Super caught up with the “Wicked” cast in New Zealand a few months ago and asked them an important question: how can their Filipino fans connect with them online—Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, take your pick.
Follow these talented actors to get a behind-the-scenes look at this exciting musical, and to get to know the people who will bring your favorite characters to life, show after show.
How she got the role: “I was in a Japanese production at Universal Studios. I knew “Wicked” and I loved it and they asked me to audition because they heard my voice. I think I did seven or eight auditions.”
Favorite ‘Wicked’ song: “It changes all the time, but at the moment, it’s ‘The Wizard and I.’”
Favorite “Wicked” character: “Elphaba, of course! She’s smart, misunderstood, kind and strong.”
Is she a Glinda or an Elphaba? “Definitely Elphaba. I’m not a girly girl. I love getting my hands dirty and I love animals.”
On removing that green makeup: “I use a really gentle cream. It takes about half an hour. I’m always the last one out of the theater.”
One weird thing about her: “I crack my knuckles. People hate it and tell me to stop, but I just can’t.”
More Jemma trivia: She was in Cebu last August to support her husband Josh who competed in “IronMan.” He placed 8th.
What she’s looking forward to in the Philippines: “Doing our first performance. I can’t wait to hear and feel the response from the audience.”
Find her on: Twitter (@JemmaRixOz)
How she got the role: “I did seven auditions, seven callbacks for the show. I started in the ensemble in 2008. I left and did ‘Mamma Mia’; then I was the midwife in ‘Wicked’ for a few months before I took [on the role of] Glinda. This show has been a huge journey for me.”
Favorite “Wicked” song: “It would have to be ‘Popular’ because it’s just so much fun; but my favorite song to hear in the show is ‘Defying Gravity.’ It’s such an amazing song.”
Favorite “Wicked” character: “I love Glinda. I think she’s an incredible character to play, but I also love working with the Elphabas. She’s such a strong, good example of a character. People who come and see the show can identify so much with her. ”
Is she a Glinda or an Elphaba? “I’m a mix of both. I was never really the popular girl at school. I was kind of awkward. But at the same time, I love pink, I’m blonde, I’m smiley. I think I’m a nice mix of both.”
One weird thing about her: “I used to be a state champion sailor. I was 15, 16. And I used to ride motorbikes when I was a kid.”
The secret to her highly energetic performances: “I don’t do much on my days off. I rest a lot. I sleep, I rest my voice, I make sure I eat well.”
What she’s looking forward to in the Philippines: “I’m looking forward to massages, and I’ve been told that I need to buy pearls. I really want to go to the beach, I’m looking forward to the warm weather. Also, we’ve got such a great fan base there.”
Find her on: Instagram (@suziemathers), Twitter (@suziemathers) and her Facebook fan page (www.facebook.com/pages/Suzie-Mathers-Appreciation-Page/247063208642464).
How he got the role: “I auditioned. Four days in Melbourne, workshop in Sydney, came back for more dancing. Didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks and then I got a call.”
What he loves about “Wicked”: “Everybody can relate to a character in the show. There are so many messages in this show. Every character is brilliantly written.”
Favorite “Wicked” song: “I love singing ‘Dancing Through Life’ and ‘As Long As You’re Mine.’ I also love ‘One Short Day.’ It sounds like a cliché but ‘Defying Gravity’ is such a big song and it moves me every single performance.”
Favorite “Wicked” character: “I have to say Fiyero, right? I do love Fiyero. I love that he has this huge journey. He has so many layers. When I saw ‘Wicked’ on Broadway, Fiyero for me really stood out because I can relate to him. ”
Is he a Glinda or an Elphaba? “Back in my younger years, probably more of an Elphaba. I was an outsider, I wasn’t super popular. I’d like to think that I’m intelligent and not oblivious to a lot of things that goes on like Glinda can be. I’m really more of an Elphaba, to be honest.”
On transitioning from TV and film to theater: “I went to New York and saw 10 shows on Broadway and saw eight in Australia, all in one year. I just got the musical theater bug so hard that I had to train. I did dance classes, vocal classes and just started auditioning. I never was a dancer but I thought, I’m not going to let it hold me back because I really want to perform.”
