Saturday, October 27, 2007
Los Angeles, CA
Julie Reiber* (s/b)
Linda Kerns* (u/s)
Jenna Leigh Green
Timothy Britten Parker
Peter John Chursin
Brian Munn* (swing)
Laura Dysarczyk* (swing)
.. no clue anymore ...
Julie Reiber -- while fantastic -- actually
sounded a little tired and a bit sluggish at times. Vocally, she was still
gorgeous and very powerful, but it's like she had to channel some of the
energy she'd normally use for hand gestures, body language, facial
expressions, etc., for singing. Again, NOT a lot. If you were seeing her for
the first time, you wouldn't have noticed. But the fact that this was my
sixth (?) time seeing Julie, it wasn't quite the same as what she's usually
This was my first time seeing Megan Hilty
again in a month and a half, after having seen Kendra three times, Christina
once, and Emily once during that span of time. I'd kind of forgotten some of
the little things that Megan has adopted to make the role absolutely her
own, most of which I really love and adore. Perhaps some of the comedy comes
across too strongly (like she's trying a bit too hard for the laughs), but I
really do love how her portrayal of the role has evolved SO much just in her
time in Los Angeles.
Also, Megan has been coming off having been fairly ill (it sounds like she'd
been out of the show an awful lot in the last couple weeks, and was why we
got Emily last week), and while she really didn't sound sick at all, there
were slight instances where you could tell she was being careful with her
voice (very few optional notes).
For quite some time, I've known Megan to do
that incoherent mumbling of something when one of the Ozians shouts "Glinda!"
to ask if it was true she was the Wicked Witch's friend. This time, however,
Megan just did a simple, "Hmm?"
Laura plays the Midwife a bit older than I
think Natalie does when she's swinging the role.
Just to keep score, unlike Kristen's Witch's
Mother, Gina doesn't faint when she sees that her baby is green.
During the progression of different
reactions/emotions that Julie progresses through during "Dear Old Shiz", she
gets VERY exasperated when Melissa faints.
Just as a comparison to Julia (who sort of
gently places the suitcase down), Julie (like Eden) practically tosses the
suitcase to the ground when she goes off on her rant, "All right fine! Might
as well get this over with ..."
Brian playes the Witch's Father in the room
assignments scene very young -- like he hasn't really aged in the twenty
years since we first see him.
Linda really draws out "linnnnnnnguification".
Megan's delivery of "magic wands -- need
they have a point" is very musical sounding (though, still spoken).
I love how Megan is completely and utterly
appalled that she's lost Morrible's attention to her when Linda turns away.
When Julie's powers unleash, Julie's fingers
actually kind of quiver, and she stares at them intently and almost
horrified at what's happening.
The wheelchair was moving much more slowly
than it usually does, and it took a few seconds longer for it to back up
toward Julie. (And after the chair lands in her hands, Julie again looks at
her hands in horror.)
I love the way Julie is utterly confused
when Linda reaches out to touch her face, like she's a little taken aback
that she'd even want to touch her at all.
The beginning of "The Wizard and I" was just
a tad sluggish in terms of Julie's physical energy, although her voice
sounded great, and she REALLY ramped up the energy at the end of the song. I
LOVE how she practically exploded with uncontrollable joy by literally
galloping in the air when she sang "so happy I could MELT". Seriously, SO
Usually Megan sings "I'll rise above it" in
a half-whispered voice, but she did not this time.
After Julie says "blonde", she literally
shakes her body out like she's trying to shake off the creeps or something.
Very mocking, high-pitched "your voice" --
which I love, but also love Megan's reaction of leaning backwards (by
arching her back) away from Julie.
Julie actually did a very similar mocking of
Megan as she did with Emily at "every little trait" -- holding the purse
with her fingers, pointing, and doing the little leg kick that turned into a
side kick (not really a back kick anymore).
