Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wicked in Columbus, 9/4/16 BOTH shows!

Hey guys, so I got to see Emily Koch's last two shows on Tour 2!  And even more exciting, I got to see my pal Amanda as Glinda again! I hadn't seen either Wicked tour since the very beginning of 2014, and since then I have seen the Broadway company a billion times as well as the London company.  So I was a little nervous about seeing a completely new group of people, though obviously that's dumb because I knew they were gonna blow me away.
^My fourth time seeing the show was in Columbus in 2007 and it was so weird and cool being back there to see Wicked again over 9 years later.  I tried to take as many photos as possible, though I'm trying not to spam! 
The curtain on the left was my view for the matinee, the right is the evening.  After the matinee, Amanda and Emily gave the BC/EFA speech, Chad Jennings came out in a giant blow-up dinosaur suit and Emily fell over laughing.  It was unexpectedly hilarious MOSTLY due to the cast's reactions.  The right is from Emily Koch and Megan Masako Haley's final bow!
The cast was wonderful.  I honestly was mostly nervous because I saw Rachel Tucker, Carrie St. Louis and Jennifer DiNoia a whooooole lot this summer, and had really bonded to their takes on the roles.  Amanda and Emily are as different as it is possible to be from Rachel, Carrie or Jenny, but obviously that is a large part of what makes seeing the show over and over again so exciting.
I would like to start off by saying Jeremy Woodard is an absolutely STELLAR Fiyero.  It was really cool to see.  I've gotten to see three amazing guys play this role so many times this year.  Michael Campayno, Jonah Platt and now Jeremy.  He has a gorgeous voice and was a cut above most people who play Fiyero in the acting department.  He was also the best dancer of the three.  I really really liked him and I told him that after the show and I'm sure he thought I was really weird.
Sam Seferian and Megan Masako Haley made a really nice team as Boq and Nessa.  Sam is a little taller and more built than most Boq's I have seen (and my number of seeing Zach Piser is in the double digits so...) and it threw me off at first but he did a nice job.  Really nice voice.  He sort of played down Boq's geekiness which was something I missed.  I loved Megan.  I still have yet to see a Nessarose who has a stronger voice than Carla Stickler, but she was great.  And she wasn't as mean or manipulative as Dawn's Nessa, and I liked both lots.  I always want to root for Nessarose and certain Nessas make it a little easier.  Megan is one of those.
Stuart Zagnit was a really fun Wizard.  He is very well-sung in the role, even though A Sentimental Man sounded as though it had been keyed down for him (?)  I really liked his energy, and as much as I like Peter Scolari as the Wizard now, Stuart took the cake!  Wendy Worthington was hilarious as Madame Morrible, her voice is so odd and squawky onstage and I LOVED it.  She is so cute in the Morrible makeup but she was the first Morrible in a long time to actually sound 20000% terrifying in her Defying Gravity speech, and she evolved very well into act two.
Emily Koch was a pretty great Elphaba.  It was odd to see her completely different interpretation of Elphaba after seeing Rachel and Jenny so many times but she turned in a really wonderful performance both times.  Her number to absolutely shine was Defying Gravity.  She added some really nice embellishments while flying, and her 'tell them how I' was remarkably clear and polished.  Her voice is incredibly powerful when it's supposed to be, and vulnerable in the same regard.  I loved her 'bring me down's.  She threw in some cool riffs in Wiz and I as well that I thought were beautiful.  She didn't do as much with No Good Deed as she could have, I really like it when an Elphaba goes all out in that number and she seemed to hold back.  She did throw in a really great Fiyero riff for the evening show though and I loved that.  But overall NGD was plain and powerful.  She and Amanda's final For Good was lovely, especially when both of them started crying towards the end and it was VERY apparent.  It was beautiful.
Amanda Jane Cooper guys.  While perhaps not *quite* as strong a vocalist as Carrie St. Louis, her voice is absolutely gorgeous, and at several moments during Thank Goodness, I heard STRIKING similarities to Kristin Chenoweth, as in nearly indistinguishable.  She's a very emotional Glinda as well which I always love because I connect with Glinda a LITTLE more than I connect with Elphaba.  I really liked her 'two best friends' line in One Short Day, the emphasis was very powerful and I actually 'aw' ed out loud.  Popular made me laugh out loud in places (which is saying a lot because CSL milks that scene to the MAX) I loved her cornfield scene and I'm Not That Girl Reprise, they were both gorgeous.  She was also incredibly sinister while suggesting going after Nessa, which I thought was a great take. Her final scene was very powerful.  I am hoping that I get to go back and see her and Jessica Vosk together, which I'm sure will happen in the winter :)
 Some Stage Door photos:

Super glad I got to get a sandWITCH picture here, as well as a nice photo with Jessica Vosk!  It was lovely to get to talk to her for a few moments.
Amanda took two of my friends and I backstage after the matinee and showed us around and talked to us for a while.  She is one of my favorite people to ever be in Wicked, and she spent a good 5 minutes trying to get a good selfie of the two of us (which mostly worked, see bottom right) for her phone.  She's lovely!


 P.S. Shoutout to Bailee, Val, Tyler, Joey and Ty who I got to spend a lot of time with that day, as well as Andrea who I'm glad I got to bring for your first Wicked experience!


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