Wicked

Saturday, June 23, 2007
2:00pm matinee & 8:00pm evening
Pantages Theatre
Los Angeles, CA

Elphaba   Eden Espinosa   Glinda   Emily Rozek (s/b)
Fiyero   Kristoffer Cusick   Madame Morrible   Carol Kane
The Wizard   John Rubinstein   Nessarose   Natalie Daradich (swing) -- matinee
Jenna Leigh Green -- evening
Boq   Adam Wylie   Dillamond   Brian Munn (swing) -- matinee
Timothy Britten Parker -- evening
Chistery   Peter John Chursin   Witch's Mother   Rozalyn Roberson (swing) -- both
Witch's Father/Ozian Official   Aleks Pevec (swing)   Midwife   Linda Kerns
             
Ensemble   Angela Ara Brown, Dioni Michelle Collins (matinee), Natalie Daradich (swing, evening), Courtney Corey, Michael Drolet, Melissa Fahn, Amanda Flynn, D.J. Gregory, Zach Hensler, Adam Lambert, Alexander Selma, Terrance Spencer, Eric Stretch, Brooke Wendle
             
 

GENERAL (stuff common to both shows 6/23 mat & 6/23 eve)
 

  • Emily Rozek was clearly the star of the weekend -- she reminds me a LOT of Kristin Chenoweth with some of her inflections, and other times she has Megan's little quirks, and also a lot of Kendra's mannerisms (which makes sense since she understudied Kendra for two years).
     
  • Overall Eden Espinosa was doing some VERY different acting choices from when I last saw her two months ago, and while it's great that she's mixing it up a little and trying something new and different, a lot of them didn't work -- particularly in the Sat matinee show. She reverted to some older choices in the evening show, which made her performance better -- but many of them still fell wrong.
     
  • Adam Wylie was all right, but his acting is somewhat like Eden's -- over-rehearsed and not at all subtle. But for the first time (perhaps because we were sitting under his nose during this), I noticed that he gets EXTREMELY angry when he gets pushed aside during DTL. He goes over to the stairs, slaps his book on the railing REALLY hard and fumes as he glares at Kris.
     
  • Emily does the air quotes with the hand not holding the wand at "you know who".
     
  • As the bubble starts to descend, Emily reaches out with her free hand to pop a few bubbles in front of her face
     
  • After being accused of being the Wicked Witch's friend, Emily is at first grasping for a way to avoid answering but then gives up (as opposed to other Glindas that are actually trying to answer but searching for the right words)
     
  • Emily is adorable in the opening of "What is This Feeling" -- she deliberately gets a very scratchy voice during the "unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to descriiiiiiiiiiii...be" (as in, at "describe", she kind of fades out and then when you think she's stopped singing, she'll add in the final "b" consonant).
     
  • During the first part of DTL, Kris twirled his finger in Lindsay Janisse's hair (she's the one with her hair pulled up on top of her head).
     
  • After Fiyero arrives at Shiz, Emily literally gallops as she races over to Kris at the "scandalacious" line.
     
  • I LOVE that Emily does Megan's little thing at "sharp" during "Dancing Through Life" -- turning the hat to point the sharp end in Eden's face, causing Eden to flinch slightly. Too cute. She also points a finger at Eden at "smart", and when says, "Here, out of the goodness of my heart", she literally curtseys/bows as she hands the hat to Eden. And then whereas Megan practically leaps off to upstage right, Emily skips like a little 8-year-old. Again, cute.
     
  • Emily does the cutest hand gesture at Kris when she says, "You're perfect" -- it's hard to describe but she fans out her fingers in front of him like he's a delectable dessert she wants (or something like that).
     
  • After Emily gets the training wand and has her confidence shot down by Carol, Emily holds the wand straight out in front of her, staring at it. But when she says, "I got what I wanted," it actually didn't really seem like she was bothered by what Carol said. But then again, I also got the sense that she was trying to play it all back in her head to try to decide if she should have been offended by it. And then when she says, "Nothing" when Kris asks her what's wrong, you can tell that yes, she is bothered by it but is doing a pretty good job at not showing it to Kris. It's a much more subtle approach than most other Galindas.
     
