Saturday, June 9, 2007
2:00pm matinee &
Los Angeles, CA
*Julie Reiber* (standby)
Carol Kane -- matinee
Linda Kerns (u/s) -- evening
Jenna Leigh Green
Timothy Britten Parker
Peter John Chursin --
Aleks Pevec (swing) -- evening
Laura Dysarczyk (swing) -- both
Witch's Father/Ozian Official
Linda Kerns -- matinee
Natalie Daradich (swing) -- evening
Angela Ara Brown, Dioni Michelle
Collins, Natalie Daradich (swing), 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
Okay, seriously. Julie Reiber is now my favorite Elphaba, hands-down. I
was still debating that point that morning because while I thoroughly
enjoyed her on May 5th, I still REALLY adore Eden, but after tonight ... I
don't think there's any doubt about it. Because Julie friggin' ROCKED the
evening show, and she was even better than when I saw her a month ago. I
mean, there were times I was practically floored, with my mouth hanging
(Julie was great in the matinee, but there were several occasions where I
could tell her voice wasn't warmed up and too many of her vowels felt too
closed off, and a little strained. Especially in the early scenes where
she's attempting to sound very young. But the evening show, it was like her
voice had opened up ... and wow. Still a couple vowels here and there, but
not many at all, and mostly in the first few songs where she's really trying
to sound young.)
Megan Hilty was adorable as always, and perhaps a little more exuberant
than usual, but not too much. She was unfortunately also very sunburnt --
which had to be distractingly painful.
She also sounded a little sick (she probably got it from Eden), and actually
was a bit scratchy and she modified a bit.
Kristoffer Cusick: singing and dancing was great, and acting good for
most part -- EXCEPT "As Long as You're Mine" where he did not look at all in
love. It was COMPLETELY one-sided (Julie's side). It was frustrating to
Carol Kane was NOT on for the evening show. It was Linda Kerns as
the understudy, and I love her Morrible. She is so much more authoritative
and she doesn't try so hard to draw attention to herself. There were several
times where it sounded like she was a little uncertain about her lines, but
she did fine and it was a welcome change.
Jenna Leigh Green is starting to overdo a few things. What used to come
across as intense and emotional now appear scary.
Adam Wylie, too, is overdoing his attempt to make Boq cute and funny. To
the point where it's obvious that he's trying too hard, and it's no longer
John Rubinstein is ALSO bordering on overdoing it. (See "Wonderful")
The evening sub board was the longest I'd ever seen it -- with five of
the principle cast. Julie, Linda, Laura Dyzarcek for Witch's Mother, Natalie
Daradich for Midwife, and Aleks Pevec as Chistery. Seems they've made quite
a few ensemble changes -- last week there was another female swing added to
the Playbill via insert, but this time she wasn't in it but rather another
female swing, Rozalyn Roberson (who was a swing and asst. dance captain in
Dioni is still out (and same mystery girl was in her track -- who I
actually think is Natalie, and I'd somehow mixed her up previously with
someone else last time). Melissa Fahn is out (see below), and Lindsay
Janisse was also out. I haven't figured it all out yet, but I'm not entirely
sure they had enough females to cover all the normal tracks ...
Melissa Fahn apparently "got clobbered" during the Ozdust scene
somewhere in the last couple and had to be taken to the emergency room? This
according to her friends/family that were next to us at the stage door.
I've never seen so many people streaming back to their seats for Act 2.
And the girl sitting next to me in the matinee actually SANG ALONG, and
she could just be heard during "For Good". Please, people. How can you (and
the people around you) enjoy the actors when you're singing along?!
The entire cast was MUCH more exuberant in the evening show, which might
have had something to do with the audience, too.
I love Natalie as the Midwife for some reason. I haven't pinpointed what
it is yet, but she makes it work.
Megan went for one of the high optional notes at the end of "No One
Mourns the Wicked" -- not quite supersonic-Opening-Night high, but high.
Impressive considering her voice wasn't 100%.
Microphone problems in the evening show -- poor Laura D. was probably
only heard by the first 10 rows of the theatre with her one and only line.
