Thursday, May 04, 2006


Okay, so last night I went to what is most likely my last Broadway play for awhile. Not ever, because I will be back frequently. Once you become part of the city, you can't really leave it behind.
Of course, we saw Wicked again. Yes, I have seen this show too many times, but each time I love it just the same. However, Arwin and I were very sad, because the reason we got these tickets (purchased way back in February) was to see one of our favorite actresses, Eden Espinosa. We unfortunately saw the understudy.
The understudy was fabulous. We really enjoyed the show. It is just sad when you really hope to see someone else. I know I cannot complain. I did get to see the original cast several times. Instead, I want to take a moment to say that I think being an understudy would be a very hard job. The woman playing Elphaba, Saycon Sengbloh, seemed a little nervous at first, but by the end was breathtaking. As a person who as spent the last few years learning a new job in short amount of time (I have been averaging six months in between promotions) I know that being put on the spot can be nerve racking. I can't imagine going to work, expecting to play a chorus person, and being told, "Well, paint yourself green, you are on in three hours." What a challenge it must be to focus and prepare for such a performance. Besides knowing that many people will be disappointed that you are the one they are seeing, not the star they paid for.
So, considering all of that, Saycon was very talented. I have seen three women play Elphaba, and she was a close second best. Of course, people always tend to favor the original, so Idina will always be my favorite.


Rebecca said...

It is sad that the understudy option exists from an audience standpoint. Its good for the actors, but highly disappointing for spectators. I have a tendency to see at least one understudy for every show I see. That gets frustrating. Oh well, slave labor is never the answer! I would have to agree that Idina is the best Elphaba I've seen as well. Of course, I've only actually seen one other person play that role. Eden Espinosa is amazingly skilled/talented as well.

Maren said...

What, you don't believe in slave labor?

Rebecca said...

Hard to believe, huh?!