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San Francisco, CA, United States

Sunday, June 28, 2009

20th time.... is enough enough?

I had the privilege of seeing Wicked for the 20th time on June 27, 2009, Saturday Matinee performance with my friend Dan, who's seen it for his 19th time. We had great seats, row R seats 101 and 103.

Vicki Noon (right) performed as Elphaba. I can only say one thing about her, she has arrived. Vicki Noon also performed Sunday on the main stage of the San Francisco Pride Celebration, singing "The Wizard and I" and won the audience over.

After Wicked, my nephew Matthew (left) met Dan and I for a quick bite. We then headed up to the Castro for the annual Pink Saturday Night festivities. It wasn't the celebration as in previous years but more like Halloween, the last year it was in the neighborhood. My friends who live in the Castro avoided the area. I didn't feel safe there and we left within a couple of hours.

While watching the LGBT Pride Parade, I had a pleasant surprise witnessing Kendra Kassebaum and Teal Wicks serve as Celebrity Guests for the parade. The parade had come to a halt and Teal Wicks (below left, in hat) car had stopped directly in front of where I was standing. Both looked like they were having a great time.

After reaching my milestone of seeing the show 20 times, it's time for a break from the production. Not too long of a break, just a month or two. I'll still continue this blog but more about what's going on in my life and still relate it to Wicked. After all, "No one in all of Oz is ever going to bring me down!"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Teal Wicks proves herself!

Last night's performance of Wicked (6/10) was the first time since February no understudies were announced in any of the roles. I saw Teal Wicks (right) perform as Elphaba for the first time since February 20th. Her return to the role and the enthusiasm of the crowd, energized the entire ensemble. Teal and Kendra Kassebaum (Glinda, right) were on the top of their game. Though my review of last weeks show was a little harsh, this week my outlook has drastically changed. It's a new show with Teal back in the lead. Teal showed no signs of any medical condition she may have had the past few months as she nailed every scene and song. She was on fire as was Kendra. Lee Wilkof (Wizard) is the best ever performer in the role I have seen. His stage presence as well as singing voice blows away every other Wizard I've seen combined. Deedee Magno Hall (Nessarose) and Eddie Rioseco (Boq) continue to deliver stellar performances. Nicolas Dromard (Fiyero) duet with Teal in As Long As You're Mine was his best performance ever.

Part of the audience (where I sat) was extremely annoying as people were talking, pulling out their cell phones and leaving/returning to their seats throughout the show. I will give them kudos as this was the first time since the Los Angeles production I've seen the audience applauded loudly when Kendra, Teal, Patty Duke (Madame Morrible) and Lee came on stage.

I sat in row Z, seat 125 & 127 with my niece Kaila, her first time (left). The past few times I've sat fairly close to the stage. Since my seat was at the rear of the orchestra, I couldn't see the dragon as the Loge/Mezzanine overhang obscured my view.

I met Fernando and Greg (right Greg, Fernando) radio hosts of a morning show on Energy 92.7 Fm locally owned and based in San Francisco. They are truly down to earth people and extremely friendly. Thanks to Energy 92.7 Fm for the free tickets to Wicked.

The next time I see the show is with my friend Dan on June 27th, matinee, row R seats 101 & 103. He's seen the show 18 times in Los Angeles and is excited to see it in San Francisco. When I see the show on the 27th, it'll be my 13th time in San Francisco, 20th over all.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Where is Teal Wicks?

Last night was the 18th time I have seen the performance of Wicked, 11th time in San Francisco. Of the 11 times I've seen it here, I've seen Teal Wicks perform twice in the lead role of Elphaba, Dee Roscioli once, and Vicki Noon eight times. Vicki Noon returned from a vacation within the past week and I could tell that she was struggling a little bit with the part. The show had a different feel to it than in previous performances, I'm not sure whether it was good or bad.

Here's the good stuff: Eddy Rioseco performance as Boq is getting better each time I see him. He's starting to emote emotions I haven't seen him do and I'm really like him in the role. Deedee Magno Hall is the best Nessarose by far. She is spectacular, especially in the second act where you see her transform unwilling into the Wicked Witch of the East. Lee Wilkof replaces David Garrison as the Wizard. At first I was shocked to see David Garrison replaced as I thought he was amazing in the part. Within minutes of Lee Wilkof performance, he won me over. His acting, timing and voice brings a refreshing take of the Wizard. The ensemble cast is consistently
awesome. Tom Flynn as Dr. Dillamond is a solid and reliable performer. He has yet to have a bad show.

Here's the bad stuff: Both Vicki Noon and Kendra Kassebaum (Glinda) appeared off and strained. I'll say no more because I love both of them in their respective roles and am chalking it up as a bad night. Patty Duke's timing isn't what it should be. Nicolas Dromard is still vocally challenged in "Dancing through Life" but his dancing and acting abilities compensate for it.

I sat in row F, seat 106 (then swapped at intermission to seat 110) with my friends Mike and his boyfriend Dan. This was their first time seeing the show and loved it. The next time I see the show is on June 10, 2009 with the tickets I won on the Fernando and Greg show Energy 92.7fm. I'm taking my niece Kaila for LGBT night, Kaila's first time seeing the show. We'll be sitting in row Z, seats 125 and 127.