Emily Ferranti to replace Michelle London as Nessarose


Emily Ferranti who understudied Glinda and Nessarose in Wicked’s First National Tour will now step into as the new Nessa for the Second National Tour replacing Michelle London. Her performances in the role begins September 27th, 2011 in Pittsburgh PA.

via FlyingHighwithWicked

Cast Changes – Broadway, First National Tour and Second National Tour


Editor’s correction: Aug 9th 9:30 am

BROADWAY

Cristy Candler replaced Jenny Fellner as Nessarose. (thru’ November)

1ST NATIONAL TOUR

Megan Campanile  replaced Emily Ferranti as an understudy for Glinda.

2ND NATIONAL TOUR

Laurel Harris understudies Nessarose  and Elphaba.

Marissa Miller replaced Tiffany Haas as an understudy for Glinda.

via flyinghighwithwicked

Farewell to the current Wicked cast in West End


by Sarah

On Saturday 5th Feb the latest bunch of students will graduate from Shiz University into the big, wild world. It is set to be an emotional day both for them and for us so we thought it would be nice to pay our own little tribute.

Lee Mead- Fiyero
Lee joined the cast late due to touring the country in the play, Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime but when he joined his new teammates he was primarily known for three things; winning the BBC’s hunt for a Joseph programme, his curly locks and for being married to Denise van Outen!
Never before (well, Kerry Ellis aside) has a performer in this show caused more outpouring and discussion on internet message boards. Lee was no Oliver Tompsett, but nor did he try to be. He brought a different side to the character with his “let the green girl go” being particularly triumphant. If the screams at curtain call are anything to go by, I think his performances have gone down well!

What next? Lee is a successful recording artist, having sold over 200,000 copies of his debut album. Gigs have been scheduled though the UK so look for dates and he also has a tour of Japan to look forward to at the end of the year. This will all be mixed in with the joys of feeding and nappy changing for baby Betsy. Follow his career on www.twitter.com/leemeadofficial

Danny Mac- Ensemble and understudy Boq
Chirpy, cheeky cockney Danny is an integral part of the Ensemble and brings to it so much energy and enthusiasm and those who were lucky enough to see him in one of his Boq shows will agree what a talented performer he is.
Away from the show, he keeps fans entertained on Twitter with his antics (a highlight being when he dropped his expensive sunglasses in the River Thames) and has a lovely array of hats, but don’t think that despite his good looks and obvious talents that he is perfect. He isn’t; he supports Chelsea Football Club. Well, can’t have everything I suppose!:)
What next? He hasn’t said yet! Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dannymaconline and wait and see.

Lucy Newton- Swing
For those who don’t know, Swings are those multi talented peeps who learn lots of roles so they can be prepared to cover when people are ill or when they are on holiday.
I have seen her in many parts; from the Goat midwife, to a Shiz Student, to Glinda to not being in the show at all. The latter I did not like so much! That is the nature of being a Swing… sometimes they aren’t on which is such a crying shame as she is far too talented to be sat backstage.
Her appearances as Glinda were a revelation and you would have thought she had been playing the role for months. It was a joy to see her as a lead; I doubt it will be the last time!

What next? She is joining Pricilla in London’s West End. Follow her at www.twitter.com/MissLucyNewton

Lewis Bradley- Ensemble and understudy Fiyero
I feel I must start with an apology to Lewis. When he was cast I had my theatre snob hat on and thought it was “name” casting (Lewis, having been made famous for being on the BBC Joseph programme alongside Lee Mead). He was thrown into the deep end having to play Fiyero for about a month as Lee was to join the company later and he got sterling reviews. He was fantastic. I will hold my hands up and say I was completely wrong. I loved watching Lewis, whether in the Ensemble or as Fiyero and he will be a big miss.
Away from the stage we can only hope he continues to keep us amused with his random Tweets of the most obscure facts you will ever find.

What next? He hasn’t said yet! Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LewisBradley89 and wait and see.

George Ure- Boq
George’s West End debut was in the Wicked Ensemble and then went on to be full time Boq, attracting a legion of faithful followers along the way. Random fact (in the style of Lewis Bradley)
did you know that when you misspell his first name the suggested spelling is ‘gorge’? Rather apt.
Such a lovable and lovely guy both on and off the stage.
He broke the nation’s hearts this week when he Tweeted that he was packing up his dressing room. It seems all too real now.
We will miss his George Cam behind the scenes videos “ciao for now”, screaming “iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttsssssss Boq” and the cheeky wink at Glinda when he asks Nessa to the dance.

