Monday, November 24, 2014

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The Berkshires

A backstage look at "Wicked"

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Albany/HV: A backstage look at "Wicked"
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It's the untold story of the Witches of Oz - also known as"Wicked."

Actor Michael Wartella, who plays Boq, said, "It's a beautiful show. It's got a beautiful message, beautiful themes to it, and a great spectacle to watch every night. You don't always get those things paired together in one shot."

The story follows two unlikely friends and how they became Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West. Currently running at Proctor's, the cast continues to be inspired every night.

Wartella said, "When you work at that level when the crew, the cast, the costumes is so intense and so sharp, it just makes your performance shine every night."

In addition to this, we were also able to get backstage to witness the greening of Elphaba, otherwise known as the Wicked Witch.

Christine Dwyer said, "The light of this makeup design is it's supposed to look very natural as they don't want her to look like a wicked witch; they just want her to look like a girl who happens to be green."

Dwyer, who plays Elphaba, is getting a little green, part of her ritual before each show. First, a foundation is applied to keep her skin from drying out. Then comes water based green paint, followed by some powder to hold it all together. After a few touch ups, Elphaba returns to the stage. Speaking of that, it's yet another performance, but it can be different each night as well.

Dwyer said, "Ultimately we're doing the same show, we're saying the same lines, and we're doing the same blocking, but it's always more fun when you have people around you that like to change it up and make it fun every night."

As for Dwyer, she's getting rave reviews for her performance, but her "Wicked" audition actually didn't go well. In fact, she went to the wrong place at first before she got to the right theater.

She said, "So they ushered me right in as soon as I got in there, and I literally think I cracked through the entire end of Defying Gravity and started laughing at myself in the audition room."

But things improved. In fact audience reception is far from "wicked."

Wartella said, "I would say every single night I've been involved with the show for four months we've had a standing ovation, and I think that's a testament to how great the production is."

And if you're interested in experiencing this production and defying gravity, "Wicked" is running through November 25th at Proctor's Theatre.

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