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The Ongoing Wicked Discussion Thread


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#7051 mystifyre

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 12:22 PM

I went to see Wicked on Broadway at the end of April and Willemijn was playing Elphaba on a temporary contract for a few months. I personally enjoyed her performance and thought vocally she was brilliant. The high notes all seemed effortless to her. Her portrayal was great overall.

I am, however, still trying to work out why she was announced so far in advance. As some previous posters have noted, she isn't as well known in the UK so surely this announcement was not with the hope that it would sell tickets for November/December very quickly? I know some fans will surely be holding back to hear who will be cast as Glinda and Fiyero, so surely they aren't solely depending in Willemijn to sell?

#7052 harveyjnr

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 12:45 PM

as i'm friends with some stageys on fb, i've seen a few westend leading men/ girls commenting on how disgusted they are that 5//6 amazing performers, who could all smash that role, who've put time/money/effort into this industry didn't get the part and that they are flying broadway over instead.. it seems that the casting isn't a popular one with many of west end professionals

#7053 tsxmitw

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 01:26 PM

View Postharveyjnr, on 04 June 2013 - 12:45 PM, said:

it seems that the casting isn't a popular one with many of west end professionals

That's showbusiness.

#7054 FireFingers

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 01:38 PM

She's hardly flying over from Broadway... She's Dutch.

Amazing how UK actors complain so much when actor/actresses outside of the country are brought in, but don't mind when UK actors get cast in foreign productions (Carvel in Matilda, Earl Carpenter for Les Mis Toronto, Mark Evans on Mormon tour etc), and many European tours (Cats, We Will Rock You, Les Mis) having a predominantly UK-based cast too.

Equity is there to ensure that all casting decisions are fair, and have obviously deemed her casting satisfactory and legitimate.

#7055 MS1995

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 01:43 PM

If they are complaining, then maybe they should spend more time practicing and auditioning and less time complaining on facebook. This woman didn't get a free ride because she is a household name and will sell the producers millions of tickets, she got the role because she is phenomenal at performing and I haven't heard anything but rave reviews from anyone who has seen her live. She might not be english, but surely the paying public deserve the person who is best in the role, and not the person who is most english!
2002: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
2004: Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
2008: Mamma Mia
2009: Sound Of Music, Les Miserables, The Woman In Black
2010: Wicked
2012: Wicked, Chicago, Legally Blonde, Ghost, Wizard Of Oz, Phantom Of The Opera (UK Tour), Matilda, Sweeney Todd, Taboo (Brixton), Wicked, Wicked
2013: Lift (Soho), The Book Of Mormon, Avenue Q (Off-Broadway), Newsies (Broadway), Wicked (Broadway), Pippin (Broadway), The Lion King.
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2013: A Chorus Line, Wicked, The Book Of Mormon, Wicked, The Book Of Mormon, Wicked, We Will Rock You (UK Tour), Wicked (UK Tour), Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Wicked, Les Miserables, Wicked

#7056 djp

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 03:03 PM

View PostMS1995, on 04 June 2013 - 01:43 PM, said:

If they are complaining, then maybe they should spend more time practicing and auditioning and less time complaining on facebook. This woman didn't get a free ride because she is a household name and will sell the producers millions of tickets, she got the role because she is phenomenal at performing and I haven't heard anything but rave reviews from anyone who has seen her live. She might not be english, but surely the paying public deserve the person who is best in the role, and not the person who is most english!

Could be. On the other hand, in real world decision making, human beings don't often find,  pick, or even look for, the optimal solution. They often  avoid decisions, new directions and risk, and plump for the known, adequate and tried. Wicked has a problem in that they did have a flash of brilliance spotting their future Elphaba/Glinda/Elphaba at Jestend. I think they found a solution that  was far better  than  anything they had had before - dangerously near to perfection.  Most people would at least  agree it was a good solution. They now have to follow that, having avoided the decision for a year by the brilliant move of bringing in Louise as Elphaba. Their choice is essentially  to bring in someone similar who might do as well, or even better, or might just lose in the comparison - or to try something new  -  like a younger pairing that might risk sounding a bit different, but fit the roles  even better. They may have gone for something else thats exceptional in some other way - which I doubt given the number of impressive recent UK Scaramouche's who can sing , act and do comedy well -  or they may just have had a brain feeeze, been unable to work out the risks, and picked someone they knew had done  it .