After Megan "attacks" Julie with her
reflection using the compact mirror, and Julie holds her hand up to block
it, Megan kept the mirror out but circled her arm a bit, which Julie also
In the first classroom scene, Megan says
"it's Galinda ... with a gaahhhhhh" -- not like Emily's goat-like sound, but
just very drawn out. And then when Timothy does the second attempt, spitting
in Dioni's eye, Megan lets out this exasperated sigh.
Julie's rant about perfecting pronunciation
of Galinda's name was not quite as lividly angry as she's done in the past.
But then after Megan's "artichoke" comment, I love how Julie is completely
appalled and hurt, and on top of that, Dioni was pointing and laughing at
her, too. Aww.
The second time Megan said "it's Galinda
with a gah!", she said it in a very whining and frustrated tone (much more
so than she used to) -- like a little child.
After nearly being run over by Fiyero's
cart, Julie picks up her books and rather than smacking the back of the cart
with her books (kind of from the side), Julie slammed the books on the top
of the back rest (from above), which actually looked really funny because
it's just the slightest bit awkward.
And again, like the last time I saw Megan,
right before Kris sang "they want you to be less callow, less ... shallow",
Megan bent forward at the hips and peered up at Kris kind of from below
which is hilariously cute. And while Megan still does the slightly delayed
giggle at "shallow", she swings her purse in his direction, but she has
scooted far back enough away from Kris that she does actually hit him.
During the entire "Dancing Through Life"
scene (in the courtyard of Shiz), Megan has a new habit of holding her purse
on her wrist with her fist on her hip. She is also kind of allowing herself
to be tossed and twirled around a lot more than she used to.
At one point a month or so ago, I'd noted
that Megan was deliberately putting her hands on Adam's chest to entice him
to ask Nessa to the ball. This time, Megan went and linked arms with him and
stood there really close to him.
Megan practically spat in Kris' face when
she over-emphasized the "p" sound in "you're PER-fect!".
As Nessa explains why she's grateful for
Galinda's help in getting Boq to ask her out, I love how Julie keeps a look
of disdain on her face for quite some time, even sighing at one point,
before finally giving in and deciding to feel at least a little happy for
After Megan has given Julie the black hat
and turns to go off-stage, she holds the sides of her dress out and shuffles
her feet to go off-stage. (As opposed to Emily who held her dress out and
literally galloped off-stage.)
I only caught a glimpse as Megan was
standing up, but I think she had to bend over and fix her shoe or something
upon her and Kris' entrance to the Ozdust ball.
After Kris and Megan go off to the side
during Ozdust, it looked like Kris got some of Megan's hair in his mouth and
was trying to fish it out.
Something didn't quite look right with the
ensemble's dance ... somebody was slightly off.
When Linda handed the wand to Megan, Megan
flung it violently and Linda (like Carol) reached a hand out to keep her
from hurting anyone with it.
I love how completely mortified Megan looks
when Julie starts to dance by herself.
Julie REALLY got into the dance, especially
circling her arms all over the place.
After Megan cuts in, she kind of glances
over her shoulder, unsure of herself.
Absolutely hilarious the way Megan flops
herself over her bed on her stomach after she says "I told you a really good
one" -- the funniest part of it is that her arms are draped over the side of
the bed as well, which just looks absurd, but hilariously so.
Megan is always so comforting during the
sharing secrets scene -- she almost always takes Elphaba's hand and cradles
it in hers when she says, "That might be your secret, Elphaba, but that
doesn't make it true."
When Megan giggles after "oh, look -- it's
tomorrow", she literally bends over sideways.
I love that Julie leans in with extreme
apprehension but also curiosity as Megan half-whispers "you ... will ...
Julie's braid didn't get undone as quickly
as usual, and Megan didn't get to do her girl-ish imaginary ball-toss at
"you'll be good at sports".
Megan is still leaning back and shaking her
hair out in Elphaba's face when she sings "I know about popular", and Julie
reels back and leans away from her.
