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Rank the Elphabas - Broadway
Martello736 Offline

Posts: 683
Joined: Mar 2015
Post: #1
Rank the Elphabas - Broadway
Of the actresses to have been lead Elphaba on Broadway, how would you rank them? (and optionally - why?)

My list would be:
1. Christine Dwyer / Jackie Burns / Eden Espinosa
4. Shoshana Bean
5. Teal Wicks
6. Rachel Tucker
7. Willemijn Verkaik
8. Dee Roscioli
9. Nicole Parker
10. Marcie Dodd
11. Jennifer DiNoia
12. Stephanie J. Block
13. Ana Gasteyer
14. Lindsay Mendez
15. Kerry Ellis
16. Idina Menzel
17. Mandy Gonzalez
18. Caroline Bowman
19. Julia Murney

I have Rachel above Willemijn and Jenny on this list but below them on the West End list because I'm basing my opinions on their run on Broadway only. Christine, Jackie and Eden are the diamond trio as far as I'm concerned, Christine gave sensational performances night after night across multiple brilliant runs, Jackie was just flawless and a much deserving longest running Broadway Elphaba and Eden although I think has a far weaker voice now, was insane in her prime.

Going to the bottom of the list, I do think Kerry gave a fair few half-hearted performances during her Broadway run, dropping a lot of her signature growls, riffs and power, and adopting that frankly awful high F that's about a quarter of a second long. Idina I've never been a huge fan of, I know she was the original but I really think her voice is quite screechy and I've only ever found a couple of audios where she sounds bearable (sorry Fanzels). Mandy I can't say I've ever been that keen on, although it seems she's slaying in Hamilton now so good for her, Caroline was an understudy that was promoted far too hastily in my opinion. Around the time that Jenny got offered London lead there was a rumour that she was due to get Broadway lead but the Gershwin gave her to the Apollo Victoria to help get them/us out of a jam and then realised they had no lead so panicked and chose Caroline. May not be true but it'd make sense as none of her audios were quite lead material. Julia I do feel sorry for as I know she was ill for a long period of her run but she never quite overcame that and as a result sounded quite frail on most of the important notes. She did have some great riffs and quirks but along with Victoria Matlock, she's the Elphaba I find it most uncomfortable to listen to.

Show Count: 223
209x London, 8x UK & Ireland Tour, 6x International Tour
05-19-2017 08:51 AM
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killerqueen Offline

Posts: 131
Joined: Sep 2016
Post: #2
RE: Rank the Elphabas - Broadway
I haven't seen the vast majority of these people in person, so that's obviously a real flaw with me ranking these wonderful ladies. But from the bits and pieces I have seen or heard, plus the impressions I've got of them in other performances or shows, I'd probably say my impression goes something along the lines of this, but even looking at it, I'm already so conflicted. For example, I don't know how I have Stephanie so low, but who do I possibly put lower?

1. Eden Espinosa
2. Shoshana Bean
3. Rachel Tucker
4. Willemijn Verkaik
5. Julia Murney
6. Lindsay Mendez
7. Christine Dwyer
8. Nicole Parker
9. Teal Wicks
10. Jackie Burns
11. Stephanie J. Block
12. Marcie Dodd
13. Jennifer DiNoia
14. Idina Menzel
15. Mandy Gonzalez
16. Caroline Bowman
17. Dee Roscioli
18. Ana Gasteyer
19. Kerry Ellis
(This post was last modified: 05-19-2017 03:38 PM by killerqueen.)
05-19-2017 03:36 PM
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Tyler Offline
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Posts: 2,660
Joined: Jan 2012
Post: #3
RE: Rank the Elphabas - Broadway
These rankings reflect my thoughts about the performances these actresses gave while on the Broadway stage and not of other engagements.

* Indicates I saw the actress live on Broadway.

1. Jackie Burns*
2. Christine Dwyer*
3. Willemijn Verkaik
4. Stephanie J. Block
5. Idina Menzel
6. Shoshana Bean
7. Rachel Tucker*
8. Eden Espinosa
9. Teal Wicks*
10. Dee Roscioli
11. Julia Murney
12. Jennifer DiNoia*
13. Marcie Dodd
14. Nicole Parker
15. Caroline Bowman*
16. Lindsay Mendez*
17. Mandy Gonzalez
18. Ana Gasteyer
19. Kerry Ellis

A few points:
  • Jackie Burns & Christine Dwyer (especially during her return in 2016) had something magical about them during their performances. I was amazed with their vocals and acting.
  • Rachel Tucker had some amazing shows.. but out of the 6 times I saw her on Broadway I'd say about half of them were just "good/okay". I was often expecting her to have some insane vocals and then was somewhat let down. However when she was vocally feeling it she was ON FIRE.

