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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Lindsay Mendez

Lindsay Mendez Photograph: Joan Marcus (right)


Lindsay Mendez (current)


What was your first experience with Wicked?
Right when I moved to the city, the show had opened, so I saw it with Kristin and Idina. I loved it, and thought it was incredible and like nothing I’d ever seen before. I loved the story. I couldn’t believe how clever and well-woven it was. And I thought the story of the girls and their friendship was always moving. I walked out of it feeling like I got so much more than my money’s worth.

Is there an Elphaba that is your favorite?
I’ve only seen Idina and Jackie Burns in it, and they were both great. I haven’t seen enough of them to have a favorite. What I love with this character, and what I love about the Wicked company, is they really are so open to different types of women playing the role and making it their own. Each actress has brought her own essence to Elphaba, and I think it’s cool that we have that freedom.

So which essence of you is in Elphaba?
I think the part that strives for good. I think I tend to do that; we all do. I think I’m pretty passionate about the things I feel are just and right, and so is Elphaba.

How long do you think Wicked will run?
Oh, my gosh! I hope it runs forever! I think there seems to be no end to people who want to come see it, which is amazing. I hope it runs at least another ten years!

What is your favorite moment in the show?
I love the scene at the dance, when Elphaba and Glinda first connect and they dance together. I think it’s just a beautifully done moment. I look forward to doing it every night. And it’s so cool that on a big stage and a big theater you can have those moments. In a show that also has flying monkeys and she’s green—there’s nothing subtle about that—I love the small moments that are heartfelt and moving. It’s what made me want to be an actor.

How many times have you heard people say they’ve seen Wicked?
Oh, I’ve heard from 60 to 100 to 150.

That’s a lot of Wicked; is there a musical you would see that many times?
No! The closest I’ve come was…I saw Light in the Piazza four times. I just thought it was so freaking amazing. And Victoria Clark is such a genius, I just wanted to dissect what she was doing. And I also saw my Glinda, Katie Rose Clarke, in it, before she did Wicked.

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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