What he’s looking forward to in the Philippines: “Seeing new things and eating new food and meeting some new people. I hear that the people there are amazing singers and are into fashion and that Manila is a party town. I’m really looking forward to experiencing new culture, that’s for sure.”
One weird thing about him: “I’m in musical theater but I love motorsport and surfing and cars and just blokey stuff.”
More Steve trivia: Wicked composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz was in the audience during his first performance as Fiyero. “It was really bizarre. It’s really overwhelming. I have pinch-me moments all the time. If you never have a dream, you never have a dream come true.”
Find him on: Instagram (@stevedanielsen), Twitter (@Steve_Danielsen) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/steve.danielsen).
How he got the role: “The producers offered it to me. I was approached that same week by Disney to see if I was interested in doing ‘The Lion King.’ I played Mufasa 10 years ago and they were bringing it back. But what I realized was I’d played a king but I had never played a wizard. I listened to the music and it was amazing. Also, at the end of the day, this company felt like a family.”
Why he loves theater: “Because every night is a battle. And you might not win the battle, but that doesn’t mean you have lost the war.”
Favorite “Wicked” song: “‘Dancing Through Life.’ It’s what I do. You have to. My kids never sit down anyway.”
Favorite “Wicked” character: “Chistery? He reminds me very much of C-3P0. He’s one of those characters who doesn’t say too much, but when he does say something… you know, he’s the quiet mover in the back.”
Is he a Glinda or an Elphaba? “Actually I’m more of a Glinda than an Elphaba because it’s really hard to play the funny role or the light role. It takes more to do that. When you’ve got salad and meat, it’s hard to be the salad. Everybody wants to be the meat.”
Why he’s excited to take “Wicked” to the Philippines: “Because Filipinos are show people. I’ve worked with a lot of Filipinos during ‘Lion King.’ I’m a huge fan of Lea Salonga. Also because one of the best Elvis impersonators I know is Filipino.”
What he’s looking forward to in the Philippines: “The food, and finding gadgets. I’m a gadget person. I’m looking forward to haggling with somebody. I’m looking forward to someone making me some ukeleles. Mostly I’m looking forward to the food.”
One weird thing about him: “I have five light sabers and 12 ukeleles and I’m gonna get some more in Manila.”
More Jay trivia: His Samoan name is Manila, and because of that, he says, “When I was growing up, people kept going, “You’re Filipino.” Jay played Captain Gregar Typho, the head of security for Queen Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), in “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” and “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.” He played Draco in the TV series “Xena: The Warrior Princess.”
Find him on: Instagram (@jaylagaaia), Twitter (@JayLagaaia) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/jay.lagaaia).
Why she loves “Wicked”: “It’s magic. And not just the magic onstage with the dragon and the colors and the lights, but the magic and power of friendship—how a group of people working on putting a show together can affect people in such a way on so many levels. It’s such a magical show, it’s very powerful.”
Favorite “Wicked” song: “‘No Good Deed.’ It’s great.”
Favorite “Wicked” character: “I think all the characters working together are so interesting, but I have to say Boq. I wonder if that’s just because Nessa’s made me love Boq so much.”
On her role as Elphaba’s sister Nessarose: “Nessarose is beautiful and naive. I think the characters are all a little naive to begin with. They learn things and they learn the intricacies of life. Nessarose has strengths and weaknesses. No one’s plain and simple, no one’s black and white.”
Is she a Glinda or an Elphaba? “I’m a Glinda, for sure. Because her character is so… she is a good person at heart and she’s a public figure. I think she’s like our politicians and the people who run our countries. I just find her the most intriguing. She’s so beautiful, intelligent, powerful, and yet she’s still lonely and she still grieves, like everyone else.”
What she’s looking forward to in the Philippines: “The food!”
One weird thing about her: “Something not too incriminating… I have a thing against socks [that are] inside out. Socks have to be the right way round and not inside out, and my shoes have to be on the floor sitting next to each other. Is that weird? I think that’s weird.”
