Wicked 8/13/11 e

The First Thing I am posting is My Stage Door Experience from before the matinee. I arrived a bit after noon at the Stage Door. Usually most cast members come in starting a bit after one, but whoever is playing Elphaba is mostly always at the theatre around 12:30, and some of the other big stars come next. I arrived, and after about 10 minutes of waiting, I saw Kyle Dean Massey, who just returned to the role of Fiyero yesterday, walking down the street toward the Theatre. "Are you Kyle?" "Yeah!" "Will You sign these?" is how the conversation began. I told him I saw his first ever performance as Fiyero, and Next to Normal, and he seemed very interested, and thanked me for coming, and went in. He is so nice every time I have met him. Kathy Santen was next in, and I told her I saw her in Chicago, and a few times on Broadway and she said that Chicago felt like a long time ago. I asked if Teal was already inside and she said that she probably was not due to it being so early. Kathy is always one of the first in, and A.L.W.A.Y.S. the first out, but she does not sign after shows, she runs away :p But she is always so nice before the show. To be honest, I do not quite remember the order in which people came in after Kyle Dean and Kathy (S). It is a blur, but what I am going to do is list off cast members in no particular order, and describe what happened. I quite literally met every single person who was on in the show.

I met Teal Wicks, which was insane for me, because she is a Wicked legend. She was in a huge rush, but stopped and signed.

I asked her if she would be on for the evening show, and she said yes, and I told her to have a great show, and she smiled at me and went in. She is such a nice person. Katie Rose Clarke arrived, and stopped and signed for me. I told her I would be seeing her as Glinda that night for the third time, and she seemed very excited by that. I had her sign another picture in the Grimmerie that I put her face in over Kendra Kassebaum's, and told her it was nothing against Kendra at all, but I felt like Katie too, belonged in the Grimmerie. Richard H. Blake was very nice as well, and signed my stuff, and I told him I saw him in Cleveland in 09, and he was very pleased that I remembered. He is a very very nice guy. He told me to enjoy the show! Tom McGowan was also really really nice. He signed my stuff even though He had coffee and a bag in his hands, and asked me if it was my first time at the show, to which I responded that it was my 11th. He seemed very surprised and pleased at that. Kathy Fitzgerald is one of the nicest ladies I have ever met. She arrived, but was on the phone, and actually WAITED outside to finish her conversation so that she could talk to me! She signed my stuff, and my 9 to 5 Playbill. She talked about how 9 to 5 was such a great show and she did not understand why it closed, and about how the critics slammed it, and all the competition that year. I told her that it was such a great show, as did my dad, and she thanked us. I told her it was my 11th time at the show, and she said "Oh wow, have you been backstage yet?" and told me she was giving her family members a tour that night, and that she would be happy to include me. She thanked me for coming, and then walked in! Cristy Candler was very nice. I told her it was my 11th time seeing the show and she said "Oh? I'm an Original Cast member so you probably saw me sometime in there" and I told her that I saw her as Nessarose in 09 with Alli and Nicole. She then asked me why I had come back to the show so many times, and I told her that it was just so amazing in every way, and never gets old, and I would never get tired of it. She thanked me for coming, and I wished her a great show. Eddie Pendergraft, who was on for Boq that day was very nice, and I asked him if he was on, he said yes, and signed. He is a nice guy! Tom Flynn arrived, and I told him he was my favorite Dillamond, and he smiled and thanked me, and then he asked my name, and I said Kyle, and he interrupted himself, and said "Oh, Kyle *my last name*?! You look so much older!" and remembered me from the tour. I thought that in particular was amazing. He thanked me for coming, and then went in. I met Laura Woyasz. Apparently she is quite elusive to the stagedoor on Broadway, because no one i know has met her since she did the show on the road! But as she was going in, I called out her name, and she came back out, and signed, and talked to me for a bit. I told her I saw her on the tour two times, and that she was great, and she thanked me etc... Stephanie Torns walked up, and needed absolutley no reminding as to who I was. She came up and said "Hey Kyle! How are things! You get older every time I see you!" I talked to her for a while, and she signed, and went in. I saw her heading toward the dressing room door, and I realized I forgot to have her sign my Grimmerie picture. I called her name again, and had her sign the pic of her in the grimmerie. She threw her head back and laughed for quite a while, and said that it was the funniest thing she has ever seen, and signed, and told me to hold it, and she would take a picture on her phone. She did, and I later found out that she actually uploaded it to her facebook. Lindsay K. Northen came in and signed for me and asked me how I was as always :) I told her it was the 11th time I was seeing the show and she smiled. She is always really nice. Jared Bortz was very nice as well. He came in in sort of a rush, so I apologized for stopping him and he told me it was not a problem at all and he did not mind signing. he signed my stuff, and went in. Anthony Galde came in and I said hey and asked him to sign. He did, and then said "Oh yeah, I remember you, hey!" and I asked why Emerald Curtain had been cancelled that morning, and he told me that the numbers for that morning had been down, so they didn't do it. I thanked him for signing, and next was Robin Wilner, who signed my stuff and was very nice as usual. Constantine Rousouli came in and I asked him to sign, and asked if it was my first time seeing the show and I told him it was my 11th, and