Megan's mic cut out for a split second during one of her high notes.
I started the applause for Julie's entrance in the matinee. Because it's
just sad when Elphaba doesn't get applause.
Julie is one of few Elphabas that comes across as so much younger than
in Act 2, and even much younger than midway through Act 1. Part of it is in
her voice, but it's also in her mannerisms (like being very awkward).
Julie is SO cute in this song, especially in the last verse when she
can't keep herself from literally leaping on stage from exuberance. The
energy was fantastic, and I love how the energy just built higher and higher
until she exploded in that last verse, belting her heart out -- and that's
when I KNEW this was going to be a fucking fantastic performance from Julie.
Julie flubbed the first verse in the matinee -- she sang "and there will
finally be the Wizard and I" instead of "and that's how we'll begin, the
Wizard and I". Not really noticeable to most people, I'm sure.
Julie and Megan have such great chemistry, and Julie actually mocks
Megan a little more throughout the song.
Julie did the squeaky "your voice", and she also did a spastic mockery
of Megan's leg kick thing along with mocking how Megan holds her purse
during it. Hilarious.
Megan again used her compact mirror, but she was much more aggressive
with it. At one point, she squatted almost to the floor to shine Julie's
reflection back at herself, and then dodged the mirror around at different
angles while Julie tried to use her hand to block it. Cute.
Great laugh from Julie at the end after she goes "Boo!" at Megan.
Julie is almost constantly frantically jotting down notes as fast as she
can during most of the scene. Very diligent.
Actually, Megan takes notes much more than she used to, too -- only she
does so with a self-confident smile, and an ocasional head-bobble from side
In fact, Megan's Galinda comes across as much more intelligent than
most. Just a little stuck up about it, too. When Dillamond asks for the
definition of "scapegoat", Megan drops her feather pen and notebook down to
her lap, and half rolls her eyes as if she couldn't believe Dillamond would
ask such a simple question. And then when he asks for someone besides
Elphaba, Megan stands up with her feather straight up to the ceiling, a
little indignantly. She has this expression on her face that says, "I know
this. How can anyone not know this?"
And then when she makes the quip about "harping on the past", she kind
of giggles at her own brilliance, turns to her classmates and curtsies, and
briefly shimmies her shoulders as if she was tickled by her own joke.
Dancing Through Life
Kris and Megan were downright adorable in the Ozdust ball scene in both
the matinee and evening. They were chatting about and poking Megan's sunburn
in the matinee. In evening show, they were ALL OVER each other -- hands
everywhere, bodies practically pressed together ... and all the while they
were whispering pretty intently into each other's ears. And then Megan
attempted an interesting dance when the music tempo picked up and they
laughed about it. And then Kris poked her in the arm where she was sunburned
(playfully) and she flinched and giggled. It was TOO CUTE.
Megan and/or Kris' timing in "Dancing Through Life" has been a little
iffy. Megan just about missed her entrance in one of the shows on May 5th.
And then she omitted "after all" and jumped right into "now that we've met
one another". I don't know if Kris is taking too long with is lines or what,
but it's happened a few times now that I've gone.
Carol Kane in the matinee was pretending to conduct the orchestra as she
was waiting off-stage for the sequence where Morrible gives Galinda the
training wand. LOL.
When Linda came on and gave the training wand to Megan, Megan flung the
wand back and forth so hard that *if* it ever managed to slip out of her
hand, it would seriously hurt someone in the audience. And Linda's reaction
-- like she was afraid of having her eye poked out -- was great.
I *think* I've mentioned this before, but Megan is so wonderful in the
Ozdust ball scene because not only is she so good at portraying the guilt
she has over embarrassing Elphaba the way she did with the hat and all the
teasing she'd done, but Megan is also great at showing how sincere she is in
Elphaba's dance scene. She is truly apologetic and encouraging to Elphaba,
and there is a moment right after Elphaba suddenly stops when she realizes
the rest of the Shiz students are doing their dance and Megan looks at
Elphaba's stunned reaction, grins, and then reaches to take her hand. In
both the matinee and evening show, Megan held Julie's hand for a few beats
longer before leading her upstage to Kris. It's very warm-and-fuzzy moment.
