Wicked on Broadway: Talking to the 15 wonderful witches

We got up close and personal with all 15 emerald divas who played Elphaba in the Broadway smash Wicked.

0

Comments

Add +
Nicole Parker

Nicole Parker Photograph: Joan Marcus (right)


Nicole Parker (2009)


You started out in comedy, on MADtv. What made you want to take on a dramatic role like Elphaba?
The role and the show were just compelling for me. I did Broadway before [Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me], and I heard the Wicked CD and didn’t think anyone could belt that high! Then I saw it in Chicago with Ana Gasteyer. And with her, I saw someone who did similar things that I did, like sketch comedy, and I saw how awesome the part was. And most girls who see it think, I have to do it. I still get excited seeing it. When I did it the second time on tour and had to watch it again, I still got chills and started crying. Partly because I knew how badly my body was going to hurt in 24 hours, and also just because I never get tired of watching it.

When you did Elphaba, did you bring out some lightness in her?
I think what’s great about the script is they put in a defense mechanism of humor, which is what outcasts can identify with. Being more of a nerdy person in school, I would resort to humor to fit into the crowd, a lot of self-deprecating humor. The way Elphaba has to act to keep herself protected, and the things that she says, and her quick jokes and quick humor… She’s really smart and witty, and she’s dry, and she’s learned how to have comebacks to protect herself. I think I played that up a little bit because I identified with that notion of always having a joke or a comeback to keep yourself protected.

If you could talk to Elphaba, what advice would you give her?
I feel like I’d ask her for advice; she’s a lot tougher than me! Just: How do you do it every day? I would give her a hug, say, “I love you. It’ll be okay. And stay strong.” I’d ask her for advice.

Like what?
How she manages to not compromise, even though she stands in danger of social suicide. I don’t know how the laws of the Wicked world work, but how does she find the strength to let what she believes override the world that she’s got, and how does she manage to keep her integrity? I would ask her how she stays strong. She sticks up for the little person. And she’s the ultimate little person.

And I would think you could relate to her, having been green yourself.
I sometimes feel more beautiful green. I get so bored with my regular look, I want to be green again. It’s a blank slate—they can add cheekbones, straighten things out. And I think second-act Elphaba is fierce. She’s pretty hot. I love seeing the pictures of new girls green. For some people it doesn’t change how they look, and others, they become a different person. But every time it’s so gorgeous. And the makeup design is genius; it just transforms whoever is in it. It’s amazing.

Which outfit is your favorite to wear?
There’s nothing like that second-act dress, it’s one of the most fabulous pieces I’ve ever worn. They make a new one for each actress who plays Elphaba, so every single one is its own individual creation. It’s hard to put it on and not feel transformed and powerful.

So it would be the show souvenir you would steal if you could?
I wish I could have it! Just to do some light grocery shopping one day. Dressed in a cape, no big deal… Actually no, I wouldn’t get it dirty like that. I’d use it for an audition or something.

Which Fiyero is the best kisser?
Oh boy! I can’t believe you’re actually asking me this. I can’t answer it because my husband got so upset that I had to kiss so many Fiyeros. It was basically an issue every night. I can blame Wicked for causing a slightly tumultuous moment in my marriage. [Laughs] No comment! For the sake of my marriage, no comment. Wait: My husband just said in the background, “Whatever, it’s Aaron Tveit.”

Wicked on Broadway: Tickets, reviews and video


  SLIDE SHOW: View all 15 Elphabas as one slide show

Users say

14 comments
taylor c
taylor c

I love what SJB said about her husband and his pants. Her and Sebastian were so cute in Wicked together.

Kenia
Kenia

Of course who watched Wicked usually prefer that one that you saw, I don't think someone got the luck of watching all of the from Broadway and UK versions. I've watched and listening some of them, and of course all are great, is Wicked they wouldn't choose a bad singer, but Idina Menzel's is the best with no doubt I'm in love with the book and of all actress she is the one that meke me belive in Elphaba, and she has the voice, THE voice, when you read the book where anyone else could sing after listening to Elphaba's voice is how we saty after listen to Idina's. It's all the package that makes her the best.

sherry
sherry

Jackie is beautiful and amazing inside and out!!

Kate
Kate

@maxii rose: because Kerry was in the original UK cast. She was Idina's understudy. Great article!

maxii rosee
maxii rosee

I thought that Idina had originated the role of Elphaba in the uk and us so why is Kerry saying that she was in the original wicked production at uk!!!

Andrew Wicked
Andrew Wicked

OMG! Only 15 Elphaba' s ?! Wow! #wickedrules

Louis
Louis

Willemijn was and still is the best Elphaba. I've seen her performing three times at Scheveingen in the Netherlands and it was three times Wicked! I hope to see her in London West End too.

Oos
Oos

What about kristy cates? She played Elphaba on broadway And on the Chicago production on was in the original cast!

Mariuca
Mariuca

The article is well written and the beautiful actress is so sweet, also! But! The girls actresses spoke about their roles as if the witches were fairies!OMG! The real witches are bad, evil and they do good only for themselves! Dont let the people be fooled! Thats a fairy who God would love to become true, maybe-I mean, the witches be so strong and their power put it in the service of another..but thats only a fairy..

James H
James H

I know this is the witches on broadway but I would love to hear what the witches around the world have to say to these questions, particularly the Australian witches.

Rachael
Rachael

Idina is AMAZING!!!!! FYI, Mandy you signed my Alphaba doll! She sits in my family room

Logan Stein
Logan Stein

A great and unique article. A fitting celebration on an important milestone for the show. How great to take a look back and realize that only 15 amazing actresses have had the privilege. How wonderful to see how the answers varied.

Theater events calendar for New York City

  1. A Gentleman's Guide...

    A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Walter Ker...

  2. This Is Our Youth

    This Is Our Youth. Cort Theatre (see Broadway). By...

  3. Cabaret

    Cabaret. Studio 54 (see Broadway). Book by Joe Mas...

62 more events »

Time Out videos



Tweets by Time Out NY

Subscribe to Time Out New York on Spotify for playlists and recommendations from our Music team.

Check out New York's best restaurants, hottest street style, cool apartments and more.