he seemed very impressed:) Betsy Werbel was next in, and I told her I saw her on tour, and she asked where. I told her Cleveland and Buffalo, and she said "Nice, Cleveland's my hometown!!" and thanked me for coming. Jesse JP Johnson, the new Boq understudy came in and signed and thanked me for coming, and we talked a little bit, and he seemed to be really into the conversation :) Briana Yacavone was in a huge rush, but willingly stopped and signed my stuff, and was very nice as always and remembered me :) Kristina Fernandez came in, and I told her I saw her in "In The Heights" in 2010 and she was very nice, and stood and talked to me for about 5 minutes, asking me if I did theatre, and if I loved singing and acting and everything. She is a very nice girl. Jonathan Warren came in, and signed for me and thanked me for coming. He is always very nice. Nova Bergeron,

who is always one of my favorite people to meet at the stage door came in and recognized me and talked to me for a bit. Kelly LaFarga also remembered me from Buffalo. "I totally remember you!" were her exact words :) (I seem to get the same universal swings every time I go see the show, the ones who do all of the U.S. companies, which is so cool). Alicia Albright came in and asked me a lot of questions about myself with a huge smile on her face, an signed. She is also very nice. Adam Sanford came in and I told him that I saw him as Boq in Buffalo and he liked that. He signed and thanked me for coming again. Kristen Leigh Gorski (Kristen Gorski-Wergeles is her last name in the Playbill now) came in next and signed for me, and was very nice as usual. Mark Shunkey signed for me, and I told him that I always got him confused for Brad whenever I would see him, but no longer did. :) He was very nice and signed my stuff. Brian Wanee was next in, and signed my stuff, and we chatted for a few minutes. Nathan Peck came in and signed, and recognized me from last year. Colby Lindeman came in and signed and thanked me for coming. Jonathan McGill and Alexander Quirgoa arrived at exactly the same time, and both signed, and thanked me for coming. Kevin Jordan came through, said hey, and signed my stuff as well, and went in. After that, I went to go see RENT which I reviewed below :)