What next? He’s off to join the International Hair tour! Follow him on www.twitter.com/george_ure

Cassi Compton- Nessarose
Most of us knew Cassie from the X Factor 2004, a finalist in Sharon’s 16-25 category, but she was also an accomplished theatre performer having appeared in Dirty Dancing, Les Mis and Whistle Down the Wind.
Cassie brings such warmth to her Nessa, but also does angry second Act Nessa very well too, belting out a mean Wicked Witch of the East.

What next? She hasn’t said yet! Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cassicompton and wait and see.

Lauren James Ray- Ensemble and u/s Nessarose
Lauren is the best thing to come out of Wales since Ryan Giggs!
A rising star of the theatre world and multi talented. As if being an ensemble star, great dancer and beautiful wasn’t enough, she is a fantastic singer songwriter as well. Sickening really isn’t?!
I will personally miss her mad Shiz student wigs and her epic “nobody cares they wont return” growling. Her debut as Nessarose was generally agreed by all present to be triumphant!

What next? She hasn’t said yet! Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LaurenJamesUK
and wait and see.

Sam Wilmott- Ensemble + Chistery
Affectionately known as Monkey Boy, Sam is a fantastic member of the cast who throws himself into every performance… literally! Leaping off ladders, swinging on ropes, climbing on frames, flying around the stage… Crikey.
Not only that, he is a great drummer and a very talented artist (as the huge bids for his work in the recent Wicked Day eBay auction will testify!)

What next? He hasn’t said yet! Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/monkeyboy000
and wait and see.

Stevie Tate- Ensemble and u/s Nessa and u/s Elphaba
Fiyero’s man bag holder and multi talented performer. Sadly, I did not manage to see her as Elphaba (I heard the audios… wow!) but she was magnificent as Nessarose.
Tweeted this week “already had a little cry and I’ve got 7 shows left”. You’re not the only one!

What next? She hasn’t said yet! Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/stevietate
and wait and see.

Farewell and good luck to all our students, I am sure they will all do us proud.

Wicked London Cast Changes and Annoucements


Wicked London’s latest Cast Change is scheduled to take place on Saturday 5th February and it looks like it will be a very sad day as a lot of popular cast members will be leaving us.

Those who have already confirmed that they will be leaving are Cassie Compton (Nessarose) Lee Mead (Fiyero), George Ure (Boq), Sarah Earnshaw (Standby Glinda) and Ensemble members Lewis Bradley, Jack Wilcox, Stevie Tate- Bauer, Danny Mac, Lucy Newton and Sam Wilmott.

On a happier note, the following have all extended their contracts; Louise Dearman (Glinda), Rachel Tucker (Elphaba), Nikki Davis-Jones (Standby Elphaba), Clive Carter (The Wizard), Julie Le Grande (Madame Morrible) and Julian Forsyth (Dr Dillamond).

Who will be sharing the stage with them from Monday 7th February is as yet unknown, although it is currently the subject of much rumour and speculation! We will keep you updated as soon as announcements are made.

by Sarah – London Editor

Interview of the Month: Stefanie Brown


Today, we are glad to bring you another exclusive interview of  Broadway is Wicked. This time we have the honor to have Ms. Stefanie Brown. This amazing performer is now playing  Nessarose in the First National Tour of Wicked.

BroadwayisWicked (BW): Who is really Stefanie Brown? (beyond Wicked)

Stefanie Brown (SB): I am a very kind, loving person who always wants to see the best in people. I love animals, specifically dogs, and would not be able to live without them. I have a very fun, positive personality, and I love to keep busy. I hate just sitting around, I always have to have something to do. I am very organized, my daily planner is my life, it is a little scary. I am very neat and do not like messes. I am a very good friend who can keep a secret. I love desserts and I absolutely love mexican food. I love to try new restaurants, and I love to shop! I love new clothes! I like to think of myself as fun to be around and I love just sitting at home and hanging with my friends. I can sometimes be awkward in certain situations. I am very easy going, which sometimes causes me not speak my mind, which can get me into trouble. I do care about my physical appearance, except I hate going to the gym. I am a huge romantic and I love movies and music. I love to perform, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. I think that pretty much sums it up.

