Editorial: Thank you and Happy New Year

This is the time of the year were we go back and review it everything. But I thought that cliche would make it boring and uninteresting for you. So…

As you all know by now, I don’t very much like writing about my ideas of thoughts, but New Years Eve makes me a little bit emotional.

2010 was crazy in Wicked The Musical. We had a lot of cast announcements and changes. We mourned some great people leaving and celebrated some amazing new ones stepping into the big Wicked Family. We even had to undergo the closure of the San Francisco Production-with such amazing and INCREDIBLY TALENTED  people performing there. We also had some changes in productions styles. We changed Sydney for an Australian National Tour and we also had the German production going to Oberhausen.

It was for sure a thrilling ride! But I want to take this opportunities for thanking and recognizing some people.

We started back in 2009 with a small blog. Now we are one of the top Wicked blogs in the Wicked -sphere and this wouldn’t have been able if it weren’t for you guys. Yes you, my readers. Thank you for joining us and for enabling us to grow. Whether it’s your first time or you are just revisiting, Thank you. We would be nothing without you guys reading us.

Another thank-you goes to the amazing Performers that let us share their world. My list is long but it’s worth thanking each one of them:

Nicolas Dromard, Neka Zang, Natalie Daradich, Felicia Ricci, Libby Servai, Alyssa Fox, Lindsay K. Northen, Lesley McKinnell, Stefanie Brown, Jody Gelb, Cassandra Compton, Lucy Newton, Lucy Durack, Tim Campbell, Ben Darmanin, Teal Wicks and Liana Hunt.

To all of you Thank you. Without you guys we would be nothing. You guys make us feel special and appreciated as you make us be part of your world. You know that we, fans, love you and we will even follow you after Wicked (or Mamma Mia in Liana’s case) on whatever project you want to engage. Thanks for making 2010 a special year.

Third, I want to thank the different Fans that engage regularly on here-specially TWickies. You guys rock! I hope we keep you entertain as much as possible, for you to keep coming back. Thank you for making us company every single day.

Felicia Ricci’s fans, as well as the guys for Jemma Rix and Willemijn Verkaik, have proven me that they are strong as hell. However, I want to deeply and specially thank TWickies. This guys are mental! They are Teal Wicks fans! Although I consider myself one of them, I have to admit this guys are nuts about Teal. Their Founding Mother and Head Jacqueline is amazing! If I ever include a Fan Personality of the Year I think she would (deserves) win it. Thanks Jacq for everything and for trusting BroadwayisWicked! I know Teal is proud of you.

Last but not least I want to thank my co-writer and newly addition Sarah without whom I would never get such amazing information directly from West End! Thanks girl!

So there, I hope you enjoyed this year and we are looking forward to having an amazing 2011.

Happy New Year!

The BroadwayisWicked Team


Review: Mamma Mia on Broadway

Last Wednesday night I saw the smashing-hit musical Mamma Mia, currently playing at the Winter Garden theatre on Broadway. This was my second time visiting the house, and you can read my previous review here for more insights. However, this time it was different. If during my first visit to the Greek island I had liked the show, I now ended up loving it. Maybe it was the cast, the music or simply the night but everything was really good during the performance.

It is now very clear that old ABBA tunes are still kicking in after all these years and that people keep enjoying them thanks to this musical. The audience left the theatre with nothing but big smiles after dancing and singing along throughout two hours of excellent entertainment.

As for the cast, everyone was in its official role except for Tanya, who was played by Stacia Fernandez (SB), instead of by Judy McLane, and Father Alexander, who was interpreted by Timothy Booth. Over the last couple of months Mamma Mia has undergone some changes in its cast, but surprisingly it really doesn’t show. All actors were very strong in their parts, including the entire ensemble that conveyed lots of energy throughout the entire show. As I said, everything was pretty much perfect.

I’ve been following Lisa Brescia since she played Elphaba in Wicked a couple of years ago. She was perfect for that role but I now realize that she was, in fact, born to play Donna Sheridan. Lisa was absolutely fantastic. She understood the character to perfection and Donna was, for the first time, a true character brought to life. Her voice is shaped beyond perfection, her diction was impeccable and her interpretation of all the pieces was outstanding, leaving no doubt that she deserves, more than anyone, the part. But above all, Brescia was successful at conveying the fun of playing Donna and it showed how she enjoys every second of the show. Ms. Brescia has brought Donna to such a new dimension that I dare say no other performer can truly match-add a deep and renewed spirit to Mamma Mia. On the other hand, her daughter, Sophie Sheridan, was certainly no way behind. Young and talented Liana Hunt, showed why she was taken from the National Tour to the main stage on Broadway to reproduce the part. Her performance was full of detail, and she played Sophie in a brilliant way. Her vocals were strong and she was stupendous in all parts. One can clearly tell that Ms. Hunt has a tremendous future and I can’t wait to see a lot more from her as she follows her path towards becoming a true Broadway star. Brescia and Hunt show a real chemistry, much like a real mom-daughter relationship, becoming a dynamite duet. However, I would have loved to hear a little bit more of Liana during the show. The sound system seemed to me a little bit low at some parts and I couldn’t hear and clearly understand her lines and beautiful voice. Still, she truly represents all the sweetness and appeal of Sophie, creating a solid and shining performance.