I saw Wicked at 8. The show was phenomenal as always. Teal Wicks was a very strong Elphaba. Her voice is absolutley outstanding. She gave me chills in Defying Gravity, and her No Good Deed was the strongest NGD I have ever heard, she hit those high notes with force and a vocal prowess that was so incredibly impressive. I got chills during Defying Gravity, as usual, but when she hit that ending note, I was pinned to my seat and found myself unable to clap for a few seconds because I was so impressed. Last time that happened to me was seeing Carmen in Buffalo. Her "Wizard and I" was very strong also, though of her big numbers, it is not her strongest. Like I said however, it was very very impressive. Her hopeful smile filled the theatre, and I felt so bad knowing she was not going to get what she wanted. She had excellent Chemistry with Tom Flynn in all their scenes together. "I'm Not That Girl" was really well done too. When Richard and Katie crossed the bridge, she ran under it, and looked up just in time to see them kiss, and looked at the ground again. Her chemistry with Katie Clarke was amazing, and you could tell they were having a great time up there. She sounded wonderful in "For Good" as well. Teal Wicks is tied with Carmen Cusack as my favorite Elphaba, though if you were to ask me who my favorite Elphaba is, with only one answer, I would still say Carmen. Katie Rose Clarke is the only Glinda I have seen multiple times, and she really keeps the role fresh, interesting, and funny. I loved her "No One Mourns the Wicked." I think it is the strongest I have ever heard her do it. Her soprano sounds lovely. And she had no trouble with any of the notes. She really looks shocked at herself when she calls Elphaba wicked, and shocked at what the ensemble is saying, which is something I have noticed all three times I have seen her. I loved her in "What is This Feeling" too. She hopped around, and really took control of the stage. Especially on the "Yes, aaaaaaaah!" when Teal knocked her out of center stage, she gave her a "well thennnnnnn" look, and kept going. I loved it. She really shined that night. Popular with Katie Clarke is always a guaranteed hoot. I loved her in this number as usual, she makes me laugh so hard every time she does it. And Teal seemed really bewildered by her, which I thought was hilarious as well. The first time I saw Katie, her Popular was outrageously over the top, which I appreciated, the second time, it was a bit more toned down, and this time, it was about the same, and she still makes it funny, and looks interested in what she is doing even though she has been playing Glinda for nearly 4 years. She did a great job with Tom in the Wizard scene, and she was excellent in Defying Gravity, even though that number just... belongs to Elphaba. Her "Thank Goodness" was very strong, and she was great at convincing Richard, and her voice cracked when she called out his name when he left, which I thought added to the moment, because it sounded more like emotion. I loved her in For Good as usual, and she is still very invested in the show. Even though Amanda is my favorite, no one can top Katie's finale. It is always so incredibly sad watching her sing it, yet I always feel triumphant after she does. She is tied with Amanda Jane Cooper as Favorite Glinda. If you asked me, I would probably still say Amanda, but Katie is so strong in this role. Richard H. Blake was awesome as Fiyero. He cut a few notes short in Dancing Through Life, but he maintained a very strong vocal performance and made the audience laugh a lot, though not as much as Colin Hanlon. He had great chemistry with Teal in "As Long As You're Mine," which I really liked and he sang the song itself very well too. Again, he played a very mature Fiyero, which is partially due to the fact that he is several years older than Teal and Katie, but it does not make his performance any less awesome. Tom McGowan was very strong in the role of the Wizard. He made the audience laugh a lot more than I remember a Wizard ever getting, which I thought was interesting. He sang his songs very well, and seemed like a charming man who knew what he was doing, but was not sure whether or not he should feel bad about it. Kathy Fitzgerald was absolutely wonderful as Madame Morrible, and is one of my favorites. She rrrrrrolled her "r's" over-exaggeratedly and had great chemistry with Teal and Tom M, and F :) She actually sang her part in Wizard and I, which I really liked. And SCREAMED that speech in "DG" She was very convincing in the role. Cristy Candler was also very strong as Nessarose. She does not have the power behind her voice that Carla Stickler or Deedee Magno Hall have, but she does have a very pretty voice, with exceptional strength. I loved watching her in the Gov's Mansion scene with Teal. Eddie Pendergraft was very good as Boq. He was not a whiny Boq, he was more of a "sorry to bother you Glinda" Boq. He has one of the strongest voices of any Boq I have seen. He really sang "Witch Hunters" well, which I appreciated :) Not as good as Brad, but he is up there :) Tom Flynn, as usual, made Dr. Dillamond very likeable, and funny. I enjoy watching him onstage. He has a great voice, and his bleat was very funny as usual. He made me laugh, and he is the best in the act two scene with Elphaba and the Wizard, when Elphaba asks him if he remembers her, and he bleats, and you can always tell he is trying to say "yes". I enjoyed his performance immensley. The Ensemble was very strong, not quite as strong as the ensemble on the 1NT, but strong nonetheless. I enjoyed picking out Stephanie Torns, Lindsay K. Northen, and Briana Yacavone out. The orchestra was great too!

