Video of the dressing room at the San Diego Civic Theatre, where the star of the musical “Wicked” transforms into the green witch before each performance by CBS8.
About 45 minutes before each performance, Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, is born backstage. The green makeup goes on wet, but dries within seconds. Makeup artist Christina Tracey, who has done this more than 1,000 times, then uses a translucent powder to keep the green from rubbing off. The process takes about 20 minutes.
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Actress Nicole Parker is now part of the national tour playing at the San Diego Civic Theatre, after starring in the role on Broadway in 2009. You may recognize the Emmy Award-winning actress from the sketch comedy television series MADtv.
Parker tells News 8 she sometimes prefers her green sheen, saying, “You almost get used to being green, almost to the point where I like myself better. It looks more normal to me. It’s like a blank slate. I think it changes my face for the better. I love it, I think it’s really pretty make-up.”
Tracey tells News 8, “A lot of people confuse it with the wicked witch they know and it’s nothing like that in our show. She’s very pretty, she’s designed to be almost the prettiest girl in Oz. It just happens that her skin is green. So she’s very beautiful.”
She’s beautiful, and not really the bad witch she’s portrayed to be in “The Wizard of Oz.” We learn in “Wicked” that Elphaba is shunned and scorned just because she’s different, just because she’s green. Fans tell Parker all the time how much Elphaba has inspired them.