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.

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Dee Roscioli

Dee Roscioli Photograph: Joan Marcus (right)


Dee Roscioli (2009–10)


Do you have any tips for hitting the “Defying Gravity” high note night after night?
My tip for hitting any high note is: Don’t think about it. Seriously. We focus so hard on “getting it right” that it can sometimes mess you up. It’s all one song, and some notes are higher, some are lower. I just allow my voice to do what it wants and keep out whatever that is in my head trying to convince me that I can or can’t do it. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t.

Has any Elphaba influenced your performance?
I haven’t seen many Elphabas, but I’ve loved the ones I’ve seen. Jackie Burns is so effortless, and Teal Wicks has this cool hippie take. But I think the one that influenced me the most is Stephanie J. Block. She is a huge risk taker and nothing is off-limits.… I needed to see how far I could push Elphie, and I learned that from her.

What was the biggest difference between doing it on a Broadway stage versus a touring stage?
For the show, there aren’t many differences for the actors, other than some backstage choreography and, of course, the schedule. The difference comes socially. I mean, if you are all in the same city, all looking for the best doughnut or the coolest exhibit, you are bound to be a little closer than in New York, where everyone has their normal lives to carry on with. It’s like a suspension of normal life when you’re on tour, because all you have is each other. Of course, the casts are always übertalented, and the audiences are sending their appreciation in bucket loads no matter what city, New York included. I do like the idea of a tour, in that those who can’t get to Broadway get to see the show with the same quality, just closer to home.

Why is the show so popular?
There are so many reasons. Nostalgia for The Wizard of Oz can’t be overlooked. People like fresh and new, and they also like what is familiar, and Wicked manages the impossible by giving us both. Seeing the Wicked Witch of the West as a heroine is fun…and mostly unexpected. You also can’t discount the friendship between Glinda and Elphaba. We all have judged someone mistakenly at some time in our lives. Witnessing the relationship between the girls grow from something ugly into something beautiful is captivating, and at the same time we can identify with it.

Wicked on Broadway: Tickets, reviews and video


  SLIDE SHOW: View all 15 Elphabas as one slide show

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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.

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