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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Mandy Gonzalez

Mandy Gonzalez Photograph: Peter Hurley (left); Joan Marcus (right)


Mandy Gonzalez (2010–11)


How has the show changed your career?
I actually started in Wicked during one of its first readings. It was one of my first jobs in New York. I was part of an incredible ensemble of actors for that reading and was able to experience the early magic of Wicked. I remember sitting between Christian Borle and Celia Keenan-Bolger, and we were all just starting our careers. It was a full circle, ending my journey in Wicked playing Elphaba on Broadway. From that first reading, my career had changed dramatically, and Wicked had grown into one of the biggest shows of all time. The show opened my life up to meeting so many incredible people. Along with the incomparable cast and crew, the fans are so supportive and welcomed me with open arms.

Is there a Glinda that you wished you could have performed with?
I really have to stay loyal to my Glinda, Katie Rose Clarke. In this show, being able to count on that other person to be there with you from the moment you run or fly onto that stage is something the two of you will always share.

What was your favorite song to sing?
“The Wizard and I.” It was my first song out of the gate, and it’s where you really get to meet Elphaba. She lets her walls down. She’s so vulnerable and tells you about all her hopes and dreams. It’s a beautiful moment that I loved.

Do you have any tips for removing the green makeup?
I would remove the green makeup by washing my face with Neutrogena after the show and using a washcloth around my hairline to really scrub it out. I had a faded green tint around my hairline for about three months after leaving the show. Also, if you have light-colored sheets, definitely change your pillowcase to something darker or eventually they will turn green. Elphaba definitely stayed with me!

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.

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