  • Kris' interaction Emily is very different than with Megan -- during the DTL scene, when Fiyero and Galinda are off to the side dancing, and then when the tempo of the music picks up, Emily turns around, has Kris wrap his arms around her waist, and she drums her hands on his hands in beat with the music. It's SO cute.
     
  • During the Ozdust Ball, when Emily and Eden are doing Elphaba's dance, Emily completely looks like she's about to burst into tears of remorse.
     
  • After the rest of the Shiz students pick up on Elphaba's dance and she suddenly stops dancing herself to stare, Emily comes up next to her, watches the amazement on her face, smiles, and then takes Eden's hand in both hers. Eden is still in so much shock that it takes her a couple seconds to realize Emily is next to her, and then a second more before she realizes Emily is holding her hand. It's a really nice moment.
     
  • In the "sharing secrets" scene, after Emily's told her "secret" and insists that Eden tell one too, she leans back and very stealthily reaches back until she can sneak her hands under Eden's pillow to snatch the green bottle.
     
  • Emily doesn't hold the green bottle in keep-away from Eden as long as Megan does, and Eden grabs is back fairly quickly and easily.
     
  • Emily lays her head on Eden's shoulder right before "Oh, look! It's tomorrow!"
     
  • In the opening of "Popular", when Emily comes downstage and has her back to Eden, Eden quickly grabs the green bottle and makes like she's very stealthily hiding the bottle under her pillow again -- which I actually like a lot because it makes it seem like the bottle means so much to her that she doesn't want Emily touching it again.
     
  • In "Popular", Emily does a lot of squealing like Megan, but they're not screeching high squeals like Megan (also Megan's squeals are more like very high-pitched singing). They're almost under her breath, and oftentimes accompanied by clapping her hands together very rapidly.
     
  • Also in "Popular", Emily says "pop-u-u-u-lar" somewhat like Kate Reinders (very staccato), but Emily also does the little hip-shake just like Kendra.
     
  • A lot of Galindas wrap their arms around Elphaba's neck during "now that I've chosen to become a pal, a sister, there's nobody wiser ..." and make like their waving Elphaba around, but Eden makes like Emily is choking her -- as far as sticking out her tongue and pointing to her throat as Emily is waving her back and forth. (I don't think Eden has done that with Megan, at least not that I've seen.)
     
  • During the break in "Popular", Emily does some leaps across the stage that are actually quite graceful (unlike many Galindas who are very awkward and spastic), but then Emily attempts to squeeze in one more at the very end at the last possible second, which was is quite amusing.
     
  • Emily does Kendra's little bit in front of her shoe rack where she hops up and down and takes her feet in and out (right after Elphaba says, "Oh, this is never going to work!").
     
  • In the toss-toss scene, when Eden spazzes out with the "no-hands" part, Emily climbs on top of the bed right behind Eden, and very slowly lowers her hands atop of Eden's head to make her stop convulsing.
     
  • During the ball gown sequence, Emily doesn't wave the wand gracefully at all. Instead, she swing the wand in circles over he head like she's throwing a lasso.
     
  • When Emily tosses the wand off-stage, she kind of lofts it high up into the air so that it might actually be catchable by the stage hand off-stage (whereas Megan literally flings it as hard as she can backwards, to the point where it's actually dangerous for the stage hand to catch).
     
  • Instead of "hello!" when she sees herself in the mirror (after Eden runs off almost in tears), Emily catches herself in the mirror and utters, "Hi." It's SO ADORABLE.
     
  • At the end of "Popular", when she heads back over to her bed, rather than running or leaping to it like most Galindas, Emily does these tiny little bunny hops over to her bed. Again, too cute.
     
  • Right before the lion cub scene, while in the classroom and Elphaba's powers have unleashed again, Kris yells at her, "All right, don't move!" and Eden abruptly grabs her arms with them across her chest. She has always done it this way, and it has ALWAYS bothered me. I just never remembered to mention it until now.
     