More Emily trivia: She has a Filipino ex-boyfriend. “He’s living in London at the moment. I dated him for three years. His mom, Grace, used to cook longganisa and sinigang and pancit with the little calamansi that goes on top. We used to eat big green and purple cakes… ube? I cannot wait. I’m counting on everyone to give us cooking classes or [maybe] cook for us.”
Find her on: Instagram (@emilycascarino), Twitter (@EmilyCascarino) Facebook (www.facebook.com/emily.cascarino)
Why he loves “Wicked”: “The thing I love about ‘Wicked’ is there’s no one who’s… “actually Glinda’s wicked” and “Elphaba’s good.” The characters aren’t two-dimensional. I think people love ‘Wicked’ because everyone sees a bit of themselves in Glinda and a bit of themselves in Elphaba. Even though the circumstances are magical and they live in Oz, a different kingdom, the things they go through are what everyone goes through. It’s relatable.”
Favorite “Wicked” song: “‘No Good Deed.’ I love it.”
On his character: “Boq begins as a naive, optimistic boy who falls madly in love with Glinda but she never loves him back. It’s sad. It’s truthful. Boq made some bad decisions along the way.”
Is he a Glinda or an Elphaba? “I guess maybe more of a Glinda, because many of us can judge a book by its cover, even if we’re not proud of it. I know I do it sometimes as well. I guess, in that sense, I’m like Glinda.”
What he’s looking forward to in the Philippines: “Food! And sunshine! We’re gonna try to go to some of the beaches as well if we can.”
One weird thing about him: “There are many… I get really freaked out by textures in food. If I’m eating a salad or something and I get a lemon seed from it, it freaks me out. If I put something in my mouth and it chews differently from what I expected it to, it freaks me out. But I love, love, love plane food. I love the dehydrated stuff. There’s nothing better than peeling open that thing and it’s some weird… it’s such a treat.”
Find him on: Instagram (@edwardpgrey), Twitter (@edwardpgrey), Facebook (www.facebook.com/ed.grey.79).
Why he loves “Wicked”: “It’s such a complex piece. You can never rest on your laurels with this. It has to constantly grow and constantly change. Working with the other actors, it’s constantly finding new stuff to keep it alive and passionate.”
Favorite “Wicked” song: “For me, the magic of it is Elphaba goes from singing ‘The Wizard’ and I at the very top of the show which paints a picture of a young, vibrant girl with dreams and hopes; and then she goes to ‘No Good Deed’ and it’s a whole different person singing that song and her reaction to what’s happened. Those two songs would be my favorites.”
Favorite “Wicked character”: “I think Dr. Dillamond is probably the best character. He is very passionate. He believes history, he believes in the story of the people. He’s basically the folkloric character in the story. He represents everything that Oz was and the goodness in there. That’s what I associate with him.”
Is he a Glinda or an Elphaba? “We all have our personal struggles that we’re constantly going through in life; so, yes, I’ve thought about that with Elphaba as well. Life is a struggle against the odds and you can get what you want if you keep striving.”
What he’s looking forward to in the Philippines: “I’ve done ‘Miss Saigon’ twice and I’ve worked with many Filipinos. So excited to get to the Philippines and catch up with them and see this amazing place. It sounds incredible.”
One weird thing about him: “I actually started off in the industry as a circus performer many years ago. It happened when I was a much younger man. I was an acrobat and learned everything else—stilt-walking and juggling and all kinds of things. Now that I’m a bit older, they’ve certainly taken the backseat and I concentrate more on my singing and acting. I’m just trying to be as versatile as possible.”
More Glen trivia: He has appeared in numerous productions including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Cats,” “Billy Elliott,” “Mamma Mia,” “Les Miserables” and “Miss Saigon.”
Find him on: Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/hoglen)
“Wicked” opens on Jan. 22. There will be a benefit show and auction on Jan. 31 for survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” The musical’s Philippine season is produced by Marc Platt, David Stone, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and John Frost, and is presented by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, David Atkins Enterprises, 105.9 Radio High and Concertus Manila. For tickets, call 8919999 or go to www.ticketworld.com.ph. Also visit www.wickedthemusical.com.ph. Follow @Wicked_Manila on Twitter.