Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wicked 8/13/11 e

The First Thing I am posting is My Stage Door Experience from before the matinee. I arrived a bit after noon at the Stage Door. Usually most cast members come in starting a bit after one, but whoever is playing Elphaba is mostly always at the theatre around 12:30, and some of the other big stars come next. I arrived, and after about 10 minutes of waiting, I saw Kyle Dean Massey, who just returned to the role of Fiyero yesterday, walking down the street toward the Theatre. "Are you Kyle?" "Yeah!" "Will You sign these?" is how the conversation began. I told him I saw his first ever performance as Fiyero, and Next to Normal, and he seemed very interested, and thanked me for coming, and went in. He is so nice every time I have met him.Kathy Santen was next in, and I told her I saw her in Chicago, and a few times on Broadway and she said that Chicago felt like a long time ago. I asked if Teal was already inside and she said that she probably was not due to it being so early. Kathy is always one of the first in, and A.L.W.A.Y.S. the first out, but she does not sign after shows, she runs away :p But she is always so nice before the show. To be honest, I do not quite remember the order in which people came in after Kyle Dean and Kathy (S). It is a blur, but what I am going to do is list off cast members in no particular order, and describe what happened. I quite literally met every single person who was on in the show.

Teal Wicks, Katie Rose Clarke,Richard H. BlakeTom McGowanKathy FitzgeraldCristy Candler, Eddie PendergraftTom FlynnLaura WoyaszStephanie TornsLindsay K. Northen, Jared BortzAnthony GaldeRobin Wilner, Betsy Werbel, Jesse JP Johnson, Briana Yacavone, Kristina Fernandez, Jonathan WarrenNova BergeronKelly LaFargaAlicia AlbrightAdam Sanford, Kristen Leigh Gorski (Kristen Gorski-Wergeles is her last name in the Playbill now), Mark Shunkey, Brian Wanee, Nathan Peck, Colby Lindeman, Jonathan McGill, Alexander Quirgoa  Kevin Jordan, and Kyle Dean Massey (Who was there for a rehearsal).

I saw Wicked at 8. The show was phenomenal as always. Teal Wicks was a very strong Elphaba. Her voice is absolutley outstanding. She gave me chills in Defying Gravity, and her No Good Deed was the strongest NGD I have ever heard, she hit those high notes with force and a vocal prowess that was so incredibly impressive. I got chills during Defying Gravity, as usual, but when she hit that ending note, I was pinned to my seat and found myself unable to clap for a few seconds because I was so impressed. Last time that happened to me was seeing Carmen in Buffalo. Her "Wizard and I" was very strong also, though of her big numbers, it is not her strongest. Like I said however, it was very very impressive. Her hopeful smile filled the theatre, and I felt so bad knowing she was not going to get what she wanted. She had excellent Chemistry with Tom Flynn in all their scenes together. "I'm Not That Girl" was really well done too. When Richard and Katie crossed the bridge, she ran under it, and looked up just in time to see them kiss, and looked at the ground again. Her chemistry with Katie Clarke was amazing, and you could tell they were having a great time up there. She sounded wonderful in "For Good" as well. Teal Wicks is tied with Carmen Cusack as my favorite Elphaba, though if you were to ask me who my favorite Elphaba is, with only one answer, I would still say Carmen. Katie Rose Clarke is the only Glinda I have seen multiple times, and she really keeps the role fresh, interesting, and funny. I loved her "No One Mourns the Wicked." I think it is the strongest I have ever heard her do it. Her soprano sounds lovely. And she had no trouble with any of the notes. She really looks shocked at herself when she calls Elphaba wicked, and shocked at what the ensemble is saying, which is something I have noticed all three times I have seen her. I loved her in "What is This Feeling" too. She hopped around, and really took control of the stage. Especially on the "Yes, aaaaaaaah!" when Teal knocked her out of center stage, she gave her a "well thennnnnnn" look, and kept going. I loved it. She really shined that night. Popular with Katie Clarke is always a guaranteed hoot. I loved her in this number as usual, she makes me laugh so hard every time she does it. And Teal seemed really bewildered by her, which I thought was hilarious as well. The first time I saw Katie, her Popular was outrageously over the top, which I appreciated, the second time, it was a bit more toned down, and this time, it was about the same, and she still makes it funny, and looks interested in what she is doing even though she has been playing Glinda for nearly 4 years. She did a great job with Tom in the Wizard scene, and she was excellent in Defying Gravity, even though that number just... belongs to Elphaba. Her "Thank Goodness" was very strong, and she was great at convincing Richard, and her voice cracked when she called out his name when he left, which I thought added to the moment, because it sounded more like emotion. I loved her in For Good as usual, and she is still very invested in the show. Even though Amanda is my favorite, no one can top Katie's finale. It is always so incredibly sad watching her sing it, yet I always feel triumphant after she does. She is tied with Amanda Jane Cooper as Favorite Glinda. If you asked me, I would probably still say Amanda, but Katie is so strong in this role. Richard H. Blake was awesome as Fiyero. He cut a few notes short in Dancing Through Life, but he maintained a very strong vocal performance and made the audience laugh a lot, though not as much as Colin Hanlon. He had great chemistry with Teal in "As Long As You're Mine," which I really liked and he sang the song itself very well too. Again, he played a very mature Fiyero, which is partially due to the fact that he is several years older than Teal and Katie, but it does not make his performance any less awesome. Tom McGowan was very strong in the role of the Wizard. He made the audience laugh a lot more than I remember a Wizard ever getting, which I thought was interesting. He sang his songs very well, and seemed like a charming man who knew what he was doing, but was not sure whether or not he should feel bad about it. Kathy Fitzgerald was absolutely wonderful as Madame Morrible, and is one of my favorites. She rrrrrrolled her "r's" over-exaggeratedly and had great chemistry with Teal and Tom M, and F :) She actually sang her part in Wizard and I, which I really liked. And SCREAMED that speech in "DG" She was very convincing in the role. Cristy Candler was also very strong as Nessarose. She does not have the power behind her voice that Carla Stickler or Deedee Magno Hall have, but she does have a very pretty voice, with exceptional strength. I loved watching her in the Gov's Mansion scene with Teal. Eddie Pendergraft was very good as Boq. He was not a whiny Boq, he was more of a "sorry to bother you Glinda" Boq. He has one of the strongest voices of any Boq I have seen. He really sang "Witch Hunters" well, which I appreciated :) Not as good as Brad, but he is up there :) Tom Flynn, as usual, made Dr. Dillamond very likeable, and funny. I enjoy watching him onstage. He has a great voice, and his bleat was very funny as usual. He made me laugh, and he is the best in the act two scene with Elphaba and the Wizard, when Elphaba asks him if he remembers her, and he bleats, and you can always tell he is trying to say "yes". I enjoyed his performance immensley. The Ensemble was very strong, not quite as strong as the ensemble on the 1NT, but strong nonetheless. I enjoyed picking out Stephanie Torns, Lindsay K. Northen, and Briana Yacavone out. The orchestra was great too!

Stage Door: I went back after the performance, and met most of the cast. Nova Bergeron, Briana Yacavone, Kelly LaFarga, Lindsay K. Northen, Donna VivinoBetsy Werbel, Stephanie TornsKristen Leigh Gorski, Eddie Pendergraft, Michael DeVries,  Tom McGowan, Tom Flynn, Colby Q. Lindeman, Cristy Candler, Teal Wicks, Katie Rose Clarke, and Kathy Fitzgerald.

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