BW: When did you know that your career was going to be acting?

SB: Honestly, I do not really know. When I was 3 years old, I just started to perform for everyone all the time. Whether it was dancing to music at family get togethers or singing for the camera, I just had this incredible passion for performing. My parents are not quite sure on where I get it from. I knew I wanted to make a career out of it when I was about 8, and got to play Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz at school. That is when I knew, I had to do this for the rest of my life.

BW: How did you feel the first time you performed in front of an audience?

SB: It is so exhilarating!! Nerve racking, and exciting all at the same time. The very first time I ever performed for a big audience was when I was 3. My family and I were at a big vacation resort in California, and they were having a big band night. During the bands set, I escaped my mothers arms and ran up onstage and asked the lead singer if I could sing. He agreed, gave me the mic, and I began my rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. That is the exact moment where I caught the bug for performing. I have never been able to stop. The sound of laughter and applause is so addicting!

BW: We know about the Middle-of-Penn-Station call but, how did you come to audition for “Wicked” and what was the audition process like?

SB: It is a very long story, but I will try to make it as brief as possible. After my senior showcase in college, I got involved with my current agent, who called me about the audition for the Glinda u/s in the Wicked National Tour, while I was doing Hair in Arizona. Telsey and Co. (who casts Wicked) also cast Hair, and one of their casting directors was coming to our opening night, and would also give me a pre screen audition while in AZ. My first audition for the show, was at my college, in a studio I knew very well, with my college accompanist. Things seemed to be in my favor, and because I was so at ease, my audition went great! I was then sent to New York, for the final callback, and received the call an hour later saying “I got it!”.

BW: You must have been a lovely Belle and a wonderful member of the Tribe but, how is “Wicked” different from what you’ve done before?

SB: I think it’s different mostly in the way the music is written. The score of Wicked is written almost like a movie, there is a ton of underscoring and that is unlike any other musical I have ever been in. It is also a lot more powerhouse contemporary pop singing than any other show I have been in. The only other difference I can think of, is that it is a “prequel” to a familiar movie/musical, Wizard of Oz. Everyone who sees it already has pre conceived ideas about the characters.

BW: Do you have a favorite moment in Wicked? A favorite song or scene? (As Nessa or /and Glinda)

SB: My favorite scene/song as Nessarose is the “Wicked Witch of the East” scene in Act 2. I love the whole scene, and it fun to be a little bit evil 🙂 My favorite thing to sing is the whole “Well, we’ll see about that…” – It is so dramatic, I LOVE it! My favorite scene when I was Glinda, was always the “Popular” bedroom scene, and the cat fight scene in Act 2. My favorite song to sing when Glinda, was always the Opening, and Thank Goodness!

BW: Who do you prefer to portray, Glinda or Nessa?

SB: That is such a hard question! I love them both for different reasons. I love the drama involved with Nessa, and I love the laughs associated with Glinda. I love playing Glinda’s journey more, but I think its more fun, as an actress, to play Nessa. Does that kind of answer that question?

BW: How did you feel during yours first “put-in” rehearsal?

SB: SO freaking’ nervous!!! I remember for my ensemble put in, I was breathing so hard at the end of every number. My brain was working on overload, to make sure I was doing everything right and in the right place. My put in for Glinda, was a whirlwind, I don’t think I even moved in the opening in the bubble. Funny thing is, I have never had an official put in for Nessa, so my first time in front of an audience was my first time in those costumes, so that was super nerve racking.

BW: You first left and then came back to Wicked. How is the second experience in Wicked coming for you?

SB: It is amazing, I always tell people I felt like I was on summer break (those three months) and then it was time for school again but you know how you are always so excited to start school again? That is how I felt. Plus I got lucky all my close friends are still here, so I get to be back with them. Although half the company is different so it is hard for me to get to know everyone new, because they are always onstage when I am not, but they all are so supportive and wonderful. I thought it was going to be hard to remember everything but surprisingly it came right back to me!

BW: Do you have any dream roles?

SB: My dream roles include, Christine in Phantom of the Opera, any role in Les Miserables, Cinderella in Into the Woods, and Ariel in The Little Mermaid.

BW: Which do you think are the key things to succeed in musical theatre?