Megan takes a handful of Julie's hair and
flings it over Julie's shoulder before she takes off to do her leaps across
Megan actually did a half-squat as she was
opening the lipstick. And I love how Julie (having had her glasses taken
off) squints really hard to make out what the lipstick is, and when she
realizes, she jerks back and shakes her head frantically.
When Julie is copying Megan's toss-toss (and
especially with the no-hands part), Julie actually briefly stands up off the
bed and then sits back down. And with the no-hands part, Julie was pretty
much going up and down, barely touching the bed. And I love how Julie
over-exaggerates Megan's use of her shoulders, and I'm surprised Julie
hasn't hurt her back tossing herself and her shoulders that far to the sides
so violently. ;)
After the second "ball gown" attempt, there
was a really long pause and Megan very slowly crept the wand closer and
closer to poke Julie in the belly button.
I love Linda's encouraging of the students
to say "good afternoon" to the new teacher taking over for Dillamond. She
kind of waved her arms around to get the students to join her.
It was so cute/adorable the way Julie took
the lion cub's paw in her hand (through the cage) when she says "if it's so
good for him, then why is he trembling?"
Just to note a comparison to Julia, when
Julie's powers unleash in the second classroom scene, it is kind of
premeditated -- or at least directed at the other students and the
new teacher. (With Julia, it was completely accidental and she had no clue
her anger would actually erupt into her powers unleashing.)
I think I've made some note of this in past
reviews, but Kris really forces his portrayal of ANGRY!Fiyero ... or even
ABUSIVE!Fiyero (like he might get violent with Elphaba or Glinda if they
don't do what he says). Other examples coming later, but with Kris screaming
VERY angrily "well, are you coming?!" it makes me want to cringe.
Julie's is probably the best
Elpahba-near-collision-with-Fiyero in the lion cub scene I've seen. And it
all has to do with the way she holds her hands and stops short with the rest
of her body -- perfect awkwardness.
Again, "I'm Not That Girl" was downright
heart-breaking. Julie even sang "wishing only wounds the heart" with a bit
more anger and hurt in her voice than usual. And I really wish she would
sing that last note an octave higher -- that is one case where the
"optional" note is good, because it is pretty close to impossible to hear
the low note she tries to sing.
I'm not sure if Linda's microphone wasn't
working or if she stumbled at the start of her lines, but I only heard Linda
say "thrillifying news" and not anything before that (although I did hear
her calling for Elphaba during the applause of INTG). If she did indeed mess
up her lines, she tried to play it off like she was completely out of
As mentioned the last time I saw Linda, she
slipped in a southern accent when she said "weathuh is ma specialtee". Ha.
Wow, Kris really makes a point of it to
completely ignore and run past Megan during the train station scene. I love
Megan's "WTF?" reaction when he does so.
Megan dropped her jaw like she was expecting
both Julie and Kris to be amazed when she announced that she was changing
her name. (She didn't do the jaw-drop on Sunday.)
And after Megan does the whole spiel with
changing her name, and Kris says "that's very admirable of you ... uh,
Glinda", Megan gets completely tickled that she got his attention back to
her, and then completely appalled when he quickly ran off.
John changed his greeting with Julie and
Megan a bit -- he didn't look down at Julie's hand like he usually does with
Elphaba, and he didn't snap his finger and struggled to remember Galinda/Glinda's
name like he's done in the past.
Also FANTASTIC about their first meeting was
after Megan said "Glinda ... the 'ga' is silent." Usually John gets this
completely confused expression on his face as Megan walks past him, but this
time, John kind of put his finger to his lips (a silent "shhh") and smiled
and nodded ... like he was thinking it was just best to humor the crazy
I always like to make a note of the
different things that Chistery does to Elphaba upon their greeting. This
time, he tried to open Julie's bag and rifle through it, and Julie giggled
and playfully shooed him away. So cute.
I love Linda's really long and drawn out "noooooo"
after Megan asks, "Can I touch it?" as she reaches for the Grimmerie.
