First off, major points to KMPH’s Anna Laurel, who scored a backstage exclusive with a story about how “Wicked’s” makeup artisans turn the leading character of Elphaba green before each performance. (I’m impressed and envious that she got backstage at any point during the run after Tuesday’s load-in at the Saroyan; the “Wicked” company supposedly has a strict policy about media access.)
The only problem: Laurel evidently got confused about her Elphabas.
The nice young woman she interviewed for the piece is Christine Dwyer, who is the Elphaba standby. Dwyer’s job is to fill in for “Wicked” star Anne Brummel, the principal Elphaba, when Brummel is sick or on vacation. Also, the standby often performs at matinee performances on days when there are two shows.
Yet in Laurel’s story, she identifies Dwyer as transformed “every night” into Elphaba, which will come as a surprise to the thousands of people who will see Brummel perform in the starring role at the Saroyan in the coming week and a half. To make things even more confusing, the story intersperses footage of Dwyer in the makeup chair with stock footage of what I’m pretty sure is Brummel onstage as Elphaba.
Which brings us to my “Wicked” story today with Brummel in the 7 section, in which I interviewed her about — you guessed it — what it’s like to play green.
So to set the record straight: Brummel is the principal Elphaba, Dwyer is the standby (and I’m told she gave an impressive performance at the Thursday matinee), and I got stuck with a phone interview talking about green paint while KMPH got to witness it in person. Is it any wonder I feel a little wicked this afternoon?