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Posts Tagged ‘Wicked Cast Interview’

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Jennifer DiNoia plays one of the leading role Elphaba. Jennifer DiNoia talks about the role she brings to Sheas Performing Arts Center’s stage this month in Wicked musical.

Wicked Musical 'Elphaba' Jennifer DiNoia

Wicked Musical 'Elphaba' Jennifer DiNoia

This will be Jennifer DiNoia’s first trip to Buffalo, but her fifth company of Wicked. She has played Elphaba on Broadway, and has appeared in the Chicago, Australia, and Seoul companies of the show.

Jennifer DiNoia interviewed by Anthony Chase Via

“I was originally cast as a ‘swing’ back in 2006,” says DiNoia, speaking by telephone. Rather than play a part of her own, or understudy a single role, a “swing” must be ready to go on for any of several different characters at a moment’s notice.

“I did nine different female roles,” she explains. “One night I go on for the midwife. Another night I might be Elphaba’s mother. Then after I’d been on the job, doing bit parts for six months, an understudy was injured.”

DiNoia moved up.

“I became an emergency ‘cover.’ There are two covers for every role, just in case of an emergency. Well, when the injured actress came back, they kept me on.”

A standby covers a single role, and when she is not performing, she sits and waits, just in case. In this capacity, DiNoia did go on as Elphaba, a number of times—sometimes in mid-show.

“It does happen,” she reveals, “that the lead finds that she just can’t make it through a performance, and then the standby goes on. Sometimes the audience would not even notice until the announcement was made. I’d go on, and I’d notice the people in the front rows begin to look around and talk to each other: ‘Is that the same girl?’ It is such a spectacular show—music, costumes lighting.”

And of course, Elphaba’s face is painted green!

In time, DiNoia would earn the right to call the role of Elphaba her own.

“Ever since I first saw the show, I wanted to play this role,” she reveals. “But it has taken me a long time to be able to do the part eight times a week.”

DiNoia is not referring to working her way up through the Wicked ranks. It turns out that the actress who will belt out “Defying Gravity” eight times a week in Buffalo did not begin her career as a singer at all. She was originally a dancer.

“It pains me to say that I haven’t attended a dance class for five years!” admits DiNoia, “but yes, I am a dancer by training. Before this show, I had never had a voice lesson. But when I realized that I might actually get a chance to get this role, I started to study voice. The way you breathe as a dancer is entirely different from the way you breathe as a singer.”

At this point, DiNoia is truly living her dream.

The role of Elphaba has a reputation for being a voice-killer.

“I’ve seen some girls really struggle,” agrees DiNoia. “I’ve been very lucky. I haven’t had any major problems. I’ve learned how to pace myself. Tuesday is the hardest, because we’ve come off an intense weekend and I’ve had a day off. It can take some effort to get the voice flowing again.

“I’ve learned by watching other girls play the part,” continues DiNoia, “and all of the Elphabas know each other. There is an extended Wicked family, and as Elphabas, we understand each other. Until you’ve played Elphaba eight times a week, you can’t really know what we’re up against. The role is vocally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. Of course, when I leave the theater, I feel terrific. I’ve screamed, I’ve gotten to purge every emotion I’ve got. When it’s over, I feel really good!”

DiNoia adds the another benefit of such a taxing show is that she gets to indulge her healthy appetite without worry. “I think I burn 20 pounds just playing this role. I can eat all I want. And I do enjoy trying new restaurants when I’m on tour.”

In addition to her supportive extended Wicked family and a Glinda who is “really terrific,” DiNoia enjoys being known as one of the elite members of the Elphaba club by fans of Wicked.

“It is really nice,” she says, “that I am actually known by my fans. The show caters to everyone, but young girls in particular gravitate towards the female leads. We all have elements of both Glinda and of Elphaba to us. Other people relate in different ways. We all struggle with love and feelings about our place in the world.”

DiNoia found this to be especially pronounced in South Korea.

“It was fascinating to do the show in a place where people did not really know The Wizard of Oz story,” she says. “And yet they did relate to our show. They didn’t get any of the movie references, so those jokes were lost entirely, but they did relate to the characters. Also, musical theater is huge in Korea right now. They are more reserved people than we are in the United States, but in the theater they enjoy that release of emotion. It was wonderful to hear the audiences burst out with laughter and applause.”

DiNoia will finish this tour of Wicked in March and then get married in April. Her plans for the future?

“Well there are many roles I’d love to play. I’d love to do Thoroughly Modern Millie—a role that would let me both sing and dance. But you know, I’d really like to come back to do Wicked again!”

