Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked is the story of two girls - Elphaba and Galinda.  Before Dorothy dropped in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One - born with emerald green skin - is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. Wicked is how these two unlikely friends end up as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch.


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                                                      Last updated: 10-April-09

July 2006 and August 2006
I had read a lot of good things about the musical Wicked, so when I heard it was touring So. California this summer ('06), I decided to try to see it.

Unfortunately, I was unable to snag tickets for the 2 week San Diego run in July.  They were essentially sold out before they were available to the general public.  However, I was able to get tickets to their next stop in August in Costa Mesa. I was able to score 2 individual tickets for Friday, Aug 18. One in the balcony and one... FRONT ROW!  Whoo Hoo! 

As it turned out, a friend had an extra ticket for the San Diego show on July 29.  The seats were in the LAST row but no matter, the sound was excellent, we were closest to the air conditioner and with binoculars - I had a good time and enjoyed the show.

I'm sure the front row seat had a lot to do with it, but I enjoyed it even more the second time.  The other reason was that the actress who played Elphaba (Julia Murney) was really "on" that night.  I was floored after her first big number "The Wizard and I" (and judging by the thunderous appluase, the rest of the audience was floored as well).   We knew were in for a treat that night!

Julia Murney

Victoria Matlock & Christina DeCicco
May 2007: Denver, Colorado. I flew to Colorado to have a "Wicked" Girls Weekend in Denver, with my sister, grand-neice and her mom.  However, there is nothing like forgetting to bring the theater tickets to raise the stress & panic levels.  Especially, since I was in Colorado Springs and the tickets were in San Diego!  But with help of friends, they were able to find my tickets in my house and express mail them to Colorado with an hour or so to spare!  Whew.  The girls loved the show as much as I do.  This production starred Victoria Matlock as Elphaba and Christina DeCicco as Glinda. 

July 2007:  LA, California. 7-7-7 a magical day!  This time I went with my nephew and his wife to celebrate his birthday.  I assume Wicked will be running at the Pantages until they quit making money.  Our seats were 7th row, though maybe a little too off to the side.  The sets are more elaborate than the touring company's so the large set obstructed a bit of our view.  We saw Eden Espinosa (Elphaba) and Megan Hilty (Galinda).  Overall I think the best pair I've seen yet.  However, Murney's "The Wizard and I" was unforgetable.

November 2007:  LA, California. My brother was supposed to go with us in July, however he was sick, so the two of us went a few months later and sat front center mezzanine.

Eden Espinosa & Megan Hilty

January 2008:  LA Wicked cast changes: JoAnne Worley as Madame Morrible and Caissie Levy replaces Eden Espinosa as Elphaba.  I ran across a shout out to Espinosa by the current Broadway Elphaba, Stephanie Block.  She praises Espinosa on her stamina to play Elphaba - "There are those voices that I think could knock it out of the ballpark at an audition and knock it out of the ballpark a couple times a week. But to find a voice that can sing it eight times a week for six months to a year — and I think Eden's going on her two-and-a-half or three-year mark — that's quite an instrument and quite an accomplishment."

February 2008: 
Half-price tickets!  How could I pass that up?  A friend and I went on a Friday night and we also attended the "Behind the Emerald Curtain" tour that started at 6PM (Pre - 8pm show).  It was an hour presentation hosted by two of the cast members - Laura Dysarczyk and Melissa Fahn.  Hint: arrive 30-20 min. early to have enough time to study the exhibits.  They have costumes, wigs, photos, set design models, props and other Wicked things of interest setup in the Pantages lobby. <See my photos of just a few of the exhibits> 

Laura and Melissa recounted their experiences with the show (each have been with various Wicked companies for a number of years), how the show came about, their "jobs", the costuming, wigs, makeup, etc.  They took us to the balcony and we watched as the crew prepared and tested the lights and sound.  Laura described what it is like to be a swing - she steps into 10 roles (all of the girl ensemble) and is u/s for Nessarose - that's a lot of costumes and dance steps and lines to memorize!  There was a Q&A - some tidbits: all the companies - Broadway, LA, London, Tour etc. are *exactly* the same - if the they make a small choreographic change in LA, they all change.  Except for Elphaba, they all do their own make-up, and most arrive ~30min before curtain.   Of course I couldn't think of any questions at the time, but I have a bunch now.  BtEC tour is a must for the Wicked obsessed, costume and theater aficionados and anyone interested in a small glimpse of behind the scenes of a major theater production.  Click here to see my photos.

