Saturday, April 21, 2007
Los Angeles, CA
|Elphaba||Eden Espinosa||Glinda||Megan Hilty|
|Fiyero||Kristoffer Cusick||Madame Morrible||Carol Kane|
|The Wizard||John Rubinstein||Nessarose||Jenna Leigh Green|
|Boq||Adam Wylie||Dillamond||Timothy Britten Parker|
|Chistery||Peter John Chursin||Witch's Mother||Kristen Oei (swing)|
|Witch's Father/Ozian Official||Matthew Stocke||Midwife||Linda Kerns|
|Ensemble||Angela Ara Brown, Dioni Michelle Collins, Courtney Corey, Michael Drolet, Melissa Fahn, Amanda Flynn, D.J. Gregory, Zach Hensler, Lindsay Janisse, Adam Lambert, Alexander Selma, Terrance Spencer, Eric Stretch, Brooke Wendle|
Part of the challenge with writing this review was the fact that I was sitting in the rear mezzanine. (I didn't win lottery ... for the first time.) The Pantages isn't quite as big as some of the Los Angeles theatres, but it's big enough that if you're sitting in the last 7 or 8 rows, you really can't see the actors' faces -- and I have good corrected vision with my contacts.
Okay, since I won't be hashing out a FULL review (since I've done so for this cast many, many times already ... and there wasn't a whole lot that was new), I'll just list a few noteworthy things:
I do have to mention that the audience energy was kind of
weird for this show. There were times when they were dead silent, barely
responsive. And other times, they'd erupt in laughter/applause/cheers -- a
couple of them at unusual times. Not sure what that was about.
Kris didn't do it in the matinee, but he brought back the
"Huh?" that he utters to Megan at the very beginning of "Dancing Through
Life" when he does his super-slow pivot turn in front of Megan (I guess
trying to impress her?). But it's so cute and amusing.
Both Kris and Megan were amusingly very energetic when they
were singing, "You're perfect! No, YOU'RE PERFECT! So, we're PERFECT
together!" That had me giggling for a while.
Unlike the matinee with Julie, Megan did the thing where she
pointed the tip of the black hat at Eden at "it's really, uh, SHARP, don't
you think?". In fact, I think Megan did it even more emphatically this time
because Eden really did reel back quite a bit, rather than just tilt her head back a bit
as she did in previous shows.
I don't think I've mentioned this in previous reviews yet,
but in the last several shows I've seen, Megan is now doing this thing where
her voices drops off when she sings "popular". One of them is in the
beginning of the song when she is bouncing on her toes (and she sings
"pop-u-u-l ...") and she does it again when she turns to the audience at
"Not when it comes to popular / I know about pop-u-u-l ..." and she gets all
breathy. It was funny the first couple times, but now I'm not sure I'm
enjoying it quite as much. Oh, Megan ...
But "Popular" WAS really funny, and because of a minor flub. (And I love flubs/bloopers!) I hadn't laughed that hard
in quite a while.
So, right before Galinda launches herself into her awkward series of leaps across the stage halfway through the song, there's usually a bassoon or some low instrument that plays a descending line.
Well, for some reason (don't know if it was a substitute player or what), but that bassoon came in a measure early. Megan heard it, and started giggling ... and kept giggling for a good portion of the rest of the song. You could tell she was trying hard to keep going, but she was on the verge of losing it completely. Eden was highly amused as well.
Then, onto the "toss-toss" sequence. Megan decided to ad-lib just a little bit. So, as she guided Eden in the first "toss-toss", she told Eden, "Now, smile. Ooooh! That's good!" Then with the second "toss-toss", she told Eden, "Now ... now ... keep smiling. And toss-toss!" Eden was cracking up a good deal at this point, too. (Unfortunately, I could only tell from their body language, as I couldn't see their faces well at all.)
A slight tweak during the train station scene, right when
Fiyero arrives. After Kris races down the stairs with flowers in hand, he
and Megan exchange the briefest "hi" before he turns is attention to Eden. I
know it doesn't sound that funny, but somehow the intonation in Kris' voice
was rather amusing because it was like he was saying, "Elphaba, wait! Oh,
yeah, you. Hi, Galinda. Elphaba!"
I still can't help cracking up at the enormously huge
mock-surprise face Eden gives Megan when she announces her name change. Even
from the back of the theatre where I couldn't really see their faces.
Eden did "everyone deserves a chance to fly" on the same note again in "Defying Gravity". Honestly, I'm not a big fan of it.
Eden was particularly ecstatic, filled with so much joy,
when the Wizard released Chistery and the monkeys. I don't think I've ever
heard her yell "Fly, monkeys! Fly!" with so much energy.
"As Long as You're Mine" was terrific -- Kris especially.
His voice was so clear and effortless, and it was THE best I've ever heard
from him. And he did his lovely riff on the very last note and it actually
carried over Eden this time. Made my heart melt.
The witch fight scene was particularly ferocious this time,
especially for Eden whose rant would have made the toughest of tough guys
cower in fear.
I was thoroughly amused when Kris swung in on the rope with
a full Tarzan like yell. That had me giggling for a bit.
"No Good Deed" was relatively light on riffs, though the
intensity was good, and Eden did her great "FiyeroooOOOO" riff.
Eden and Megan were emotional during "For Good" and the finale (but not a lot like the 3/31/07 evening show I went to). Still, I always get a bit choked up when Glinda sings "who can say if I've been changed for the better" in that high soprano range, and I really love the way Megan sings it.
If I think of more to add, I will. But this may be it.