SB: First and foremost you have to have a very tough skin, and you must have an incredible passion for it, and could not see yourself doing anything else! This business is hard and competitive but I truly believe that if it’s meant to happen, it will happen! You also must be good with other people, and get well with others. This business is very small and everyone knows everyone, so be kind to others, word travels! The last thing I will say is to always try to strengthen your weaknesses and really focus on your strengths! And take as many classes as you can!

BW: Which what do you feel more identify with? Why? – Acting, singing or dancing?

SB: If I had to put them in an order according to me it would go, Acting, Singing, and Dancing. I don’t ever really get nervous when acting, but I do get nervous when I have to sing, and I don’t consider myself a “dancer” but a “mover plus!”.

BW: What would say to upcoming performers?

SB: You will get so many different answers from different people, but the most valuable piece of advice I have picked up along the way is, “BE YOURSELF!” You are the only thing making you different than anyone else, and that is important to remember. Also, believe in yourself, because there will be people in your life that will tell you, “You can’t”, and as long as you know you can do it, then you can and will. The last piece of advice I will give you is to really learn as much as you can. Soak any information and training you receive, it will help you along the path of this competitive industry.

THANK YOU STEPHANIE FOR A WONDERFUL INTERVIEW

Interview of the Month: Neka Zang


Today, we are glad to bring you the second exclusive interview of  Broadway is Wicked. This time we have the incredible Neka Zang. This amazingly talented and gorgeous performer is currently playing the Witches Mother and understudying Nessarose in the San Francisco production of Wicked.

Brodway is Wicked (BW): Who is really Neka Zang? (beyond Wicked)

Neka Zang (NZ): This is such a great question. So many people just associate me with Wicked and think thats all I am or do. The Neka beyond Wicked is somebody who loves being at home with a glass of wine, a ton of lit candles, and good friends. I absolutely love scuba diving in the ocean, and traveling. I adore fashion/style and have subscribed to Vogue magazine for years! I live for music, and try to see as many concerts as I can. I love organic food, fine dining and tea! I paint as a hobby, although I think I am getting pretty good. I crave learning. That is the real Neka.

BW: When did you know that your career was going to be acting?

NZ: I actually did not know that I would be doing anything else other than dancing until I turned 16. I had a knee injury that lead me down a path of acting and musical theater. I am fortunate enough to still be able to dance, but I never really thought musical theater was in the cards for me until 16 years old.

BW: How did you feel the first time you performed in front of an audience?

NZ: I was about 5 years old, dancing my first dance recital. I was scared, shy, nervous, and almost did not come out onto the stage. Once it was over, I knew I was hooked. I still get nervous at times for certain performances in my career, but same as when I was a child, once I hit the stage it all goes away!

BW: How did the roles of Nessa and Witches Mother come about for you?

NZ: When I auditioned for Wicked, I did not know what role they would place me in, as I auditioned as a dancer. I had hoped for this track/role (witches mother)  and sure enough I got it! The understudy for Nessarose only came about this year after I auditioned for it separately.

BW: Do you have a favorite moment in Wicked? A favorite song?

NZ: I really love the song “No Good Deed”. I also love when I am on as Nessa, the transformation she takes in act two. It is powerful!

BW: Why do you think the show has been so successful?

NZ: It is extremely well written, and the music is killer. I also think it has a great message. It is a unique show with a big heart.

BW: How is Wicked different from all things you’ve done before?

NZ: Wicked was the first Broadway show I had been in. It is a massive production with a ton of costumes, lights and scenery. It is the biggest show I have done this far.

BW: Do you have any dream roles?

NZ: I do not have any dream roles. I really love the show Tommy, and would love to sing in that show. As of right now, I do not!

BW: Which do you think are the key things to succeed in Broadway?

NZ: If you want to be successful on Broadway I really think you need to be a hardworking individual. Your career is up to how much you are willing to put in. You need to be able to sing,dance and act! I think the most successful people are the ones who never give up as well!

BW: Which what do you feel more identify with? Why? – Acting, singing or dancing?

NZ: I grew up dancing first, so I will always identify with dance. It will always be a part of me. The older I get the farther away from dance I have become. Acting to me is more of a forte!

BW: What would say to upcoming performers?

NZ: I love this question. Show business is a very difficult profession. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t. If you are an aspiring performer, I suggest you learn as much as you can about your craft and the business itself. Look into performing arts colleges that will help you further your talent. Keep working hard, and if you want it..NEVER GIVE UP!

THANK YOU NEKA!!!!!!!!