During the "sharing secrets" scene, when Megan throws herself completely
flat on her stomach on her bed, pouting because Julie snatched the bottle
away, Julie looked at Megan's reaction and threw the biggest eye-roll.
In the evening show, after Megan grabbed the green bottle and tried to
play keep-away, and Julie snatched it back, when Julie plopped herself onto
her bed, the left strap of her dress came undone and the strap flew forward.
For the rest of the "sharing secrets" scene and the first part of "Popular",
you could tell she was kind of distracted by it. (Julie was VERY emotional
in conveying her guilt about Nessa and their mother in the matinee, but not
as much so in the evening.)
It wasn't until Megan spun Julie around and made her sit on her bed to
unbraid her hair (and Julie's strap flew forward again) that Megan took a
moment (as she continued singing) to re-clasp the strap, and Julie mouthed a
big "thank you". (I actually kind of expected Megan to notice it a little
earlier and ad-lib something as she re-clapsed it, but I guess she didn't
notice or decided not to stop the show for it. It would have been something
funny, for sure.)
A very minor point, but Julie omits "really" when the line should be,
"You really don't have to do that."
And Megan was much more exuberant in "Popular", which was really fun to
watch. She never fails to make me smile in this scene.
Megan is making the toned-down "ball gown" sequence work really well.
She makes like something huge is going to happen by the way she waves the
wand ridiculously hard, and then in a very subdued speaking voice says,
"Ball gown." Then she glances at the wand, clears her throat really loudly,
and waves the wand even more grandly, and again says in a very subdued
voice, "Ball gown." Which only makes the "Okay, is this thing on?"
hilarious. It's a great comedic contrast.
When Megan tossed the wand behind her, she's been flinging it SO HARD
that there really is no point to have the guy standing there attempting to
catch it. Whereas Kristin and other Galindas kind of lobbed it backwards and
it was catchable, Megan's flinging is just dangerous. In the evening show,
the wand actually bounced off the set and rolled back on stage, and Megan
turned around and kicked it off-stage. Cute.
When Megan says, "Why, Miss Elphaba, look at you! You're beautiful.",
she says it in a very sincere tone of voice that only makes Julie running
away a little more heartbreaking.
And then Megan's pout after she says, "Well, you're welcome!" was a
little longer than usual, which was really cute.
And this I think was just a minor mix-up, but Julie said, "Do you think
I want to be like this?" instead of "Do you think I want to be this way?"
Julie is getting better with those low notes in most of the song, but
while she hit the low E at the end in the matinee, it ended up fading away
into breathiness, and then ... nothing. And you can see just how hard she
was straining to keep the note going, but really, there was no sound coming
from her vocal chords. I felt so bad for her.
But in the evening show, she (or one of the directors) decided to make
the last note on the E an octave above -- and man, it just made the song
that much more gorgeous, and gave the song a solid end. For Julie, that's
how it should be. E above middle C.
While most Morribles wave their handkerchiefs or glasses to clear the
rainy weather (after INTG), Linda Kerns punched the air with her fists.
Once again, Megan didn't have time to get her handkerchief out of her
purse in time before "One Short Day" in the matinee. She did in the evening.
(Or was it vice-versa?)
OSD tumbler did RO FF Layout in the evening show (which was just
awesome!), as opposed to just an aerial cartwheel in the matinee.
John is still doing the thing where he turns over Julie's hand to check
to see that it's really green when they first meet. And he's also
approaching Julie closer at the very end of the levitation spell scene,
holding onto Megan's hand with one hand and reaching out toward Julie with
the other, completely expecting Julie to take it. He actually comes very
close to taking her hand before she races off.
I don't know what happened, and I meant to ask Julie at the stage
door (but again, me = forgetful idiot at the stage door), but in the
matinee, something wasn't right with the harness Julie was in for "Defying
Gravity" because at least twice, she reached back at her waist like she was
grabbing it or something. Whatever it was, that has to be really scary when
you're 40 feet up in the air like that.
Julie brought the house down at the evening show. Again, her belting her
heart out, and she was intense. I think I stopped breathing at one point.
