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Rank the Elphabas - Broadway
kerrilk Offline

Posts: 15
Joined: Jan 2018
Post: #11
RE: Rank the Elphabas - Broadway
^I have seen her since return; this reflects both runs.

In an exercise in remembering and reminiscing, as well as my own personal torture, I think i'm going to try and do a FULL ranking - including covers. [This should tell you how much I've been around the block as a Wicked fan; it's also a lovely testament to why I keep a theatre journal, which helps me remember details I wouldn't otherwise.]

#1) To do this is EXTREMELY challenging...
#2) I tried HARD to differentiate between BEST and FAVORITE. This is really hard for me... especially as I have a deep and hard-to-challenge bias in favor of Elphabas prior to around mid-2008.
#3) I did my very best to try and rank performances based EXCLUSIVELY on what I saw on Broadway...
#4) I just finished this and hate it. I will have to rethink it.
#5) Exactly HOW many times have I seen this show...?

#6) Now I wanna do this with Glinda!

1. Julia Murney
2. Idina Menzel
3. Willemijn Verkaik
4. Ana Gasteyer
5. Stephanie J. Block
6. Lisa Brescia

This is where favorite and best get hard, because I think my personal preferences definitely play a role here. I like Elphie played in a certain manner, and I think these women demonstrate that. However, when it comes to layered, embodied performances of Elphaba, I think these 6 are key.

7. Mandy Gonzalez
8. Christine Dwyer
9. Donna Vivino
10. Emily Koch
11. Mariand Torres
12. Jennifer DiNoia [as standby & principal]
13. Jackie Burns
14. Nicole Parker
15. Julie Reiber
16. Vicki Noon

This is the bunch that's hard for me, because their numerical placements suggest they're in the middle, but they're really all just bunched closely toward the top. These are all also challenging because in some cases I preferred runs that weren't on Broadway. (Emily Koch, for example, was stronger on the 2NT; I preferred Julie Reiber in LA; Vicki Noon was great but somewhat out-of-practice on Broadway as opposed to her runs elsewhere.)

17. Kristy Cates
18. Eden Espinosa [as standby]
19. Alyssa Fox
20. Carla Stickler
21. Caissie Levy

Kristy and Caissie gave the two of the most polished performances as Elphaba understudy on Broadway, but both SOARED after their Broadway tenures. LOVED Alyssa and Carla, just found less to put them in the above category, personally. And Eden's standby days were spectacularly different from her 2006-10 runs. (And frankly I much preferred her in 2004.)

22. Shoshana Bean [as standby & principal]
23. Rachel Tucker
24. Lindsay Mendez
25. Teal Wicks

I don't know where to put these ladies. I enjoyed them, but their performances to me just weren't as memorable. (Well, Shoshana was memorable, but sometimes for prioritizing the vocals over the character.)

26. Brandi Chavonne Massey
27. Stephanie Torns
28. Caroline Bowman [as understudy & principal]
29. Lilli Cooper
30. Hannah Shankman
31. Saycon Sengbloh
32. Desi Oakley
33. Marcie Dodd
34. Chelsea Krombach

Now a big chunk of covers all at once... women who never really got to inhabit the role fully [or, in Hannah's case, haven't yet]. And that's not their fault, really; heck, I mean Desi Oakley, for example, did two shows as Elphaba, on one day. I could write an essay on a few of them (namely Brandi, Saycon, and Chelsea).

35. Dee Roscioli
36. Anne Brummel
37. Eden Espinosa [as prinicpal]
38. Kerry Ellis

This is definitely a preference thing. Talented, talented women, whose performances were not favorites.
(This post was last modified: 02-04-2018 09:36 PM by kerrilk.)
02-04-2018 08:53 PM
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