Source: The complete interview {Via}

Weekend Tickets are Selling Fast for Wicked at Sheas Performing Arts Center. Don’t miss it! Click here to Buy Wicked Buffalo NY Tickets NOW before they go on sale completely.

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

TV celebrity John Davidson is on stage as the Wizard in Wicked musical. Davidson plays the Wizard in Wicked which opens a six-week run Wednesday September 18, 2013 at the Orpheum Theatre MN.

John Davidson as the Wizard in Wicked

John Davidson as the Wizard in Wicked

“I’m only onstage 17 minutes out of a three-hour show, and they’re paying me quite well to do that,” he said. “I’m a very lucky man.” “I grew up singing Rodgers & Hammerstein, but ‘Wicked’ has taken the musical to a whole new level,” he said. “I’m proud to be a part of this production.”

Davidson said he is fine with the smaller part of the Wizard instead of being the leading man he was for so many years. “I’m realistic about where I am in life right now. But I love playing the con man,” he said.

He said he is happy still to be involved in his first love, live theater, although he believes all the media are related.

The role also gives Davidson a chance to see the country. He and his wife, Rhonda, are traveling around for the tour in a camper. While their mobile home does not rise to Loretta Lynn-style luxury, it does have two bathrooms and a full kitchen.

“It’s a great way to see the country and you meet a lot of great people,” he added.

Buy Wicked Minneapolis MN Tickets to watch the show with the new cast.

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Derek Klena, the California native joined the Wicked Broadway Musical show in late May, is putting his own spin on Fiyero, the Winkie prince who captures the heart of Glinda and Elphaba.

Derek Klena in Wicked Broadway as Fiyero

Derek Klena in Wicked as Fiyero recently caught up with the 21-year-old actor to chat about leading the 10th anniversary cast, reuniting with his Dogfight co-star Lindsay Mendez and how he went from baseball player to Broadway star.

Read the chat below:

We love watching you on Fly Girl. How is acting on Broadway different than your experience leading an off-Broadway musicals?
The stakes are a lot higher on Broadway; there’s so much more going on and everything’s so much more intricate. It’s definitely more intimidating. And going into Wicked, I don’t have the privilege of originating my role like I did with Carrie and Dogfight.

What makes your Wicked and Dogfight leading lady Lindsay Mendez the ultimate co-star?
We just instantly clicked! We’ve developed this great friendship, and that’s been the key to us being compatible on stage. Anything that she does or anything that I do, we are there 100% for each other, and that’s all you can ask for in a co-star—trust and respect. That’s what makes this show so much more enjoyable, having someone like that by your side—a co-pilot.

Wasn’t Wicked your first Broadway show? How did it feel to make your debut in it?
Surreal. When I saw the show eight years ago, I had no idea I would get the opportunity to perform it someday. It was just a dream I had when I was younger. It’s kind of unbelievable to be working with Joe Mantello and the group at Wicked, which I’ve idolized all these years. Fiyero is a role I’ve always wanted to play, and I’m actually getting to experience that on the Broadway stage.

What would you have said if someone had told you eight years ago that you’d be playing Fiyero in the 10th anniversary cast of Wicked?
I would have said, “Yeah right, I want to play baseball.” [Laughs.] At the time, I was pretty into sports; I didn’t know yet that this is what I wanted to pursue. Seeing Wicked definitely sparked that in me and pushed me to pursue it as a career. It’s kind of bizarre that it took me to Wicked.

When you were growing up, was it hard to be the jock who also did theater?
Yeah, it was harder when I was younger because my friends didn’t understand yet. But once high school and college rolled around, my friends matured and understood it’s kind of a cool thing; they were were blown away with the theater side of me. They grew to respect it, which was really cool to see.

Was it difficult to give up baseball?
It was. I got into UCLA for theater, and I had to make a decision whether to let baseball go. I ended up switching out of theater; I figured I could still do theater outside of school. I played baseball my freshman year as a pitcher, but at the end of the year, I realized that my true love and passion is in acting and singing. I’m glad I made that choice. I play in the Broadway softball league and a restaurant league, so I still get that sports atmosphere. I feel like I get enough playing recreationally and casually.

What is the secret to wearing the infamous Fiyero pants?
Just being fearless. The first time I put them on I was a little doubtful, but you have to wear them with pride. A lot of people come to the show knowing those pants are coming, so you’ve just got to wear them with pride.

Read the complere interview {Via}

Buy Wicked Broadway Tickets Online and see Derek Klena as Fiyero in Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre.

