Monday, September 30, 2013

Musical Monday! (Wicked)

MUSICAL MONDAY is where I will be writing about seeing Wicked cast members in other shows, whether it be seeing them in a show before or after they were in Wicked.

For the very first "Musical Monday" on Flying High, I will be writing about seeing Annaleigh Ashford in RENT and KINKY BOOTS!  Ashford played Glinda in the Broadway and closing Chicago company of Wicked, as well as understudying the role on Wicked's First National Tour.  Other Broadway credits include Legally Blonde (Margot, u/s Elle), Hair (Jeannie), Kinky Boots (Lauren, Tony Award Nomination).  Off-Broadway credits include Rent (Maureen) and Dogfight (Marcy).  She can be heard on the Original Cast Recordings of Legally Blonde, Dogfight, and Kinky Boots.

I first saw Annaleigh live in Rent Off-Broadway in 2011.  She played Maureen, the role that Idina Menzel iconically originated on Broadway and in the film.  I always said that Idina would forever be my favorite Maureen, and perhaps that is still true, however Annaleigh's completely different take on the role was very refreshing and interesting.  She made me laugh a lot and she also brought the necessary depth to the role in a totally different way than
Idina Menzel.  She has a fantastic voice and is obviously very very funny.  I really enjoyed seeing her in the role.

I saw her more recently as Lauren in Kinky Boots, a role for which she was nominated for a Tony.  She was the highlight of the show.  Annaleigh usually plays funny roles and this was no exception, however there were scenes in Act 2 where she got to show off her serious side and she did a phenomenal job.  "History of Wrong Guys" is one of my favorite songs in the show and she owned it and made the whole audience laugh.  I absolutely loved seeing her in the show and I would love to see her/it again!  She is such a talented human being who is so awesome onstage and off.

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