After a successful 2014 run, the award-winning musical Wicked is back to Manila to once again spread magic and wonder to thousands of Filipino fans.
On Feb 3, Fri, members of the press were treated to a preview of the performance, an exclusive backstage tour, and a sit-down interview with the cast of the critically acclaimed Broadway and West End musical.
According to company manager Anthony Fields, this is still the same story of Wicked that we know and love, but with a few new performances to keep it fresh. Also, since they also use a live band every show, the experience could be different every time.
“In a way, you will never hear the same show twice,” Fields said during the backstage tour.
For Jacqueline Hughes, who plays the emerald-green-skinned witch Elphaba, and Carly Anderson, who plays the effervescent Glinda, Wicked is more than just the story before The Wizard of Oz.
“It’s a story about how different people can come together and be really good friends,” Hughes said. “And in some ways, they could change each other for the better.”
“I think this would be great for children, so they’d learn how to treat people who are a bit different from them, how to be kind and see beyond someone’s looks,” Anderson shared.
As for Bradley Jaden, who plays Elphaba and Glinda’s love interest Fiyero, his previous role as Enjolras in another award-winning musical Les Miserables helped him with his preparations for Wicked.
“The dancing was a bit challenging and the songs from Les Mis are the type of music I would normally sing, but it definitely helped me prepare for my role as Fiyero,” Jaden said.
And in case you’re wondering, we asked the most important question of all: Elphaba or Glinda?
“This doesn’t mean my preference between the two women,” Jaden joked. “But it’s Glinda, because I think she’s always happy and positive and that’s the kind of energy I want to be around with.”
Iddon Jones and Emily Shaw play the conflicted couple Boq and Nessarose. For Jones, he said he had no problem internalizing his role — thanks to his past heartbreaks, which he could now laugh about. As for Shaw, she understands Nessa is coming from a place of so much love that it “well, drove [her] to do crazy things.”
Kim Ismay (who plays the truly wicked Madame Morrible) and Steven Pinder (who plays Doctor Dillamond and the titular role of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) are thrilled to be in the Philippines and loved the audience.
“They were laughing in all the right places and they got even the small jokes,” Ismay gushed.
“There was no language barrier, so we had no problem interacting with the audience,” Pinder agreed.
They are also wickedly excited to try Filipino food. We urged them to try our mangoes (of course) and sisig (because sisig is life).
Wicked runs from Feb 2 to Mar 12, 2017 at the Solaire Theatre, Aseana Drive, Parañaque City. Tickets available at Ticketworld.