Defying Gravity since June 2007
*Experienced Jackie Burns' "tell them how I" riff*
(This post was last modified: 05-19-2017 05:39 PM by Tyler.)
05-19-2017 05:35 PM
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CRJ Offline
Super Moderator

Posts: 375
Joined: Jan 2012
Post: #4
RE: Rank the Elphabas - Broadway
1. Shoshana Bean
2. Eden Espinosa
3. Christine Dwyer
4. Julia Murney
5. Rachel Tucker
6. Willemijn Verkaik
7. Stephanie J. Block
8. Jackie Burns
9. Idina Menzel
10. Ana Gasteyer
11. Marcie Dodd
12. Caroline Bowman
13. Nicole Parker
14. Mandy Gonzalez
15. Dee Roscioli
16. Teal Wicks
17. Lindsay Mendez
18. Jennifer DiNoia
19. Kerry Ellis

Wicked Count: 69 (1NT: 36 | 2NT: 33)
Stephanie J. Block | Maria Eberline | Shoshana Bean (2) | Victoria Matlock (6) | Coleen Sexton (4) | Marcie Dodd (2) | Merideth Kaye Clark | Donna Vivino (7) | Carrie Manolakos | Mariand Torres (4) |
Jackie Burns (4) | Anne Brummel (3) | Stephanie Torns | Dee Roscioli (2) | Alison Luff (2) | Jennifer DiNoia (10) | Alyssa Fox (5) | Emma Hunton | Emily Koch (11)| Mary Kate Morrissey
Kendra Kassebaum (2) | Megan Hilty (2) | Christina DeCicco (10) | Christeena Michelle Riggs | Katie Rose Clarke (3) | Heléne Yorke (2) | Chandra Lee Schwartz (14) | Natalie Daradich (2) |
Tiffany Haas (2) | Jenn Gambatese (4) | Hayley Podschun (15) | Amanda Jane Cooper (11) | Jillian Butler
Derrick Williams (2) | Sebastian Arcelus (2) | Cliffton Hall (10) | Kyle McDaniel | Richard H. Blake (15) | Colin Donnell (2) | Jared Zirilli | David Nathan Perlow (12) | KJ Hippensteel (2) | Curt Hansen (4) |
Sam Lips | Joel Ingram | Matt Shingledecker (3) | Kyle Brown | Jake Boyd (9) | Jeremy Woodard (3)

05-21-2017 03:23 PM
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Joe72108 Offline

Posts: 765
Joined: Oct 2013
Post: #5
RE: Rank the Elphabas - Broadway
Christine Dwyer
Shoshana Bean
Stephanie J. Block
Teal Wicks
Eden Espinosa
Jackie Burns
Willemijn Verkaik
Rachel Tucker
Marcie Dodd
Dee Roscioli
Nicole Parker
Mandy Gonzalez
Lindsay Mendez
Idina Menzel
Jennifer DiNoia
Caroline Bowman
Julia Murney
Kerry Ellis
Ana Gasteyer

Wicked Supporter #2460fun
First National Tour - 8 | Second National Tour - 13 | Broadway - 8

Carmen Cusack, Anne Brummel, Lindsay Mendez, Alison Luff (5), Laurel Harris, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Christine Dwyer (3), Rachel Tucker (3), Emily Koch (2), Alyssa Fox, Emily Schultheis (3), Jessica Vosk (4), Chelsea Emma Franko, Mary Kate Morrissey (2)
Melissa Bohon, Natalie Daradich, Alli Mauzey, Gina Beck (7), Jenni Barber, Lindsay K. Northen, Tess Soltau (2), Kara Lindsay (3), Ginna Claire Mason (9), Allison Bailey
05-21-2017 08:10 PM
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mimimaureen Offline

Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2017
Post: #6
RE: Rank the Elphabas - Broadway
1.Jackie Burns
2.Shoshana Bean
3. Eden Espinosa
4. Mandy Gonzalez (underrated, I saw her on bway. The only time I've seen Wicked so far.)
5. Willemijn Verkaik
6. Julia Murney
7. Lindsay Mendez
8. Idina Menzel
9. Stephanie J Block
10. Nicole Parker
11. Jennifer Dinoia
12. Rachel Tucker
13. Caroline Bowman
14. Christine Dwyer
15. Teal Wicks
16. Dee Roscoli
17. Kerry Ellis
18. Marcie Dodd
19. Ana Gasteyer
(based on my favorites. I wish Saycon Senbloh was the main Elphaba from 2006-2007 (instead of Ana, i'm not hating, she was funny on SNL). I kind of wish the role was more diverse-ified (sorry for sounding tumblr, but seriously.). I would like Eva Noblezada to play Elphaba next. I think all the actresses who played Elphaba did their job. I don't think any actress is downright terrible, I just find a few boring.)
11-14-2017 12:13 PM
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chladag2013 Offline

Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2017
Post: #7
RE: Rank the Elphabas - Broadway
I’ve only ever seen Alison, and vocally I think she’s my favorite. I think she can be a bit rough in the acting department, but her singing makes up for it. When it soars it SOARS.
11-14-2017 08:08 PM
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defygravity777 Offline

Posts: 1,351
Joined: Jan 2012
Post: #8
RE: Rank the Elphabas - Broadway
I saw every lead Elphaba on Broadway since Jan 2008. Christine Dwyer is my favorite out of them.

Changed for good in 2008!!!

Hi, I'm Val.
11-16-2017 12:55 AM
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