I admit, I was disappointed when I found out that Joanne Worley (Madam Morrible) and the new Elphaba, Caissie Levy were not appearing this night - replaced by their standbys, Linda Kerns (Morrible) and Teal Wicks (Elphaba).  Teal Wicks does have a voice and potential as Elphaba though not nearly as strong as Espinosa or striking as Murney.  She seemed petite, young and didn't command presence of the other Elphabas. There were times when she was overshadowed by Hilty and their duets not quite together.  I don't know how often she's been Elphaba or rehearsed with Hilty, but I think it won't be long for her to be as good as the others.  That said,  I still enjoyed myself and the different actors and the live performances makes it new all over.  OK, not exactly new, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Teal Wicks

September 2008:  A couple of friends said they would like to see Wicked before it leaves LA in January.  Who am I to argue?  What a difference 5 months makes!  Teal Wicks was wonderful as Elphaba. It may have been the seats we had, the amazement I felt from my friends sitting next to me, or the obvious improvement, but Wicks gave one of the best performances I've seen - especially Defying Gravity.  I was so thrilled to see her shine!  She's still seems too petite physically for Elphaba (to me), but it's a small quibble.  Others new to the LA cast:  Erin Mackey (Glinda) - fun gestures, lovely voice, Derrick Williams (Fiyero)- smooth, impressive voice, probably best dancer yet and David Garrison (Wizard)



November 2008:  One of the friends who went with me in September, emailed the next morning asking if I wanted to go again.  And again, who am I to argue with all this arm twisting.  Eden Espinosa and Megan Hilty are back to close out the run that ends in January.  Amazing how Eden is always "on".  Loved the fun Megan has with Eden in the Popular number - determined to get Eden to giggle and laugh.  She succeeded.


Megan & Eden

Last Curtain Call.

January 11, 2009: The final performance of Wicked at the Pantages Theater in LA.  It was also the final performance by the leads, Eden Espinosa and Megan Hilty.  The audience was buzzing in the lobby before the show.  Obviously it was filled with many "Wickedholics".   As we waited in the seats, I noticed many 0f the audience members knew each other from the internet.  I felt like I was at a fan convention.  When Megan floated in on her bubble, the applause was deafening and it lasted for a long time, and of course perfect for Glinda's first line "It's good to see me!"  And again when Eden runs on stage as Elphaba.  During the show Eden teared up a number of times and it was sweet to see Megan wipe a tear from Eden's cheek during "For Good".  Awwww.  At curtain call, Steven Schwartz (music & lyrics) and Winnie Holtzman (book) came on stage to thank various supporters and the LA audience.  They also honored Eden and Megan for their many years with Wicked.

Many of the LA Wicked company will be moving up with the show to San Francisco for an open ended run.  Teal Wicks and Kendra Kasselbaum (my first Glinda) will be taking over the leading roles.  Megan Hilty is on Broadway playing Dolly Parton's role in Parton's new musical 9 to 5.  Eden Espinosa has been doing solo concerts called "Me" in LA and NY.

Eden Espinosa                                           Julia Murney                                                Megan Hilty


Best Elphaba I've seen:  I'm torn between Eden Espinosa and Julia Murney.  Eden Espinosa - whom I've seen the most, is consistent, with an impressive voice and presence and a good actor.  It's amazing, she never had an off night or note.  Her Elphaba is vulnerable yet powerful and I love her transformation from idealistic co-ed to a powerful force.  However, the Elphaba I'd love to see again is Julia Murney - the first is always special - but it was the second time I saw her in Costa Mesa - That was a memorable performance... a Wow! night.  I love her Elphaba - her personality, looks, and voice are perfect for the role.

Best Galinda/Glinda I've seen: Megan Hilty. She has so much fun up there and she's made it her own Glinda. Effortless singer.

<sorry, I suck writing reviews>


Official Site
Wicked Trailer  
LA Times Review
Steven Schwartz's website


Interview with Julia Murney (Elphaba)
 and a podcast interview w/transcript - includes a couple of songs from her album.
Behind the Scenes: Getting green with Julia Murney. A backstage video.  This is my favorite.
Interview with Eden Espinosa (Elphaba)    and LA Times article "Since Disneyland, she can cast a spell"
Video of Espinosa discusses her role as Elphaba as her makeup is being applied and she is transformed into Elphaba. Excellent
Video Interview with Megan Hilty and Shoshana Bean (Elphaba).
 Video Interview with Teal Wicks and another audio interview.
Playbill's Diva Talk: Chatting with Wicked's Ashford, Bean, Espinosa, Murney and Thompson. Wicked Videos: A number of videos with various Wicked performers and "behind the scenes".


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