Understudies: Gregory Haney as Chistery, Tess Farrell as The Midwife and Becca Khloa as The Witch's Mother. All three were great, though none of those roles are particularly large. I liked Becca's voice much better than some other people I have seen in the role. The Midwife has all of five seconds onstage, but Tess did a great job, and Gregory Haney was a great Chistery, the people around me were ooh ing when he finally spoke at the end.
The Orchestra: I don't know if something was in their water or something, but they were on FIRE! Especially the guitar player(s). The electric guitar added something special to "Defying Gravity" and "The Wicked Witch of the East" in particular. They were loud, and I just loved it, and I especially loved that during Glinda's lines in "Thank Goodness" ("Well maybe I can't. Is that so wrong? Who could?") an underscoring of Popular takes place. I don't know if I had never noticed that before or if I simply forgot, but it's just brilliant writing.
The Ensemble: Very strong and motivated still, despite some of them being on the road for so long. I love picking out people in the ensemble that stand out to me, and Lilli Cooper was excellent and stood out to me this time around. I loved her solos and she just had great energy, catching my eye several times. The dancing is still perfect and I noticed so many little things that I have not noticed before, such as in "One Short Day," two of the ensemble members went arm in arm downstage doing the same skipping that Dorothy and her friends made famous in The Wizard of Oz. Brilliant.
John Hillner is still great as Dr. Dillamond, a role that only has about 17 minutes of stage time, but is crucial to the plot. I like his voice a lot, even though you don't get to hear as much of it.
He always has a huge smile on his face when it's appropriate and it makes him that much more likable. I love his voice and it made me wish that Boq got to sing more (though that is quite a frequent wish on my part). His tin man reaction was gold, and I loved him in "March of the Witch Hunters" which is such a tragic song, because Boq is a good person and he's letting loose and getting angry, plotting how to kill a former classmate. But he was awesome.
Walker Jones is so great as the Wizard. He's charming and funny and super quirky. Loved his voice and again I loved the fact that SOMETHING about his performance made me think about The Wizard's past, and re-inforced my theory that he grew up much like Elphaba. It may have been the smile that is glued to his face all the time. Smiles are intriguing in a way, and I think that may be what did it, but I really loved his performance. He is great, and I loved seeing him onstage as the Wizard again.
David Nathan Perlow. I
|David Nathan Perlow|
Jennifer DiNoia as Elphaba is the definition of a rock star. I have seen her three times now as Elphaba
|Hayley Podschun and Jennifer DiNoia.|
After the show I got to go backstage with one of my favorite cast members ever and talk to several company members, see the bells and whistles backstage, as well as some of the costumes, and just see things another way. It has been 5 years since I last went backstage and it was really exciting to do it again! I love talking to the 'folks in Oz' because they love their supporters so much and are always willing to chat. I had a great day in Oz and I can't wait to go back (fairly soon!) I am choosing not to post photos with cast members because I don't think I look so great in them! Ha! Everyone in Wicked is just too attractive for me! ;)
The 2nd National Tour is off to Buffalo this week, and if you get the chance to see it, GO! This cast is not to be missed.