And when the lights blacked out, the entire theatre just erupted. Holy hell.
It was a nice little touch, right after they sprang the surprise about
it being an engagement party, where Kris looked like he was about to turn
and walk off the platform, but just as Megan started singing "We couldn't be
happier", she grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him back.
And in general, this scene played out very nicely -- Megan, especially,
with her being hit with reality.
Here was another place where you could just barely tell that she was not
100%, and she didn't do the lift at "UN-til you've crossed" like she's been
doing since Opening Night.
Julie consistently says "Oh, did I scare you?" instead of "Oh, did I
I really do love the way Julie and Jenna interact in "Wicked Witch of
the East", even though there are times when it seems like Jenna is glaring
daggers a bit more than she needs to. But after Jenna gets all excited about
being able to stand on her own two feet, Julie holds out her arms and even
takes a step toward Jenna as if she expected Jenna to embrace her in a hug
of gratitude -- but then is thoroughly confused when Jenna stumbles over to
the table to ring for Boq.
Julie was fantastically fierce and almost vicious toward John in
the scene leading up to "Wonderful" -- she was spitting daggers at him.
John is still doing very animated and mostly very appropriate gestures
to go along with "Wonderful", but there were a couple that were pushing it
to the borderline of "overdoing it". In the matinee, his acting felt the
slightest bit off. And in the evening was where I felt he was slightly
My biggest complaint of the show. In the matinee, it was COMPLETELY
one-sided. It was all Julie. Kris didn't seem into it at all and he barely
moved. At one point, Julie grabbed his hand and pulled it onto her thigh,
and then he kissed her neck. But as the for the rest of the song, it was all
Julie showing that she was passionately in love. I mean, it was actually
quite frustrating to watch. The evening show was slightly better, but not by
much. What's up with that??? I mean, he sang nicely enough ... and maybe
he's actually overdoing the riff at the end now (which I think is a result
of him trying to out-riff Eden in that song). That riff was gorgeous before
when he wasn't trying to make it stand out and it was still subtle, but now
it's too much. But what I can't get over is how idle he was. Really, they're
supposed to be madly in love, for heaven's sake. BOTH of them. Not just
Also in the evening ALAYM, Julie sang "And see how bright WE shine!"
with so much gusto that made her voice fill the theatre (I think it was
higher, too, by maybe a third(?) -- and I reeled back in awe.
And after ALAYM in the matinee, I'm not sure what it was -- if Julie
really forgot how to start the next scene (which I HIGHLY doubt) or if Kris
didn't like that Julie was taking her time or what -- but instead of Julie
starting with "I just wish ...", Kris prompted her, "What is it?" Which I
thought was a little weird.
Julie was downright livid during the witch fight scene. She and Megan
have terrific chemistry, and they got such a great reaction from the evening
Kris did the the Tarzan yell in the evening show.
I mentioned this before, but so much more apparent today, I guess? Right
before "No Good Deed", Elphaba has to dash off stage, and literally sprint
downstairs to get under the stage so she can get lifted through the trap
door for NGD. Julie makes SO MUCH NOISE when she is under the stage that I
actually heard her from the friggin' mezzanine in the matinee! And
Julie is a tiny person, and somehow she makes a whole lot of racket. It's
The ensemble was incredibly vicious in "March of the Witch Hunters".
Very sharp performance from them.
Megan majorly flubbed a line when confronting the Wizard about the
bottle. "I've only seen a ... It was her mother's. She told me so herself.
I've only seen a little green bottle like this one other time ..." I'm
certain it was because Megan was distracted by her painful sunburn.
Both times in the matinee and evening shows, someone must have put the
green bottle under Elphaba's hat improperly because both times, Megan
knocked the bottle over and there was an audible *clunk* as it hit the
floor, and of course, she had to ignore it. And actually in the matinee,
Megan paused because it looked like she'd kind of picked up the bottle along
with the hat (somehow) and was trying to get it loose before picking it any
further. It was very brief, but for someone who's seen it as many times as I
have, it was obvious the bottle wasn't cooperating.