Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wicked 2nd National Tour 9/23/11 e

I went to see WICKED's second national tour in Pittsburgh last night. It was the first time I have seen the Second National Tour, and It was absolutely amazing. Before the show, I stage doored, but I did not think I was going to, so it was very unexpected and cool :)

 I met several people before the show, but not everyone, because we left earlier than usual to get into the theatre.  I got to meet (in approximate order) Peter C. Ermides (Dillamond that night), Michael McCory Rose, Jody Gelb (Madame Morrible) Daniel Torres,K.C. Fredericks, Linda GriffinChristine Dwyer (Elphaba standby who was on that night) Don Amendolia (The Wizard) David Nathan Perlow (Fiyero),  Don Richard, Erin WilsonJustin Wirick, Casey QuinnRyan Jackson, Samantha FarrowDan Pacheco (Boq), Lauren Haughington Courtney Iventosch, Natalie Daradich (Glinda) running around the corner on my way into the theatre, but didn't want to bother her since it was so close to show time.

Christine Dwyer was so incredibly amazing as Elphaba. Her "Wizard and I" gave me chills. I noticed a lot of things that she did were so effective. When The Witch's father gives Nessarose the shoes, Christine looked into the box almost as if to see if there was something for her, and Don snapped it shut in her face. She was very good in her scenes with Natalie and Peter, even though she flubbed a line in the "Something Bad" scene. I was impressed with her in the popular scene, a scene in which Natalie did some ad-libbing. "I'm Not that Girl" was absolutely amazing too.
I thought she really brought new emotion to it, and her low notes were phenomenal. Her train station scene was great. I laughed at so many points. "One Short Day" was wonderful, I love that song so much. She was so hurt when the Wizard revealed he had just sort of used her, and she sounded ready to cry. Defying Gravity was intense. She stayed in her chest voice the whole time on the softer notes, and I got chills. When she rose into the air.... oh my gosh. She was so LOUD, and the whole moment was just incredible. Her first "Meeee dowwwwwwwn" was incredible. Her Act 2 was very solid. The Governors' mansion scene got tons of applause, especially "Well there's no place like home!" "As Long as You're Mine" with David was absolutely amazing. The Catfight was hilarious, Christine imitated Natalie through most of it and the audience ate it up, and then she gave one of the most vocally solid "No Good Deeds" I have ever heard. For Good was wonderful. She and Natalie were actually crying which really added to the whole moment. The Finale was gorgeous as well.

Natalie Daradich was hilarious, moving, and just so bubbly as Glinda. She laughed a LOT, in that little Glinda Cackle.
"No One Mourns the Wicked" was very solid, and after she explains Elphaba's birth, and the ensemble starts singing "No One Mourns the Wicked" again, she looked startled, as though she was thinking "I just clarified this!" She was hilarious in the Shiz scene, calling Elphaba phosphorescent was hilarious. The audience loved her. After Dwyer's "Wizard and I" which earned her cheers and screams, Natalie grabbed everyone's attention again which most would think impossible after such an amazing number. WITF was great. In DTL she reminded me of Megan Hilty a LOT. She touched David a lot, and was very tossy with her hair, and did her little spazzy motions. Popular was a hoot. She went crazy. Not as crazy as Katie, but still very crazy. She ran around and when she took Christine's glasses off, she added (In a whisper) "I'm just gonna put these back onnnnnnn." Which made me laugh out loud. She was great in the Wizard's chamber scene, and when Don was singing to Christine, she was nodding encouragingly. In DG, when she says "You can have all you ever wanted" and Christine says "I know" Natalie threw her head back relieved, and then "But I don't want it" she looked shocked. Her "Thank Goodness" brought the house down. She was very emotional the whole time, and really made me believe that Glinda was going through a crisis. "INTG(r)" was amazing too. She cried during that. She elongated a lot of Glinda's lines in the catfight scene, but it worked and it was so funny. For Good and Finale were beautifully sung as well. She cried a LOT during both. She did an AMAZING job.

David Nathan Perlow was excellent as well. He was much better than Richard H. Blake, who is awesome in the role, but I preferred David. He sang the score very straight, no riffing or changes to the score at all, but he was very into what he was doing and had amazing Chemistry with Christine. In Dancing Through Life, when Christine storms offstage, he looked after her regretfully until Natalie cut in and started hitting on him. He did a g
reat job with DTL. His dancing was great, as was his singing. His scenes in Dillamond's room and the Lion Cub scene were very well acted and funny. He did an awesome Train Station scene too. His act two was much more serious. He did a great job in "Thank Goodness" when telling Natalie he would marry her if it'd make her happy, almost like he really DIDN'T mind getting married, which added to her heartbreak. When he runs off with Elphaba, and Glinda says "so all of this time behind my back...?" He was hilarious in the way he executed those lines, and ALAYM was great too. WONDERFUL voice. The Catfight reflected how funny he could be without actually speaking that much, which I appreciated. He did a great job in his final scene with Dwyer.

Dan Pacheco was great as Boq. I thought he added a level of depth to Boq that I have seen really only from Brad Weinstock and Adam Sanford before. He was naive, but also didn't mind being walked all over. He didn't belittle himself as much as the Boq's usually do, which was a cool effect. He recognize
d that he had more to offer to the world and that he shouldn't be treated the way he was. He had great chemistry with Michelle London, they were very cute together onstage. Michelle was great as Nessarose. She did not quite have the vocal prowess of Carla Stickler, but she is a soprano, and it worked very well for the lighter softer Nessarose. Nessa was a huge bee-yotch in act two, which is always fun to watch. She really snapped at Elphaba a lot. I think she should continue with this role in another company, or play Glinda full time. Peter C. Ermides was awesome as Dillamond. I really really liked his voice. He has a higher softer voice than most of the Dillamonds I have seen, which I really liked, and In act two, something that he did, which was BRILLIANT, was when Christine said "Don't you remember me?" He grabbed her hands and looked shocked, as if he remembered that green girl in his class 2 years before. That was a BRILLIANT move on his part. Jody Gelb was Deliciously Horrible as Madame Morrible.
I REALLY enjoyed the way she played the role. She was a sly lady who knew JUST where to strike, and didn't care how it affected anyone else. She has a nice singing voice too, which is great for Morrible. Don Amendolia was a great Wizard. He is a great actor, and a good singer. He was brainlessly evil, not really knowing what he was doing, but not caring either, just wanting to stay in power. He got a lot of applause when he danced, and his hand motions were great. His reaction to finding out Elphaba was his daughter was one of the best I have seen.

The Ensemble and Orchestra were amazing as well. The set of this show is slightly different than the Broadway and 1st National Tour. Broadway and 1NT are basically Identical. This one has a few minor differences. First, In Madame Morrible's Defying Gravity Speech, she does not come out onto any sort of platform, her voice simply comes on over the stage. The Bridge in "INTG" and "TG" is not real as is is in the other productions, it is 2D, so Fiyero and Glinda come out stage left and have their moment while Elphaba is singing, and in TG, no one is on the bridge. There are way less vines and cogs on the sides of the stage compared to Broadway and 1NT. Other than those minor differences, the three U.S. Productions are identical!

Stage Door: I got to meet Tiffany Haas, Linda Griffin,  Casey Quinn, Natalie Fotopoulos, Michael McCory Rose, Dan Pacheco, Michelle London, David Nathan Perlow, Erin Wilson, Lauren Haughington, Laurel Harris, Samantha Farrow, Marissa Miller, Jody Gelb, Don Amendolia, Natalie Daradich and Christine Dwyer.

*I have removed many of the photos that were originally a part of this post for personal reasons.

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