  • In the lion cub scene, after Kris screams, "Do you ever let anyone else talk?!", Eden kind of backs off and says, "sorry" but now she's doing it an extreme attitude so that it comes out "Soooo-reeee!" Which I don't like at all. I much preferred Eden saying, "sorry" like she was embarrassed. There is no way Elphaba would get that defensive to have an attitude with Fiyero.
     
  • I also REALLY dislike the way Eden holds up her index finger when she says, "Can I just say one more thing?" -- just the way she does it, combine with the ridiculous expression on her face ... it looks really stupid. Again, another detail I've always disliked Eden's take on, but haven't mentioned until now. I mean, I can see what approach she's trying to take, and it COULD work. It's just not working the way she does it.
     
  • I also like how in the train station scene, right when Fiyero runs in on top of the stairs in search of Elphaba and Glinda, Eden tries to surreptitiously grab her suitcase and make a very hasty exit before anyone (but especially Kris) can notice. Of course, Kris spots her and calls for her to stop to hand her the flowers.
     
  • Also Eden's "yes, I heard!" is no longer her screaming it. (Actually, a lot of her lines, she's no longer screaming. THAT part of her new acting attempts, I like.)
     
  • I liked how Eden reached her arm out to Emily during "Defying Gravity" when she sang "and if I'm flying solo" -- and Emily reached out back to her. (Actually, that's something she's done with Megan, too, but I just didn't notice it until this time around.)
     
  • During "Thank Goodness", after springing the engagement surprise on Kris, Emily holds out her left hand to show off the engagement ring to all of the Ozians.
     
  • Also, Kris does a much longer pause before he answers "Yes!" to being surprised. Then, despite being rather distraught by it all, Kris allows Emily to grab his hands and makes him wrap his arms around her waist as Morrible makes up the story about Glinda and Elphaba's encounter with the Wizard.
     
  • Something else I've always meant to make a note of, but haven't until now: in the transition between "Wicked Witch of the East" and "Wonderful", when the people in the engagement party dance across the stage, and then Glinda and Fiyero bow and curtsy, and then they turn back to head off-stage, Kris looks completely unhappy to be there -- as he should, since Fiyero isn't exactly happy that he's agreed to marry Glinda. But then as they pass one of the other dancing couples, Kris practically stares at the woman who catches his eye ... and he keeps staring until he turns to Glinda who is staring at him. Only then does he stiffen his back again and walks off-stage with Glinda in his arm. (And Kris has done this every time with both Megan and Emily.)
     
  • I have always hated the way Eden screams as she is startled by the Wizard when he booms, "I knew you'd be back!" It's just the way she reacts isn't at all natural. It's like she either screams too long or too loud or both ... or something like that. It just doesn't sit right with me.
     
  • Eden always laughs at John when he starts dancing wildly midway through "Wonderful" -- and I get that it's because Elphaba finds his dancing comical and stupid, and it WOULD have worked had she done other things to lead up to this sentiment. But all of a sudden cracking up at John's dancing just doesn't work.
     
  • Also, after Elphaba demands the monkeys be set free, John usually starts upstage like he's going to leave and just drop everything he's said about making Elphaba "wonderful" like him, but then he suddenly stops short, turns around and says, "Done!" like he's suddenly changed his mind. Again, I get what he's going for, but it's just not carried out right. And then Eden claps her hands together once in victory, and at that point, it got to be too much. This entire scene has not played out well in the last few weeks.
     
  • Adam has bothered me the last few weeks in the "March of the Witch Hunters" scene -- especially when he's trying to pull the Cowardly Lion out into the open, his movements are completely unnatural. He turns his head side to side as he pulls on the lion's tail WAY more than is necessary. It's unrealistic.
     
  • I LOVE how emotional Emily gets in the scene before "For Good" -- when Eden reads the note that they've seen Fiyero's face for the last time, Emily just about starts sobbing and her shoulders completely shudder as she turns away from the audience.
     
