Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Los Angeles, CA
Jenna Leigh Green
Timothy Britten Parker
Peter John Chursin
Laura Dysarczyk* (swing)
Witch's Father/Ozian Official
.. no clue anymore ...
Overall, despite my having wanted to get
rid of this ticket, I felt I got my money's worth. My seat was really good --
front row of mezzanine, and I forget how nice it is to sit a little farther back
to be able to take in the entire stage at once. Yet I was close enough to have a
good idea of facial expressions (though it might have been even better if I had
a better contact lens prescription for my right eye ...).
Since this is a cast I've reviewed over and over and over, most of what I'm
going to discuss is stuff that is new to me or particularly noteworthy. And I'm
too lazy to write up coherent paragraphs ...
There were a couple changes to things I've
pointed out not liking in the past (or things I know other people on my
f-list have mentioned not liking).
Eden didn't pretend to crack up laughing
during "Wonderful" when John started going a little crazy with his
dancing toward the end. I've always disliked that, and I was a little
pleasantly surprised she chose not to do it this time. Yay.
Megan did not scream "Did you hear what
I said?" at John when she tells him to leave Oz. Usually she screams it
at the top of her lungs, which elicits a good laugh from the audience
(including me), but I can understand why a lot of people don't like it.
Well, this time, she said it in a normal speaking voice, though quite
Also, something very subtle, but this
time Eden actually didn't look like she was stopping too soon when she
asked if she should fetch Dillamond some water.
Eden was reportedly out both shows on
Sunday, and I'm guessing because she wasn't feeling well, because while she
sounded pretty good, there were a few times when she sounded scratchy or
phlegm-y, and some of her vowels were a little closed off. Other than that,
though, DAMN she was fierce! Perhaps maybe a little too much at times, going
over-the-top with screaming at the top of her lungs and near-hysterics.
Luckily, though, they were appropriate times to do that (as opposed to when
she was screaming lines when it wasn't quite so appropriate), but my opinion
is that increased intensity does not always have to mean increased volume.
And again ... the hand gestures. Not something I'm going to let go of
easily. Not nearly as bad as some shows I've seen in the past, but there are
a couple where I'm still wishing Eden would do something different. Mainly
the pointing, but there are a couple where she gestures with a flat hand
that look a little out of place, too.
Megan was the one who had changed the most,
and I only last saw her three weeks ago. I don't know if they are things she
was directed to change or what, but they were very interesting. They are
mentioned below. Vocally, she was great. Perhaps not quite as clear as other
times I've seen her, but very powerful and she hit the optional high note of
"No One Mourns the Wicked" with ease.
"Dear Old Shiz": Usually Eden kind of lunges
at Adam Wylie as he cringes in fear, but this time, she sort of fake jumped
like she was going to attack him, before angrily gesturing for him to go by
her to join the rest of their classmates.
"The Wizard and I": Impressive as always. No
optional lift or any other riffs, but with the power Eden had in her voice,
that was fine by me.
"What is This Feeling": Eden did her mocking
of Megan's poofing of the hair and then tossing the hair over the shoulder,
and Megan was a little more emphatic with doing just that after it. Very
comical. Both Eden and Megan's energy was fantastic, which made the song
really fun to watch.
In general, the timing of the entire show
was much slower paced, which was actually quite nice and allowed for much
more effective comedic or dramatic moments. One that comes to mind is when
Dillamond mispronounces Galinda's name, and spits in Dioni's eye. Both
Timothy and Megan check to make sure Dioni is okay, and it made for a much
funnier moment than usual. And then I also should mention that Eden was VERY
angry with her rant at Megan.
At the beginning of "Dancing Through Life",
when Fiyero sings, "They want you to be less callow, less ... shallow",
Megan USED to giggle really loudly and then slap Fiyero on the chest with
her purse. This time, though, she giggled the same, but then really slowly
ran her purse down his arm. No one else laughed at that, but I pretty much
During the Ozdust ball scene, when Eden is
standing alone and dancing with everyone else just staring, she REALLY got
into the dancing, with her hips and shoulders, too. I usually don't laugh at
that scene because I usually feel so sad for Elphaba, but I had to giggle
this time because it was that funny a sight, especially right before Megan
comes over to cut in. My description really wouldn't do it any justice, so I
won't even try.
