Wicked - Second National Tour: South Bend, Indiana (May 19, 2013) *Matinee*
Hayley Podschun (Glinda), Peter C. Ermides (u/s Witch’s Father/Ozian Official), Kerry Blanchard (Witch’s Mother), Becca Kloha (u/s Midwife), Jennifer DiNoia (Elphaba), Zarah Mahler (Nessarose), Michael Wartella (Boq), Gina Ferrall (Madame Morrible), Jay Russell (Doctor Dillamond), Sam Lips (u/s Fiyero), Walker Jones (The Wizard Of Oz), Dashi’ Mitchell (Chistery), Todd Anderson (s/w Ensemble), Bridie Carroll (Ensemble), Lilli Cooper (Ensemble), Hayley Ann Dorling (Ensemble), Michael Drolet (Ensemble), Ryan Patrick Farrell (Ensemble), Natalie Fotopoulos (Ensemble), Zach Hensler (Ensemble), Joel Ingram (Ensemble), Jillian Kates (Ensemble), Dominic Giudici (s/w Ensemble), Marissa Miller (Ensemble), Amy Quanbeck (Ensemble), Jay Reynolds Jr. (Ensemble), Justin Wirick (Ensemble), Ryan Patrick Kelly (Ensemble).
“Thank Goodness” for this show! Wicked is a show that will always hold a special place in my heart. Without it, I highly doubt I would be as in to Broadway as I am today! Well, around Christmas (after I got my gift money) I said screw it I’m not gonna wait another two years to see Wicked! So, I saw the 2NT was coming to South Bend, Indiana. So, I looked up how far away it was I saw it was only a 90 minute drive. So, I asked my mom if we could go and she said YES! So, my plan was to but cheap balcony tickets. However, do to curiousness I decided to look at the main floor. I found 2 front row tickets for only $88.00 (a piece). I thought “Well, in Chicago these would be like $200.00” so, I bought them! Well, after months of hesitation we made our way down to South Bend, Indiana. It sure was an interesting town. Very small and very humble. All the citizens seemed so thrilled Wicked was there! Unfortunately we did not realize they were an hour ahead of us! So, we got there at what we thought was 11:30 a.m, but it was actually 12:30 a.m! We didn't discover this until 1:10 p.m because we thought it was 12:10 a.m! So, after rushing really fast we arrived at The Morris Performing Arts Center. It was a really pretty theatre. It was pretty big for its location. The balcony actually looked bigger than The Cadillac Palace. So, we made our way to our FRONT ROW SEATS! Wow! These seats were amazing! They were so close that I felt like I was seeing the show for the first time! The 2NT definitely has some major up-points and a few down-points. First the down-points, the set is slightly different than the 1NT. The curtain seemed to be just, well thin cloth. You could tell the actors were behind it right before act one. The curtain moved like crazy! It looked cool, but way to odd. The set is slightly reduced. There is no actual bridge during “I’m Not That Girl” & “Thank Goodness”. There was a bridge, but to actual bottom. So, no one was on it! This made the scene where Fiyero & Glinda come out in the rain a little odd. I mean I get it if they’re on the bridge and you can’t see her cause she is hiding under it. But, you honestly gonna tell me you can’t see her when your 5 feet away? Also, Madame Morrible is not see during her “Defying Gravity” speech. Maybe that added more realism, but I prefer seeing how crazy she goes in that scene. There are other things such as no stand in “No Good Deed”, and the beds in “Popular” don’t go in and out by themselves. Cast members lock them in and out. I don’t believe all of these changes are necessary, but the 2NT is the one that goes to the smaller theaters, so maybe it all makes sense. Now the up-points! THE CAST IS FREAKING AMAZING! The best cast this tour has ever had. Jennifer DiNoia is by far one of the best Elphabas EVER! Her voice is stellar. She doesn't over-riff like Eden (I love Eden, don’t get me wrong) or Jackie. She knows when to riff and how to do it right (like Dee, Shoshana, and Mamie). However, Jenny’s acting is so awesome. She is so believable. It just comes so natural to her. Performing this role in over 3 countries has really helped her along the way! It really nice I get to say I've seen the Elphaba that’s been to the most countries. This was also my first show where the Elphaba got a clap after her entrance. Hayley Podschun was utterly fantastic as Glinda. She doesn’t copy other Glindas, like others do. She made the role her own. Her voice was outstanding. When she hit the high notes in “NOMTW” I was like, DAMN! Also, the way she reacted after Elphaba says “this is never going to work” she kept her head in the pillow and said (in a very deep voice) ELPHIE! I died laughing. I also found it interesting that she looked a lot like Felicia Ricci. She is definitely my new favorite Glinda. Sam Lips was on as Fiyero for the matinee. Al I can say is WHY IS HE AN UNDERSTUDY? I mean he was fantastic as Fiyero! His voice was so perfect with Jenny. I mean, he better take over when David leaves. Gina Ferrall was fantastic as Madame Morrible. Her portrayal was all around perfection. I can’t say Walker Jones was my favorite as The Wizard. He seemed too much like a con-man. There was no real compassion in his portrayal (to me). However his “Wonderful” was pretty well done. Michael Wartella was awesome as Boq, definitely my favorite. He was the first person I’ve ever seen that made Boq seem like a real person. He also just plain looked like a Boq. Zarah Mahler was also fantastic as Nessarose. She actually made her a lot nicer. Personally, I never saw Nessa as a horrible bitch. I see her more as a spoiled but thoughtful person. But, hey that’s just me. The ensemble were fantastic. The best I’ve seen in Wicked. They were all giving there all and it really showed. The orchestra surprised me. Usually smaller towns don’t have as good of musicians as you might see in Chicago or Broadway. However, they were giving everything they had. For the first time ever I heard guitar riffs. Especially in “For Good”. Okay, before I’m done I have to talk about my seats. Holy Shit if I could sit front row for every show I would be I heaven! I’ve never realized how much happens on stage. The ensemble were actually having conversations that you can’t hear in the balcony. The effects, the lighting, everything. But, seeing the lift go up in “Defying Gravity” is worth the price of your front row ticket alone. It was so freaking cool. I can still see it in my head. Wow! All around everything was perfect as perfect can be! I give this show 1010/10
Well about a month earlier I was able to convince my mom to try the lottery. So, we did and thus didn’t really have the time to stage door. Sadly, after we put our names in and waited 30 minutes we lost the lottery! So, it really was all for nothing! It really upset me cause I would have loved to stage door. Oh well :P
Technically my 15th theatre (show's I see) vlog. So, I hope I made it count!