  • I've always felt that there were too many clues in the melting scene to give away that Elphaba was plotting the whole way to get the water thrown on her. The main one is the fact that she's lugging upstage the water bucket and sets it down upstage right before "For Good". Then as Elphaba is pulling the curtain closed, she's carrying the water bucket with her. Yes, I'm sure 99% of people watching the show for the first time would not pick up on that, but it just seems so obvious to do that. But I do like the fact that Eden gives Chistery (or one of the other monkeys) a knowing glance just before she pulls the curtain closed.
     
  • Again, Emily is so good at appearing to burst into tears -- after Elphie's melting, she picks up Elphaba's hat, throws her arms around it and clutches it close to her chest, and then sobbing. Heartbreaking.
     
  • When Emily goes to confront the Wizard about Elphaba's little green bottle, she says "you offered me a drink from it?", making it sound like a question. (I'm just used to Megan's approach which is much more confrontational and her tone of voice is one of accusation. Emily's works, too -- I'm just noting the very different approaches.)
     
  • Emily is THE BEST at mocking Carol when she tells her "it is my personal opinion that you do not have what it takes ..." -- she copies Carol's character voice and accent PERFECTLY and it is downright genius how well she does it.



    6/23 MATINEE

     
  • Dioni Collins on (yay!), Amanda Flynn out, Kristen in Amanda's track, Natalie Daradich as u/s Nessarose, Brian Munn as u/s Dillamond
     
  • Eden's acting choices were notably different and notably incongruent with what you'd expect -- most of them were hand gestures and facial expressions that I almost felt were Eden attempting something different that she'd never done before, but every one of them was wrong. This was most evident in Act 2 when the little gestures and facial expressions have a somewhat greater impact on what's going on in the story.
     
  • Something was wrong with Eden's glasses apparently, as she fiddled with her glasses MULTIPLE times in this show, a little in the evening, and then it probably was what caused the disaster of Sunday evening's show.
     
  • Natalie is a fantastic Nessa. She approaches the role a little differently from any other Nessa I've seen, but she has a fantastic voice and her acting is very appropriate.
     
  • Much more so than in the other shows, Emily was very wistful when she saw Adam (Boq) run on-stage as she is beginning the flashback. It was a really nice touch.
     
  • Aleks Pevec was late on entering his first line in the "room assignments" scene (Eden started to cover for him but just as she started, he came in with "Elphaba!" and they carried on with the scene just fine). But I do have to say that I really like Aleks' voice when he belts out "when I'm out of your sight" -- normally Matthew Stocke takes that into falsetto.
     
  • "Need they have a point" -- Emily delivered this in a very overly enunciated manner that made it really cute and funny.
     
  • When Elphaba's powers lash out, Natalie was extremely distraught and embarrassed, but then starting to forgive Eden when she apologized.
     
  • Eden's voice was rather weak and she even sounded rather congested and stuffed up through most of TWAI, and she sounded strained and/or scratchy. I mean, it wasn't bad at all. But knowing what she's sounded like previously, it was very rough in comparison.
     
  • Brian Munn's Dillamond is a little bit older than Timothy's Dillamond -- but it was a delightful change to see someone else's interpretation of the role.
     
  • Emily's Galinda is not academically inclined during the history class scene like Megan (who takes copious notes). Emily just sits there, bobbing her head side to side, occasionally glancing or saying something to Phanee or Shen-Shen. She clearly finds classes a joke, and Dillamond as well. She and her friends giggled with each other when Timothy gestured to Eden at "colorful".
     
  • It was really cute the way Emily was sitting in class, not really paying attention and twirling her feather pen in her fingers. Then, I guess Emily got something in her eyelash and she used the feather part of the pen to try to dislodge it.
     
  • Emily is extremely distraught when she says the "harping on the past" line (unlike Megan who tickles herself to pieces with her ingenuity).
     