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Wicked is a standing production at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre.

Wicked the Musical London company Leading Cast Gina Beck (Glinda the Good) interview on Youtube:

Buy Wicked Apollo Victoria Tickets Online!

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Wicked national tour is currently playing at New Orleans from May 08 to June 02, 2013. Now in its 10th anniversary year, Wicked is still a crowd favorite. The musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, tells the story of the unlikely friendship between the two witches of Oz.

Curt Hansen in Wicked as Fiyero

Curt Hansen in Wicked as Fiyero

BWW author, Heidi Scheuermann recently spoke with Curt Hansen who plays Fiyero, the male lead, in the National Tour production of Wicked. Read the interview Below:

You’re fairly new to this cast for the national tour of WICKED. You’ve been with them for a little over a month. What has your experience been like so far?
It’s been great! Everyone’s very welcoming. It’s such a new, such a different thing to replace someone in a show. It’s kind of like you’re a kid, and even though it’s never happened to me but, you like move schools or something and go to a new school. It’s kind of that feeling of like everyone’s really nice but you’re still, you know, the stranger in something that, in basically a family. So it can be kind of daunting coming in, but everyone’s been really great and welcomed me with open arms and I hope that I’m fitting in rather well. I think I am. I hope I’m not delusional though.

So this is your second national tour, the first was NEXT TO NORMAL which you also had a run in on Broadway, and you also have done HAIRSPRAY on Broadway. So you’re not new to show business, but what is it like to now be a part of one of the most popular shows in existence?
It’s awesome. I’m really lucky. It’s kind of been a dream of mine to do this show. When it first came out I was I think in middle school, maybe even high school, when I went to go see it. Our choir group went to go see it as a group, and you know I always wanted to be in it and now that I am it’s kind of surreal. I had hoped it would happen some day, but I didn’t know if it would happen this soon. It’s cool. I’m really thankful for the opportunity, and also to get to travel with the show is great because so many people come to see it. And it’s such a thrill because it’s such a big show that audiences are always crazy and they go crazy for it, they love it. It’s always full which is great, and it’s just a very rewarding show to do.

What was your first impression of WICKED when you saw it for the first time?
Oh, it was so impressive. It was before I had even started doing theatre myself. The music was cool, it was new. I feel like it was kind of the first show that I had seen that wasn’t the typical old musical like OKLAHOMA and stuff. I think it was just the fact that something could be, I don’t want to say relevant but, relevant and cool and also exciting but with like pop music. It was something that was so different than what I had seen and what I was exposed to being from Wisconsin. All around it was just so impressive.

What were some of the other musicals that you were exposed to as a kid?
I mean we did, my whole family kind of took part in the community theatre, which was really cool. My older brother and my younger sister were acting in the shows. My dad sometimes would be in the show but he ran the light board and did all the crew stuff. My mom would work backstage. We did like ANYTHING GOES and THE KING AND I and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. I did LES MIS in high school, which was cool but I mean more traditional musicals that you grow up with that a lot of school do and community theaters.

It’s cool that your whole family was involved in theatre. That’s kind of rare. You don’t normally see entire families who are involved a whole lot.
It’s really rare especially when my first semester in college I was going for pre-med and my parents wanted me to do theatre instead.

That’s sort of backwards from what you usually hear!
Yeah, but I think I made the right choice. I don’t want to be anyone’s doctor, and no one wants me to be their doctor!

So let’s talk about your character a little bit. You play Fiyero who is our dashing male lead. What is his place in WICKED?
In the story he’s basically I guess the apex of this love triangle between the two witches. It’s something that I’m, not struggling with, but trying to find his importance in the show because… It’s funny, the other day I went to go watch Dee [Roscioli] who just left as Elphaba… I went to go watch the rest of her first act and I realized how, I don’t want to say how little I do during the show, but I don’t do as much as everyone else does and it kind of made me take a step back and really re-evaluate what I am on stage and how important everything I do is. I like to think that I’m the catalyst to the story really kind of going because as soon as I’m out there stuff kind of starts hitting the fan. I kind of help, you know I fall for Elphaba right away and kind of help her do things that I normally wouldn’t do, and kind of add that extra… I don’t know what the word is… drive to the show? But maybe it’s just in my head and maybe that’s just what I tell myself. I think that the most important thing is the love triangle and how two girls… basically we’re all just friends and I end up falling for both of them, but in the end obviously I go with Elphaba because she’s more interesting. Not to say that Glinda isn’t, but there’s different needs that I need fulfilled as the show goes on.