In the sharing secrets scene, when Megan
announces that she and Fiyero are going to be married, she did her really
high-pitched squeal, which prompted Eden to cover her left ear, and she held
her hand over her ear for a little while, too. Ha ha.
Eden was MUCH more emotional in the sharing
secrets scene than I remember in the past. Not really too much either. Very
In "Popular", Megan is not even singing
"ball gown" anymore. Here's how it plays out: even before the first attempt,
she points the wand at Eden's waist, and then creeps a few inches closer and
Eden looked like she was afraid Megan was going to poke her in the ribs
(which Megan did last time I saw them). Megan waves the wand and then
speaks, "Balllllll gowwwwwwn." Nothing happens, but still holds the wand at
Eden's waist for a few seconds longer. Then she does her crazy deep pliť
preparing for the second attempt. And again, she speaks, "Balllllll
gowwwwwwn." Again, when nothing happens, she's still holding the wand
pointing at Eden's waist, and without moving, speaks very slowly, "Is ...
this ... thing ... on?" Then she goes to her bed and violently slams the
wand on the bed. I'm surprised the wand didn't break. Then the rest of the
scene played out as usual.
This is something Megan had been doing the
last few times I've gone, but I don't think I've mentioned: during
"Popular", at one point when she sings "popular", she arches her neck back
and waves her hair around, right onto Eden's head.
A few other little things about "Popular"
(things that have been previously done, but I may not have mentioned): after
snatching Eden's glassed off her face, Megan puts her glasses back on, but
very crooked, and Eden just kind of sits there for a few seconds before
taking them off to fix. The first time Megan sings, "I'm going to help you
to be popular", she grabs Eden's hands and hops up and down on her toes, and
then swings Eden's arms side to side, but Eden kind of stands there very
stiff-bodied, almost like she's afraid of what Megan is going to do to her.
Also a huge difference was in the train
station scene. Normally, Kris hurries down the stairs trying to catch up
with Eden, and USUALLY grabs Megan's arm, says a very distracted "hi" to her
before speaking to Eden. Because of this, Megan is usually a little slower
on picking up what's going on between Kris and Eden, so after Kris says, "I
think about that day a lot" and Eden says, "So do I", Megan takes a few
seconds to stare at them before suddenly jumping in with "me too!"
This time, though, Kris barely even looked at Megan as he passed by and
didn't grab her arm, leaving Megan behind as he went to hand Eden the
flowers. Because of this, Megan was suspicious right away, and after Eden
says, "So do I", Megan immediately said "me too" in a very calculated and
maybe even scheming tone of voice, with the intention of disrupting whatever
is going on between Kris and Eden. The rest of the scene played out nicely
as Kris and Eden have always done with terrific awkwardness.
"As Long as You're Mine": I noticed this
time Kris and Eden didn't kiss when they were standing behind the vines
(like they usually do ... I think?), just as Megan finishes "I'm Not That
Girl (reprise)". And um, it sounds like Kris' voice has gotten even higher
in this song. Not pitch-wise, but tonal quality. It's a little weird.
"Witch Fight": Holy cow, Eden was
practically in hysterics, especially with her rant at Megan. I rather liked
her bubble line, which came out with a great pace following Megan's line.
Eden also seemed to cackle for MUCH longer than she usually does.
"No Good Deed": Eden did the high "Fiyero"
riff, but shorter like the last time I saw her. But holy cow ... again,
extremely fierce and she didn't let up one bit.
I'm not sure why, but the blocking for "For
Good" seemed a little off -- for both Megan and Eden. I can't figure out
exactly what it was, but it just didn't seem natural.
Also in "For Good", Megan was much less
emotional than she typically is. If anything, she was maybe even had a
bittersweet take on her feelings, much like Elphaba typically does.
Despite the relatively very small audience
size, there was GREAT audience from the energy, especially up in the
mezzanine. There was one guy a few rows back and a couple sections over (so
thankfully not close to me) who very loudly guffawed at several times. I
loved his reactions to some things.