  • After Dillamond discovers the message on the chalkboard and the entire classroom is silent, Eden turns her head to one of the student and mumbles something to him, a hard expression on her face -- not sure if it was accusatory or what. And then Eden began to bite her nails -- which is not something I've seen her do before. Hmm.
     
  • Kris looked really out of it during "Dancing Through Life" -- very little energy and the smile he had on his face looked forced and pasted on
     
  • In the "sharing secrets" scene, Emily plopped herself down on to her bed on her stomach and kicked her feet up and down behind her. But for a brief moment (and not-so-discreetly), she looked down at her chest to make sure she wasn't popping out of her dress. Ha ha.
     
  • In the scene where Dillamond is fired from Shiz, Eden for some reason got the giggles. I think it was because Aleks spit a massive amount as he was delivering a line as their new professor and Eden found that funny. She giggled for most of this scene until she and Kris ran off-stage. It was completely inappropriate for the mood of the scene, and I was rather bothered that she ruined the gravity of the scene -- but at least she pulled it together when she and Kris came back for the lion cub scene. It was bad, but not anything like Sunday night's show.
     
  • "Where is he anyway? Oh, not that I expected him to come say goodbye to me! We hardly know each other." -- Wow, this was SO badly delivered. It completely came across as Elphaba being scheming and calculating. Not at all like it should be intended.
     
  • From off to the left side where we were, I did catch a second or two of Carol off-stage, waiting to come on during "Dancing Through Life" and off in her little world conducting with the wand. Funny.
     
  • During the train station scene, when Boq gets fed up and runs off, Natalie was really distraught and really looked like she was about to burst into tears.
     
  • During "A Sentimental Man", Chistery (Peter John Chursin) grabbed Eden's bag, opened it, and peeked inside before scooting off.
     
  • In "Defying Gravity", when Eden is attempting the levitation spell again, Emily screams "STOP!" but she does it unlike other Glindas I've seen -- rather than being just out of anger, Emily partially turns away from Eden, has her hands near her head like she's having a headache, and then screams "STOP!" like she'd reached a point where she could take any of it any longer. Very nice touch.
     
  • Just before Emily tells Eden that she's trembling, and after she and Eden were singing about defying gravity together, Emily suddenly reels back and backs away from Eden in fear (not necessarily in fear of Eden, but like she had just realized the full scope of what Eden was talking about).
     
  • During WWotE, Natalie played Nessa very pissed off, very much like Cristy Candler did when I saw her on Broadway (although Natalie doesn't spit daggers -- i.e. over-enunciate -- like Cristy does). Natalie also does crazy eyes when she glares at Eden, but NOT anywhere like Jenna's crazy eyes.
     
  • Also, Natalie practically sneers at Eden when she tells her that their father is dead, that she's governor now, and that their father was embarrassed to death. I mean, really sneered.
     
  • Neither Kris nor Eden were acting very much at all in love during "As Long as You're Mine" -- they just seemed to go through the motions. But, I do have to say it was quite steamy watching them literally make out in the shadows of the vines before coming downstage for ALAYM, and then after Eden says "For the first time, I feel ... wicked", and they kiss again, they were again making out. Yowsa.
     
  • "No Good Deed" was decent -- Eden's voice had opened up quite a bit since TWAI at the beginning of the show, but still ... she sounded rather scratchy still. Very few riffs, it at all. But decent intensity.



    6/23 EVENING

     
  • Dioni out (Natalie in Dioni's track), Kristen in Amanda's track
     
  • Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman were in audience
     
  • Ensemble was extremely fierce right from NOMTW
     
  • Eden was much, much angrier in the "room assignments" scene than in the matinee, and even in previous shows I've seen.
     
  • Jenna's wheelchair went a little out of control when Elphaba's powers -- rather than the chair going back to stage right, it came downstage and Eden was kind of wrestling with the chair to bring it back toward her (and only semi-succeeded). But luckily, everyone went with it and it wasn't an issue at all.
     
  • After Emily makes the "phosphorescent" quip, Eden lunges after Emily, only to be held back by Jenna grabbing her arm.
     