Read the complete Interview {Via Curt Hansen Interview by}

Wicked national tour will be at the Mahalia Jackson Theater from May 08 to June 2, 2013. Buy Wicked New Orleans LA Tickets Online at discounted prices.

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Wicked national tour currently stops at Kalamazoo MI for only 2-weeks from April 24 through May 5.

SAVE $10 when you spend $350 or more, Use code TICK13
Buy Wicked Miller Auditorium Tickets Online

Jennifer DiNoia plays Elphaba in Wicked

Jennifer DiNoia plays Elphaba in Wicked

Wicked main cast Jennifer DiNoia, who plays Elphaba, talks about green makeup, vocal rest and being awkward – Here is the interview:

Jennifer DiNoia remembers the first time she heard “Defying Gravity.”

“I always thought of myself as a dancer who could sing. At that moment, I heard ‘Defying Gravity’ and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is amazing. This role is the biggest, the best female role you could play,’” she said.

A decade later, DiNoia is portraying Elphaba all over the world, including when the tour stops at Kalamazoo’s Miller Auditorium from April 24 through May 5.

DiNoia is the one of several Elphabas to follow 2004 Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel’s portrayal. DiNoia said it’s a challenge to live up to Menzel.

“It gets a little difficult when people start writing things about you online, but I try to stay away from much of it as I can, because I don’t want to get into my head what people think. I want to stay true to who I am. Obviously, I’ve learned from other Elphabas, but I like to make it my own at the same time. I’m proud of that,” she said.

DiNoia has been with the production for seven years, she said. She’s played Elphaba in Broadway, Chicago, Australia and South Korea companies. This is her first turn playing Elphaba as the lead. This tour finds DiNoia paying especially close attention to her health, she said.

“I’m definitely super cautious about everything I do with my voice and everything. I’m drinking more tea and definitely trying to stay quiet when I’m not at the show, the vocal rest kind of thing. I’m trying to stay healthy and take my multi-vitamins,” she said.

Read the complete interview {via}

Wicked will be in Kalamazoo, MI through May 5, 2013. Buy Wicked Miller Auditorium Tickets Online – Buy NOW and SAVE $10 on ALL ORDERS of $350+, Use code: TICK13

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Wicked returns to Durham NC and playing at Durham Performing Arts Center through May 27, 2012. Wicked star Billy Harrigan Tighe talks about the popular musical’s return to the Durham Performing Arts Center. Billy Harrigan Tighe takes the role of Fiyero in Wicked.

Watch the video – {Via}

Buy Wicked Durham Performing Arts Center Tickets Online. Get $10 OFF on Wicked Durham NC Ticket Orders of $350 or more by using code #SpringSavings at Checkout.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

The greatest musical Wicked is currently playing on 2nd National tour in Durham, North Carolina. Check out the interview by Adesewa Faletibelow {Via Urban Life & Style LLC} with Catherine Charlebois who plays the character Nessarose.

Adesewa Faleti: Tell me about your character Nessarose?

Catherine Charlebois: Nessarose is Elphaba’s younger sister who has been in a wheelchair all her life. She begins the show on her first day of school at Shiz University, hoping to start a new and exciting time in her life, not in the shadow of her sister.

Adesewa Faleti: How long have you been with show?

Catherine Charlebois: I have been with Wicked for two years in April.

Adesewa Faleti: What was the audition process like for this show?

Catherine Charlebois: I began with Wicked as a Universal Swing-my audition consisted of me singing a few songs of my own first, followed by a few pieces of songs from Wicked. After making it through that round, I danced some choreography from the show as well. I eventually added a Nessarose understudy to the tracks that I covered, and to become Nessarose every night, I had to perform a scene and a song from the show for some of our creative team.

Adesewa Faleti: How do you prepare for your role each night?

Catherine Charlebois: As performers, we have to do a lot to keep our bodies and voices healthy and strong to do eight shows a week. Specifically for Nessarose, I have to get my body and voice warmed up and take a few minutes to think about the journey she has to take in the show every night.

Adesewa Faleti: Why do you feel that Wicked is such a loved show?

Catherine Charlebois: I feel that the story is so universal to everyone. The music and the visuals of the show are beautiful, but everyone-male, female, older and younger-can connect to the story and the relationships that develop between the characters.

Adesewa Faleti: What is it like behind the scenes and in between acts?

Catherine Charlebois: It depends on the day! There is almost always excitement and sometimes nerves if someone new is going into the show or doing a new track, but there is always unbelievable support and teamwork between the whole cast and crew.

