Natalie
Natalie

May 21st, 2008, 10:43 pm #11

Yes, I saw it on Broadway, and I also saw Lisa Brescia. She really was amazing. I thought her voice wasn't quite as powerful as other Elphabas that I've heard, but I thought her voice fit her portrayal. I also loved Annaleigh Ashford as Glinda. She was really hilarious.
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RLS
RLS

May 21st, 2008, 11:17 pm #12

My daughter and I saw Wicked on Broadway in February. It was AMAZING! And that is an understatement! We are DYING to see it again!!! We saw Annaleigh Ashford and Stephanie J Block. They were so good...

Also, as far as the "If the understudy is that good..." thing... I'm not sure why that would be taken as an insult. The way I "hear" that statement (in my mind) it is really a compliment to the actors abilities... I take it to mean that they thought the performance by the understudy was so good, they completely believe you as the lead... Isn't that what you would want as an actor? I'm not an actress, so I don't know, maybe that's the case with actors? Woud you actors out there be insulted by that statement?

I'm not saying that to be mean or rude, I'm just really curious if that is how most actors percieve it... Because I have said that, but never to mean it as an insult what-so-ever... Only as the highest compliment.
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Diane
Diane

May 22nd, 2008, 3:13 am #13

I agree it isn't an insult. It is just shocking to a young performer or any performer. They work so hard at their role and they get called upon to go on and be the best they can be and the some patrons in the audience responds in a negative matter. Yes, when they go on - the deliver and are amazing and I do believe that the audience is happy with the show. We all know that there isn't just one person that can play any role. How many little girls have played the part of Annie, not just on tour, but in Community Theater shows everyone. Each one of them doing a great job. I was just commenting on the responses from the audience. If it had happened once - I wouldn't have said anything, but I heard something every time they announced that Grace Etzkorn would be playing the role of Annie and that Sunny Naughton would be playing Kate. It was like some people felt they were getting a lesser show and if they really wanted to see Amanda as Annie, perhaps they weren't getting what they wanted, but no one walked out that I know of and the show was always wonderful when any of the understudies performed.

Another interesting story is the red hair. Grace wore a wig, so when she went outside the stage door, the fans there didn't know who Annie was, so they would have to ask, Who was Annie? One little girl as cute as cute can be once said to Grace, "Your not Annie, you don't have red hair!". Grace tried to tell her that she wore a wig. There was no way this little one was believing that this girl with long brown hair was Annie. She wanted Annie! Grace & I still laugh about that. We almost bought a wig at a wigstore once just for fun. Many of the cast wear them in between the matinee and the evening show so they don't take their pincurls out. Never did find the right wig. Back to what started this is I am so glad to have the list - we plan to go to New York this summer to see shows. There are so many we haven't seen. We can't wait, we hope to get understudies!
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jen
jen

May 22nd, 2008, 6:54 pm #14

hey everyone- remember me?

we're still home from China with SOM, and i've decided to spend what little money i have going to see shows, using student, rush, and lottery tickets. actually, i NEVER win lottery, so probably only rush and student that you buy when the box offices open.

i was wondering, box offices tend to open at 10am. does there generally seem to be lines by then?

also, i know there's a website somewhere out there that has the understudy schedule for kids on broadway, does something like that exist for adults? either a compiled site, or on a show by show basis?

thanks!
i seemed to have opened a can of worms here, sorry!

i was actually hoping that a friend of mine who is dainty june u/s would be going on, as i saw gypsy last night. i saw the main girl, which is fine, but i was hoping to see my friend, the u/s.

i know i personally have a lot of respect for understudies. SOM is my first experience working with understudies, and i understudy not one but two roles. i've had one and a half rehearsals for louisa (grief's role) and a half rehearsal (maybe it was only for one song, i can't remember now) for liesl- oh, and i know 16 going on 17, though i havent done it in 3 months now. so i'm a little scared at the prospect of having to go on as either role, but it's my job to be able to go on with 3 hrs notice (according to our contract) and to be just as good as them, so i'd make it work if i had to!

the other kid understudies had real rehearsals with the rest of the cast, and they have performed one of their u/s roles twice now, and i'm sure will start on their second role if/when we go back. it's weird, i must admit. but i think we aren't on a regular understudy method here. our understudies haven't had real rehearsals at all, except the two kids. i know that's not normal, but it is what it is.

understudies must be just as good as those they are understudying. producers aren't going to send out someone who sucks, they have to be just as good. why don't they have the role? could be lots of reasons. in major productions, a name will always get the role. when there isn't a name, well, someone has to get the role, and someone has to be the understudy. sometimes it's just luck.

i wonder sometimes, if i hadn't had a CB for a bway show the day of the adult call, and if i wasn't moving the day of the kids call, if i would have been cast in one of the actual roles, but you know what? doesn't matter. i wasn't available, i auditioned very late after it was all cast, so now i'm the understudy. and that's just how it is. and thats fine. but if i wasn't as good as the two girls who'd been cast, i wouldn't have been cast either. someone has to get the role, someone has to get the understudy. that's just how it is. doesn't make the understudy any less of a performer.

understudies have it hard because they have to learn their own track, and then learn another track, even two other tracks, and i think AEA allows up to three u/s tracks. give understudies some credit, people

could be the same with these other productions. understudies should get respect. and i think the theatre-goers who are in the industry who see shows with understudies should make it a point to cheer them on. for sure!

and many understudies do in fact go on to get the role full-time!

http://thesoundofjen.blogspot.com
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RLS
RLS

May 23rd, 2008, 2:47 am #15

Hi there...