The Dynamos are obviously supporting roles in the story, but let me tell you that they didn’t feel like that at all. Both performers were exceptional and did a terrific job. On the one hand, Stacia Fernandez didn’t seem like the understudy. I’ve previously seen Ms. McLane in that role and despite the fact that they play the role differently, I personally think that the chemistry between Stacia and Gina Ferrall (Rosie) was beyond splendid. Their comic timing was wonderful and the audience rewarded them with a standing ovation at the end.

As per the Fathers, they are all three simply appropriate for the part but none of them really brought any sparkle onto the stage. I would have expected a lot more from them, bearing their career in mind. Corey Greenan, Sky, did a solid work and he proved why together with Liana they come across as a very charming couple on stage – kudos to him.

Last but not least, the rest of the ensemble. They acted down to the last detail  and they truly showed the amount of hours of preparation, helping Mamma Mia become one of the top shows currently playing on Broadway.  They all did a timely and colorful choreography with solid vocals and a proper back-up singing too.

On a whole, I would say Mamma Mia is an enjoyable show. It’s perfect for those seeking a musical where the entire family can have fun and be a part of it. Mamma Mia has proven to me once again why it is the awarded show it once was. Of course, much success also depends on the cast and let me assure you that both Ms. Brescia and Ms. Hunt will bring this show once more to the must-see musicals on Broadway.

Editorial: The power of Twitter

I normally don’t write any editorials because, frankly, I  don’t see the point of it. You all think by yourselves and my opinions are pretty much as subjective as any of yours. However, today I’ll make an exception. I feel the need to express myself to all of you.

I’m on my return flight to my hometown after a two-days trip to the Big Apple. Broadway was certainly a highlight of my trip. Many of you will think that I went to see Wicked. Well, not exactly. For the first time in my life I have to admit I chose a Greek Island over Oz. But that’s not the entire point of the whole column.

On Wednesday night I went to see Mamma Mia at the beautiful Winter Garden Theater. Simply, because I enjoy the musical but mainly  because I wanted to see and meet, if possible, the talented Liana Hunt. I’ve been following her career (and Twitter account) for a long time now –ever since she was first appointed  as Sophie for the National Tour of the smashing-hit Mamma Mia. As many other performers, this young but yet very talented lady has a twitter account, and although she doesn’t tweet as often as other actors she was always there telling us about her experience throughout North America or adding small comments. Liana was also chosen by all of you as “Favorite Sophie” in a poll last year. Since then, I have been exchanging some tweets with her and I even promised that, if I ever was in the same city , I would love to see her on stage. And I kept my word.

But the key questions here is:  Would I have traded Wicked for Mamma Mia if I didn’t feel that “connection” towards going and see Liana? My answers is : probably not. Twitter is a powerful tool that enable us to be totally connected at  almost every moment and with thousands of people around the world. Think it this way: I am from Argentina and it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I moved to the US, what better example of a world-wide reach there is but mine. In this particular case, I met Liana through Twitter and the fact that we had previously exchanged some tweets created-within me- that x factor that drove me to go and see her instead of anything else on Broadway. Of course, I’m not a friend of hers or any other actor. As many of you, I’m a common theatergoer.  But the fact that I felt “closer” to her after exchanging a few tweets was decisive at a certain level.

I know many actors don’t see this connection or even can’t truly imagine how some fans may feel about receiving a simple hi or thank you over Twitter. But I can guarantee you that I’m not the only “follower” than feels “special” when getting a response over twitter or other social network. Of course, I do understand that actors can’t respond to everyone because, like me, there are hundreds of other people that are also tweeting them. But that’s exactly the point. That’s exactly why after a simple response we feel special. You don’t even have to respond every single time.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not writing this  to change how things are, but sometimes it is nice to let you all know how things work on this side.

As many of you know I tweeted prior to the show, during the intermission, and after the end. When I woke up the following day I had a response from Liana thanking me for everything. She needn’t do that, but the fact that she did, makes her “special” and makes me want to go back and see her next time.

In conclusion, Twitter can be whatever we wanted or needed to be. Whether is to get information, to meet new people or simply to have a gesture. You actors have the amazing power of being able to make a difference. If it’s just to make our day with a simple hi, or to set an example that can inspire our life. You can do it. Don’t underestimate that power and use it for good. A simple @reply can turn a bad day into an incredible day for us (the fans). But let us all know, we shouldn’t expect it. It’s not the rule. Besides  surprises can be much more thrilling.

