spun her wand in the catfight, she sang this little high note the whole time, and then let off a loud"HA"! Mariand Torres was absolutley phenomenal as Elphaba. I have no Idea why she has not been asked to lead another company. I love Jackie Burns' Elphaba to death, but I think Mariand is a stronger Elphie. Her voice was flawless. She completley knocked "The Wizard and I" out of the park. She really made me feel sorry for Elphaba. I really saw hurt and anger in her, which was excellent, especially when Fiyero walked over the Bridge with Glinda in "I'm Not That Girl." I had chills all throughout Defying Gravity. Her voice was perfect, and she completley NAILED the High F in the "flying portion" of the song. She was excellent. Her catfight scene was amazing, and she had excellent Chemistry with Amanda there. I loved her NGD and FG as well. She had excellent chemistry with Colin in the final scene as well. Colin Hanlon as Fiyero was hilarious. When he first came in in DTL, I found him very funny, and then he sang, and I was a bit worried he wouldn't be able to hit the higher notes, because it sounded like he was pushing a little. Turns out its just the way his voice sounds, and he completley nailed the song. He was hilarious, and the audience really loved him. He really played up the stupidity, and looked shocked when Mariand told him he was more than he seemed. It was great. Carla Stickler is the best Nessarose I have ever seen. Deedee and Jenny are amazing, and I love them both to death, but Carla was excellent. She played the bitchiness of the part up big time, and Mariand always seemed really hurt by her everytime she spoke to her. In the OzDust Ballroom scene, when Mariand walked in with the hat, Carla looked shocked and embarrassed, and wheeled herself over to the side of the stage. Major props for that one. She really made me dislike Nessarose. She also has the strongest voice of any Nessarose I have ever seen. Adam Sanford as Boq was a surprise. He has a very high voice which I think works very well for the character. He's just this munchkin who doesnt like to get in the way, but really had this drive to be with Glinda. He really seemed to like Nessa at first, and then it just got old for him. By act two, he was just whipped. He was great in the Governer's mansion scene. He doesn't beat Brad for me, but he is a close second. Paul Slade Smith was also awesome as Dr. Dillamond. I thought he was very funny in the classroom scene, and the rest of the audience apparently agreed. He got lots of laughs. In act two, after "Wonderful" there were people crying when he started bleating, and Mariand seemed beyond angry with the Wizard there. I think Paul was EXCELLENT. Randy Danson as Madame Morrible has improved SO much since Cleveland. I loved her there. I thought she was funny, and great, but she was MILES better in Buffalo. She made the whole audience laugh, and her voice filled the room. I think she scared the small kids in front of me, which is her job, so Props to her for that. She openly laughed at Glinda in the OzDust Ballroom scene on "I doubt you will." She looked at her, and then cackled that line. When Dr. Dillamond's replacement came into the classroom, she looked pleased to see him, and then covered it up when Mariand began to protest. She was Brilliant. Mark Jacoby was fantastic as the Wizard. Tied with Lee for my favorite. He has the best singing voice of any of the Wizards I have seen, and had a very good grasp on his character. In Wonderful, he did lots of little hand movements, and acted out what he was singing really well. He spun Mariand around alot which was cool. I was very impressed by him.

The Ensemble was also the best I have ever seen them. Their harmonies were very strong, and they were very loud, which is something I really like in an ensemble. I got chills mostly every single time they sung :) Also, I have never seen a stronger Orchestra. The lights were great as well :)

Stage Door: (I'm leaving lots of the details and some of the conversations out here just keep in mind)

We met some people in the theatre who wanted to go, so at curtain call, we ran out and they followed us. The first person out was Brandon Tyler, who signed all of our stuff, and talked to us, "Did you like the show" "Yeah!" "awesome!" etc.... He brought his family backstage. Next out were Lauren Zakrin, Lauren Boyd, and Emily Ferranti. They asked us all if we enjoyed the show, and we all said yes of course. They all asked how many times I had seen it, and I told them 10 :) They were very impressed. Next was Terra, and Carla. I freaked when I saw Carla. "Hey Carla, you were great!" "Thanks so Much!" "I'm Kyle, we spoke on facebook a few days ago, thanks for the messages!" "Oh No problem, Hey Kyle!!" I gave her the drawing I did for her, and she loved it. I took a picture with her, and she thanked me for coming again, and I said "You were the best Nessarose ever." "Oh, thats so sweet thanks!" Then Terra came over, and said Jokingly "Ok Kyle, how many Playbills am I signing?" She is very very nice. Next, Paul Slade Smith came out, and came down to sign for us. I complimented his performance. "Oh, thanks!" He signed my stuff, and everyone else's then left. Colin Hanlon came out next, and signed, and talked to all of us, and took pictures with people. I told him he was great, and he said "Thanks!" Next out was Amanda Jane Cooper, and she signed all of my stuff, and said "When you said you were in the back of the main floor before the show I was thinking you wouldn't be able to see the bubble! Could You...?" "Yeah, the only thing we couldn't see was the dragon." "Oh, well that's not too bad, the Dragon doesn't have much personality... so it's ok. Hey, Kyle, you might get my mail today! I sent it like two days ago, so it should be there soon!" "How Many times have you been on with Mariand?" "This was my...second time" "Oh wow, you guys were excellent together, didn't she go on the last show in Ft. Lauderdale?" "Yeah! You're really smart!" We took pictures with her, and thanked her. She then blew everyone kisses, and left. We were all waiting for Mariand. The family that came down with us was worrying that she wouldn't come out, but I told them she would. Brandon Tyler's Backstage group came out, and I heard him say "Oh, and this is Mariand who was our Elphaba today..." so I spun around, and Mariand walked out! I gave her a copy of "It's not easy being green" and she laughed, and said "Oh thank you so Much!" She signed MY copy, "To Kyle, from Mariand." She didn't even ask my name and she personalized it! She signed all my other stuff, and I told her she was at the top of my Elphaba list. "Oh, thank you! How many times have you seen it...?" "Ten" "Oh, so you know your stuff then! We talked for a few more mintues, and I kept telling her how great she was, and she kept thanking me. She signed everyone else's stuff, took pictures with us, and then asked "Did I get everyone?" She waved to us all, and then left. On the way back to the car, I stopped in the intermission lounge and grabbed a stack of flyers, and then we headed back to the car. Carla, Brandon, and Terra were walking on the sidewalk behind us. It was an amazing day, and a pretty epic 10th time at Wicked. Cannot wait to see the show again!!!

PICTURES :) Click to Enlarge :)

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