I went to the stage door after the performance, and met most of the cast. Nova Bergeron was first out, and she signed out stuff, and talked to me for a few moments. I told her Kathy said I could go backstage, but I did not know if I was supposed to go back, or to wait at the Stage Door, and she suggested that I wait for Kathy to come out, so I stayed. Briana was next, and she signed, and apologized for being in such a rush that morning. I asked her if she got my letter, and she said she did, and she would return it as soon as she got access to a Playbill (I actually got her response today :) ) and she thanked me for coming again. I told her that I kept picking her out in the ensemble, and that she was great, and she thanked me. Next was Kelly LaFarga and Lindsay K. Northen. They both signed, and I told them that they were great. They are so nice! Next was.... DONNA FRIGGIN VIVINO, who as most of you know, is coming in to replace Jenny DiNoia next week, and I am assuming that she was there to rehearse, but she did not make an official statement. I asked her to sign my stuff, and take a picture, and she stood there and talked to me for a good 10 minutes. She told me she saw the show that night, and that she loved it, and then I thanked her for coming out to meet me, and she said no problem. We talked for a while, and then I introduced her to my dad, and brother. She asked when I was coming back, and I said probably next spring. Then we talked even MORE. She left after a few more minutes. I. Love. Donna. Next out were Betsy, Tornsie, and Kristen. They all signed, and Steph asked how I was doing, and if I enjoyed the show. I told her I would send her a copy of the grimmerie picture, and we discussed one of our mutual friends from my hometown. Eddie Pendergraft came out next, and signed, and I told him what a great voice he had, and he thanked me for saying that, and smiled. Michael DeVries, who was back in the show after being out of the matinee came down and I asked him to sign, and he said he would be happy to :) I told him he was great and he said thank you. Tom McGowan was next, and he came down and signed my stuff, and I told him he did a great job and he thanked me. Tom Flynn came right to me, and called me by name, and asked me how I liked the show. I told him it was amazing as always and he signed. Then he said thanks Kyle, can I borrow your marker and bring it back? I said yes, and off he went :) Colby was next out and thanked us for coming and signed my stuff :D Tom came back down the line and handed me my sharpie saying "Had you seen Teal before?" I said no, and he said he was glad I enjoyed the show and "Thanks so much for coming, we'll see you soon!" Cristy Candler was out next and signed my stuff again, telling me it was great to see me again and thanking me for coming. We then waited for about 2o minutes with no one coming out. Finally, the door opened and Teal Wicks walked out, and came over to sign my stuff. Right behind her was Katie Rose, and Kathy Fitzgerald. Kathy came to me and said "Oh! Sweetie, you didn't come back!" and I told her I thought I was supposed to wait outside and she said "Oh My Gosh, I am so sorry! I should have told you!" (So, the backstage thing did not happen, but it is ok :) ) she was very nice about it, and signed my stuff. Teal and Katie signed my poster and Teal Signed the playbill (I went back for KRC later) and I had Katie sign the picture of us from 2010. She did, and I was thanking her for all of the amazing performances I had seen from her and the whole time she was smiling, and Teal was going "Awwww!" when Teal saw the picture, she said "That's so precious!" and Teal signed my grimmerie, and laughed at the picture. I asked her to write something funny and sign it, and she wrote "Best Witches, Teal Wicks" She said "You have probably seen this before, and it isn't that funny, but it's all I can think of!" I then had Katie sign the playbill, and people signed in her spot so she took a minute, and then said "Ok, you know, this is muh spot, I am signing here" :) I then left the stage door to take a picture with the Big Wicked poster outside the main doors, but then I remembered that I had my gifts for the cast, and I had complteley forgotten to get them out. So I ran back to the stage door (by now everyone was gone) and called out Teal and Katie's names, and they turned around. I gave them their gifts, and Teal went "Oh... oh my gosh, did you draw this? That's my face!" and Katie said something very similar, and they kept thanking me, and I asked them if they could give the rest of the drawings to the other cast members. Teal said "Yeah, Im actually briefly going back inside, so I'll put them on the sign in table!" I thanked them one more time, and then we walked away. I had a great time! I am seeing the show again next month, so I will post a review of that too! Can't wait for many more good times at the Gershwin! :)