Monday, August 8, 2016

I'm Back!

Hey everyone!  It's been a few weeks since I've last posted due to things outside of my control.  I worked in an office this summer that works for Wicked, and since this website is not an official affiliate of Wicked the Musical, I was asked to not post until I finished my internship!  I finished up last week and thought I would fill everyone in on this summer!  I got to see the show a pretty nice number of times this summer, and I am so happy with the hands the Broadway company is currently in.

I'll talk about Rachel Tucker and Carrie St. Louis first.  Even though Rachel is no longer on Broadway, the West End is in for an enormous treat when she returns there because her performance as Elphaba is unreal.  She packs her Elphaba full of feisty energy and I absolutely love her.  The first two times I saw her (March) I thought she did a nice job and really liked her voice.  The third time in early June she gave a good performance and then after that she absolutely blew it away every single show that I saw from her.  I was able to attend her final performance on July 30th, and she elevated it even further.  Her Defying Gravity was growly and riffy, and her No Good Deed always blew me away.  Rachel is one of the people as Elphaba who manages to absolutely blow me away with 'The Wizard and I'.  Her belts at the end are so concentrated and full of energy, and I was always impressed, especially when she did her "things I've never felt" and "so happy I could melt" riffs.  

As for Carrie, I don't have enough positive things to say.  She is such a talented person, and she's such a sweet person too. She'll forever be one of my favorite people to talk to after the show.  Her performances are 110% every single night, and she really has found such incredibly deep and complex aspects of Glinda that very few other actresses have.  She's full of energy, she loves attention,  she's confident, she's sassy, she's funny, but she's also insecure, full of integrity and overall just a kindhearted person with deep emotional intelligence.  Carrie finds moments for every single one of those emotions to shine during the show.  She truly has a long long career ahead of her.  And I'm so excited to see where she goes.

As for the new people!  Jennifer DiNoia is killing it already.  I was at her first show back, as well as a few others that week and her consistency amazes me.  Jenny is a really special Elphaba to me, because I first saw her my freshman year of high school when she was the standby on Broadway.  The next time I saw her was on the 2nd Tour, my freshman year of college (twice).  And now we're here as I am going to be a senior.  She has done the show on and off but it's like she's been with the show as I've grown up and as so much has been happening throughout life.  And I love that.  Her signature is on the first signed playbill I ever got through the mail.  It's signed by the 2006 Chicago company (Kristy Cates/Stacie Morgain Lewis) and Jenny is listed as a Swing.  Just amazing.

Anyway, Jenny is amazing.  Her voice is so powerful.  Rachel Tucker's interpretation had been burned into my mind after *insert number here* performances of seeing her as Elphaba, and Jenny just continues to amaze.  It's amazing how different she and Rachel are in the role because they play her so differently.  Rachel's a little more edgy and angry, Jenny is much more vulnerable and soft, toughening up when she needs to.  Jenny's No Good Deed is sincerely stellar, one of the best from any Elphaba I have ever heard.  2/4 times I saw her in her first week she opted up on the "Fiyero" riff that she only occasionally does.  Her Defying Gravity also continues to amaze.  She really made that song her own between being a standby and becoming lead, and even though I saw her twice on the road where she was full time, it was so exciting to see her fully OWN the role on Broadway.  She sings "I'm Not That Girl" beautifully.  Between Rachel and Jenny, Rachel is slightly more polished vocally, Jenny has a much more edgy and raw voice, and I honestly can't say which one I prefer.  Also, Jenny is BEAUTIFUL in green.

Michael Campayno is also doing a really nice job as Fiyero.  He was audibly nervous his first night, his vocals very hushed.  But the moment he opened his mouth to sing, I knew he had a really cool sounding voice.  He does a really nice job with Fiyero's growing pains as well, evolving nicely into act two.  I really liked the contrast between Michael and Jenny, which I thought was oddly reflective of their positions in the show.  Jenny's Elphaba is cool and calm, very confident and mature.  Michael's Fiyero is young and unaware, slightly insecure, but coming into his own.  It was mirrored perfectly through their performances.

This show is beautiful.  And I am so thankful I got the chance to see it and connect with it on this level this summer, I was alone in NYC for two months which was a dream come true, but Oz feels like home.  And there's no place like home 💚

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