I would be more confident if the record of, importing stars, was that good. For every Sierra or Geronimo being magnificent, there  seem to be quite a few US Roxie's who couldn't act, sing or dance the role well, unconvincing Javerts and  recent overseas Phantoms. You have US producers making brilliant choices for the UK market like Sheridan Smith,  and others  making bizarre decisions to cast Viva - when they are good they are great, but they also get it totally wrong.   Casting is clearly not  always successful or based on ability when people can cast a Marius and a Cosette who couldn't sing the parts.  I just get the impression that sometimes people working globally  just cast people they have experience of working with,  and assume that a UK audience will be impressed to see someone from overseas. It often doesn't translate, and  we often get people who can't act or communicate to a UK audience,   or the result doesn't match the reputation. Perhaps   they have got it right this time  , but its looking like  a  wider trend,  and one where I am finding more reason not to buy WE  tickets than to buy them.

#7057 isabel

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 04:52 PM

Will be interesting to see if Nikki Davis Jones is cast in Rent tomorrow or not !! Also seen people saying that they know Gina is leaving, if true that is sad - think she's fantastic. Won't they struggle finding a Glinda to match Willemijn,s voice. Does she have a really strong accent ? sorry if that's a silly question . Nikki has just had new headshots done .... hmmmm

#7058 Tettekete

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 05:20 PM

I think Willemijn's going to go for a generic English accent for the show (and I've heard her do an English accent once at stagedoor in Holland, when she greeted me. It was quite good LOL). I'm guessing she'll have the full rehearsal period to get her accent right, wheras on Broadway she only had about 2 weeks rehearsal so her accent wasn't quite as solid at first.

I get the feeling Nikki's got Tour Elphie. Shame, 'cause I actually liked her Maureen more than her Elphie (even though I liked her in that role too).
Seen (theatre): Once (London x 2), Wicked (Scheveningen, The Netherlands x6), Wicked (London x 22), We Will Rock You (London x3), Les Miserables (London x 1), The Phantom of the Opera (London x1), Rock of Ages (London x 1), Romeo et Juliette (Takarazuka Revue, Japan x 5), Studio54 (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x1), For Whom The Bell Tolls (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x1), Nova Bossa Nova/Meguriai wa Futatabi (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x2), Nijinsky (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x3), 9 to 5: The Musical (UK Tour, Sunderland x1), RENT in Concert (Newcastle x1), Singin' In The Rain (UK Tour, Sunderland x 1)

Seen (concerts, etc): Willemijn Verkaik "As I Am" solo concert at the AFAS Circustheater (2012), West End Eurovision 2013, Rachel Tucker at the St James Theatre studio, Scott Alan at the O2, Andrew Lippa at the St James Theatre

#7059 mystifyre

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:07 PM

Whilst I can understand that some West End performers aren't happy with the decision that has been made when it comes to casting Elphaba in London, and yes it is a shame that there are plenty of talented, young actresses who would have been well suited to the role, at the end of the day that's just how theatre is. It's often very hard for some really amazing talent to be recognised and gain success in the industry. As someone has previously stated, Equity is there to ensure casting is fair and legit and this has evidently been the case when it comes to Willemijn.

Sometimes casting isn't always going to be to perfect; we simply have to trust those who select the actors/actresses to know exactly who is right for the role. But, as human's do and is a result of taking risks, mistakes are made and usually learnt from. All in all, it is impossible to make everyone happy with casting. If, say, Caissie Levy or Stephanie J. Block were brought over from Broadway, I'm sure there would still be the same argument. Willemijn is capable of doing the role justice but she simply may not be to everyone's taste.

#7060 Titan

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:47 PM

what makes me laugh about their outrage is plenty of brits go and work in europe, and plenty have gone to nyc over the years plus the far east and australia.




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