Adesewa Faleti: Doing the show almost daily, how do you make your performance fresh every night?

Catherine Charlebois: I really just focus on the story that we are trying to tell. I try to keep myself open and see what the other actors are doing on stage with me and react to that.

Adesewa Faleti: What are some of the comments and feedback that you get about the show?

Catherine Charlebois: Everyone loves it! Everyone seems to leave finding a character that they really relate to and follow their story, and I think that is totally unique to our show.

Adesewa Faleti: What show the audience take with them when the play is over?

Catherine Charlebois: Never judge a book by its cover.

Adesewa Faleti: What do you enjoy most about being involved with this show?

Catherine Charlebois: That every day I get to go to work and play with an unbelievably fun and supportive group of people. We tell a story that really moves people and entertains them too!

Adesewa Faleti: Thank you!

Wicked play will be in Durham NC until May 27, 2012 at Durham Performing Arts Center. Get $10 OFF on Wicked Durham Performing Arts Center Ticket Orders of $350 or more by using code #SpringSavings at Checkout.

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Wicked is currently performing on tour in Denver, CO and continue through Sunday May 20, 2012. One of the Wicked Cast is a Colorado native and happy to be back home. Andy Kelso plays Fiyero, one of the lead male characters in the musical. He is a graduate of Eaglecrest High School in Aurora and also attended CSU and UNC.

Kelso spoke to 9NEWS at noon about coming back to his home state:

Wicked Musical Tour will stop in Denver CO through Sunday, May 20. Get $10 OFF on Wicked Temple Buell Theatre Ticket Orders of $350 or more by using code #SpringSavings at Checkout.

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Mark Jacoby plays the role as the Wizard in the touring production of the smash musical “Wicked” at The Buell Theatre. Reporter Adam Goldstein caught up with the stage veteran to get his take on the musical’s popularity.

Mark Jacoby plays the role as the Wizard in Wicked

Mark Jacoby plays the role as the Wizard in Wicked

As a cast member who’s been with the touring production of “Wicked” for more than a year, can you speak to the durability of the piece? What is it about the show that’s made it such a reliable money maker since its debut in 2003?

I’ve thought a lot about that, to tell you the truth. I think first of all, this is going to sound ridiculously mundane, but it’s really good in every department. All of the elements of stagecraft are there. Nobody leaves the theater thinking, ‘I didn’t get my money’s worth.’ The other thing I would look at is this very compelling friendship between these two women. It starts with friction and ends with love. The other thing that brings people in is the other worldly, paranormal nature of it. It’s not anywhere, USA. There’s something about that that captures people.

This is a story that’s seen plenty of adaptations. How do you think the musical juggles references to the original L. Frank Baum book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” with subsequent retellings? Do you see any links to the film from 1939 woven into Maguire’s source material?

My favorite single aspect of the show is the very ingenious and clever way in which the story is layered over the ‘Wizard of Oz’ story that we all know so well. There is sometimes tongue-in-cheek, sometimes symbolic references to that story. I think it’s delightful. One of the conceptual problems is that most of us are more familiar with the movie than we are with the book. The notion that the whole thing is a dream is not part of the original book. It’s presented as a real story. The question then is to what extent are the factual elements of the book and the movie part of our underpinnings. That’s an ongoing question. Playing the Wizard, the question is, am I that guy that Dorothy met in Kansas or am I not? Is this a different notion? Things like that are ongoing. There’s much discussion backstage even after seven years.

Speaking of the Wizard, the character has seen several incarnations and portrayals in film and in literature since 1900. In “Wicked,” the character takes on a much more sinister aspect, a quality drawn from Maguire’s book. How do you approach the Wizard’s motivations and actions in tackling the role?

I’m always surprised when somebody comments about the Wizard being the villain of the piece. I think very few villains see themselves as villains. True villains, as a rule, don’t see themselves as such. I think the Wizard is a very simple guy, a very ordinary man who, due to circumstances beyond his control, found himself in an extraordinary situation where he became feared and deified in Oz. Being a simple man, he rode with it. He got himself carried away. As he says, ‘What can I say, I got carried away, and not just by a balloon.’ It’s an easy thing to do when people imbue you with supernatural powers.

The interview by reporter Adam Goldstein {Via}

Wicked play at Temple Buell Theatre continue through May 20, 2012. Get $10 OFF on Wicked Denver CO Ticket Orders of $350 or more by using code #SpringSavings at Checkout.

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