Twice Julie tried to flip through the
Grimmerie to try to fix things -- once after she realized the levitation
spell was hurting Chistery, and again after she saw all the monkeys the
Wizard had transformed and kept in captivity.
As Julie was trying to cast the levitation
spell again during "Defying Gravity", she slammed her hand on the book a
couple times rather violently.
Julie almost tripped as she was getting up
to retrieve the flying broom. Luckily, she caught her balance pretty quickly
and tried to make it look like she meant to do it.
I noticed (both nights) that Julie doesn't
actually seem to be trembling as much (as, say, Julia) when Megan says "Elphie,
you're trembling" and goes to put the black cloak around her.
It's actually quite fitting that Kris tries
to make an escape after the engagement was sprung on him, but Megan pulls
him back to stay on the platform. And he reacts with an almost fed-up
expression when Megan goes to pinch his cheek when she sings "true, dear?".
And again, the return of abusive!Fiyero when
he yells at Megan during "Thank Goodness" -- which I don't like, but I do
like the way he suddenly realizes the only way out is to give Glinda what
It was lovely and glorious to hear Megan go
up on the higher note at "crossed UN-til you've crossed". Megan sounded
pretty good, although she did sound slightly congested for a good chunk of
the rest of the song.
The audience reacted quite sharply when Adam
said extremely coldly, "Yes. MADAM."
Jenna didn't go too far with the "he's dead"
line like she did the week before.
Julie looked down at her hands and wiggled
her fingers when she sang "from these powers something good".
Julie makes it very obvious that she's
listening in on Jenna and Adam's conversation, and then spins around when
she hears Adam say "Glinda is engaged to Fiyero".
I'm pretty sure Julie was much less livid
than she typically is when she storms out on Nessa and when first arriving
at the Wizard's lair.
John went back to shaking his head out after
he did the big "balloon" gesture in "Wonderful".
Julie REALLY got into John's face when she
demanded "set those monkeys free".
There was a nice long, stunned pause when
Kris ran in when John called for the guards. But then the return of
abusive!Fiyero when he was practically screaming at Elphaba to leave, and
for Glinda to go back to the ball. And then the worst was when he screamed
"LET'S GO!" and practically yanked Julie's arm out of her shoulder socket as
he pulled her off-stage.
Julie is usually very involved during "As
Long As You're Mine", and Kris is usually doing next to nothing. This time,
though, Julie did very little ... which made ALAYM somewhat low on the
chemistry scale. (And Kris did that riff at the end ... which actually kind
of sounded forced.)
There are a few times where Megan overdoes
the huge gasps -- a few of them are during sharing secrets/"Popular", but
those aren't too bad since they're during a somewhat comical scene. But in
the witch fight scene, Megan doesn't even do a gasp all that huge and it
kind of seems out of place.
I love how Julie kind of deliberately
stutters when she says "a-and n-now that wretched little farm girl has
walked off with them!"
Megan's wand almost slipped as she was using
it for leverage to stand up from kneeling. (Good thing it didn't or should
could have faceplanted ...)
The Tarzan yell when Kris swings in on the
rope ... REALLY? At the beginning it wasn't as loud or as long, but now ...
it's kind of obtrusive.
Julie did a high "Fiyero!" riff in "No Good
Deed", but it didn't sound like the usual one she does. In fact, it kind of
resembled Eden's where she goes up on the "o" vowel, and then Julie added a
riff from there.
Usually after Elphaba (whether it be Julie
or Eden) tells Megan to hide after "For Good", Megan nods and holds a finger
up to her lips, promising she'll be quiet. She didn't this time.
Linda had a great expression and body
position as the guards were dragging her off-stage. She stuck her arms out
kind of in front of her but also angled down toward the floor, completely
straight and locked out.
I LOVE how rich Julie's voice actually
sounded when she sang "because I knew you" along with Megan singing an
octave higher. It was gorgeous.