Glad to read your post... No need to apologize. I don't think you opened a can of worms at all. Just initiated a good conversation. I don't think that anyone got upset by the direction of the conversation nor do I think that anyone meant to offend anyone by what anyone else said... It was a good topic of conversation.
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RLS
RLS

May 23rd, 2008, 2:51 am #16

I agree it isn't an insult. It is just shocking to a young performer or any performer. They work so hard at their role and they get called upon to go on and be the best they can be and the some patrons in the audience responds in a negative matter. Yes, when they go on - the deliver and are amazing and I do believe that the audience is happy with the show. We all know that there isn't just one person that can play any role. How many little girls have played the part of Annie, not just on tour, but in Community Theater shows everyone. Each one of them doing a great job. I was just commenting on the responses from the audience. If it had happened once - I wouldn't have said anything, but I heard something every time they announced that Grace Etzkorn would be playing the role of Annie and that Sunny Naughton would be playing Kate. It was like some people felt they were getting a lesser show and if they really wanted to see Amanda as Annie, perhaps they weren't getting what they wanted, but no one walked out that I know of and the show was always wonderful when any of the understudies performed.

Another interesting story is the red hair. Grace wore a wig, so when she went outside the stage door, the fans there didn't know who Annie was, so they would have to ask, Who was Annie? One little girl as cute as cute can be once said to Grace, "Your not Annie, you don't have red hair!". Grace tried to tell her that she wore a wig. There was no way this little one was believing that this girl with long brown hair was Annie. She wanted Annie! Grace & I still laugh about that. We almost bought a wig at a wigstore once just for fun. Many of the cast wear them in between the matinee and the evening show so they don't take their pincurls out. Never did find the right wig. Back to what started this is I am so glad to have the list - we plan to go to New York this summer to see shows. There are so many we haven't seen. We can't wait, we hope to get understudies!
From working in education for so many years, I tend to hear the same question over and over again and by millionth time it kills me! lol... I always try to remind myself that while it was the millionth time I heard it, it was the first time that child ASKED it. That always helps my to keep my cool so to speak in those situations...

But, I can imagine that as a mom, it was frustrating to hear that time after time...
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jen
jen

May 23rd, 2008, 4:36 am #17

Hi there...

Glad to read your post... No need to apologize. I don't think you opened a can of worms at all. Just initiated a good conversation. I don't think that anyone got upset by the direction of the conversation nor do I think that anyone meant to offend anyone by what anyone else said... It was a good topic of conversation.
i'm glad. i certainly didn't want to cause an issue. sometimes it's hard to tell what people are writing online and what they mean.

http://thesoundofjen.blogspot.com
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Natalie
Natalie

May 23rd, 2008, 7:59 pm #18

My daughter and I saw Wicked on Broadway in February. It was AMAZING! And that is an understatement! We are DYING to see it again!!! We saw Annaleigh Ashford and Stephanie J Block. They were so good...

Also, as far as the "If the understudy is that good..." thing... I'm not sure why that would be taken as an insult. The way I "hear" that statement (in my mind) it is really a compliment to the actors abilities... I take it to mean that they thought the performance by the understudy was so good, they completely believe you as the lead... Isn't that what you would want as an actor? I'm not an actress, so I don't know, maybe that's the case with actors? Woud you actors out there be insulted by that statement?

I'm not saying that to be mean or rude, I'm just really curious if that is how most actors percieve it... Because I have said that, but never to mean it as an insult what-so-ever... Only as the highest compliment.
Hey, I was just wondering, Lisa Brescia was credited as a standby, and I know there was also a standby for Glinda. There were also understudies for these same roles. Is a standby someone who just practices the role more and has no other part, or is there another difference. I don't remember ever seeing this term in shows before, I'm assuming it's because Wicked is so popular and the roles are so demanding, but does anyone else have any insight?
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Julie Stevens
Julie Stevens

May 23rd, 2008, 9:13 pm #19

The standby's always go on during vacations and sometimes do matinee performances. The understudy would most likely go on if it was just one or two performances, due to illness. With demanding lead roles in shows like "Wicked," it helps prevent burnout and vocal stress to not have to do all 8 performances a week. I'm pretty certain that the role of standby is a fairly new thing.

Julie
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