  • After Morrible offers Elphaba private tutoring in sorcery and abruptly dismisses Galinda, Emily got this extremely distraught look on her face, like she was going to cry, and her lips started quavering.
     
  • TWAI much more open, a little more dynamic in terms of energy ... however, probably because of Stephen Schwartz in the audience, there were no riffs (sung very close to the original score)
     
  • Eden reacted a little differently than she usually does to Galinda's "artichoke" quip -- she actually looked really hurt this time, and it took her a few moments to gather herself.
     
  • Kris' hands were literally all over Emily during "Dancing Through Life" -- dude, you two just met! ;)
     
  • When Adam tries to butt himself in and tells Emily that he'll be at her side all night, Emily very affectionately adjust his tie for him as she turns his attention to Nessa.
     
  • During the Ozdust Ball, when Elphaba shows up with her hat, Eden crossed downstage and totally looked like she was about to cry (which is not something I've noticed before). She also glances over at Kris after Emily looks away uncomfortably.
     
  • In the "sharing secrets" scene, this time when Emily announces that she and Fiyero are going to be married, instead of immediately clapping her hands and squealing, she slaps Eden's pillow a few times first.
     
  • When Emily squeals and claps rapidly after she tells Eden, "I've decided to make you my new project", Eden kind of mimics her clapping with a look of fear and appeasement on her face. It was rather cute.
     
  • Somewhere in the few lines before "Popular" as well, Emily playfully punches Eden in the shoulder (perhaps a couple of times), and Eden responds by punching Emily playfully on the shoulder.
     
  • After Dillamond is fired and the new professor has revealed the lion cub, Eden is sitting on the bench looking like she doesn't know what to do with herself, and she has both legs (nervously) twitching up and down (which is something I haven't seen her do before).
     
  • During the train station scene, when Boq, Nessa, and Galinda enter and Jenna is telling Eden how happy she is, Adam is outright staring at Emily, practically drooling (well, no, but you get my drift).
     
  • This time when Eden tells Kris, "Yes, I heard!" (re: his thinking), she added a couple nods and a facial expression that made her look like she was extremely proud of him ... thinking.
     
  • For some reason, and I'd never noticed it before, but I noticed in this show how Eden is literally unbuttoning and taking off her white tunic as she and Emily run upstage to go for their costume change at the beginning of "One Short Day".
     
  • The Ozian guard (Aleks) who yells, "The Wizard will see you now!" had his orange mustache fall off right as the song ended, and he managed to catch
    it before it fell to the ground.
     
  • This time, during "A Sentimental Man", Chistery (Peter John Chursin) touched a finger to Eden's lips and then touched his own lips -- so cute!
     
  • Eden was practically crying when Elphaba realizes that the Wizard is behind everything.
     
  • John made a really strange reaction to himself when he said "only verbally" -- it was goofy, and even though the Wizard is kind of a goofy character, it didn't work right.
     
  • Eden also made an unfortunate facial expression when John says "we call it history" -- it was something that was just too much and, again, not a natural reaction.
     
  • After Dillamond is discovered under the blanket, and all Dillamond can do is bleat like a goat, he crumples back a little while Eden takes one of his paws, and she lays her cheek on his paw. That was actually very nice.
     
  • Kris was MUCH more angry when he tells Eden to leave, and especially when he yells for Glinda to go back to the ball.
     
  • When Kris announces that he's going with Eden, Emily says "all this time, behind my back?" in a much more accusatory tone of voice than most Glindas I've heard.
     
  • "As Long as You're Mine" -- again, not hot. Making out before and after were steamy. But nothing in the song itself.
     
  • In the witch fight scene, during Eden's rant, she says "But it's happened!" in a very witch-like, Margaret Hamilton tone of voice. I love when she does that.
     
  • I love Emily's facial expression of complete and utter shock when Eden slaps her back.
     
  • I also thought it was cute how both Eden and Emily shook their hands in reaction to the sting they felt when they slapped each other.