Girl of the Week: Lisa Brescia

Lisa Brescia, born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is an American musical theatre actress who has performed as lead and understudy in several Broadway shows. Lisa is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Brescia has appeared on Broadway as Elphaba in Wicked, Amneris inAida, Cleo in Twyla Tharp’s The Times They Are A-Changin’ and Marion Halcombe in The Woman in White, when she stepped in for British star Maria Friedman. Regional credits include Side Show, Evita, The Last 5 Years, A Little Night Music and Brigadoon. For five years, Lisa toured internationally with The Mamas and The Papas with original members John Phillips

Brescia has played the role of Amneris in Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida in several productions. Brescia joined the first national touring production in 2002 as the standby for Kelli Fournier. She assumed the role of Amneris in September 2002 when Fournier left the production. Disney later moved her to the Broadway production as the standby for Mandy Gonzales. Brescia assumed the role on January 4, 2004 upon Gonzales’ departure. She remained in the role until the final performance on September 5, 2004. Brescia returned to the role for one week in 2006 at The Muny in St. Louis along with Simone and Will Chase, both of whom also appeared in the Broadway production.

On February 13, 2007, she replaced Saycon Sengbloh as the Elphaba Standby in the Broadway production of Wicked. She left the production on May 18, 2008. She served for Julia Murney and later, Stephanie J. Block. On June 3, 2008 she replaced Dee Roscioli as the principle Elphaba in the Chicago production of Wicked. She left on August 24, 2008 when Roscioli returned to the role. Brescia then starred in the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Broadway: Three Generations, a three-act evening featuring condensed versions of Girl CrazyBye Bye Birdie, and Side Show. The show was presented at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater October 2-5, 2008.

Lisa was recently seen in The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown as Mom in Orange County, California.

Brescia will replace Beth Leavel as Donna Sheridan in the Broadway production of Mamma Mia! beginning October 22, 2010.

MAMMA MIA! Announces New Principal Casting in Broadway

The global smash hit musical MAMMA MIA! will announces new principals Lisa Brescia, Liana Hunt, Corey Greenan and Clarke Thorell.

As from Friday, October 22, 2010 Broadway musical veteran Lisa Brescia (Wicked, Aida, The Woman in White) will star as “Donna Sheridan”, opposite to  Liana Hunt who will play “Sophie Sheridan,” making her Broadway debut direct from starring in the role on the U.S. national tour. Current Broadway cast member Corey Greenan graduates from the ensemble to play the principal role of her fiancé “Sky.”

Clarke Thorell (Hairspray, Lone Star Love) joins the company as “Harry Bright.” Tony Award® nominee John Dossett (Gypsy) and Patrick Boll (Faith Healer) continue as “Sam Carmichael” and “Bill Austin,” rounding out the trio of men from Donna’s past who are Sophie’s three possible dads.

Judy McLane (Chess, Kiss of the Spiderwoman) and Gina Ferrall (Beauty and the Beast, Big River) continue as “Tanya” and “Rosie,” Donna’s best friends and former back-up band known as “Donna and the Dynamos” who reunite on a Greek island for the wedding of Donna’s daughter, Sophie.

Broadway on Broadway arrives this Sunday September 12

WHEN: Sunday, September 12, 2010, 11:30am

WHERE: 43rd Street and Broadway


DETAILS:  One of New York’s great outdoor events, Broadway on Broadway is a free concert co-produced in the heart of Times Square by The Broadway League and the Times Square Alliance.

This free outdoor concert, attended by 35,000 fans, features musical numbers and appearances from almost every play and musical on Broadway, as well as sneak peeks at several upcoming shows opening in the new theatre season.

Kelsey Grammer, Tony®-nominated star of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of La Cage Aux Folles and five-time Emmy Award winner, will host Broadway on Broadway 2010.

Musical numbers Announced:


“Just Around the Corner”


“St. Jimmy”


“Expressing Yourself”


“We Both Reached for the Gun”


“There Is a Santa Claus”




“When You’re Home”


“We Are What We Are”


“Can You Feel The Love Tonight”


“Dancing Queen”


“Steal Your Rock n’ Roll”




“Superboy and the Invisible Girl”


“All I Ask of You”


“I Say A Little Prayer”


“Where Can You Take A Girl”


“Hey Jude”


“Wanted (Dead Or Alive)”


“Jet Song”


“The Wizard and I”

For information on Broadway on Broadway and other Broadway events visit the Broadway Concierge Booth at the Times Square Visitor Center on 7th Avenue between 46th & 47th Streets. For more information, log onto http://www.BroadwayonBroadway.com.