Page: 1


Laura Benanti Wicked?

lightsarebrightonbroadway
Understudy
joined:8/22/18
Understudy
joined:
8/22/18
Laura Benanti Wicked?#1
Posted: 5/31/19 at 12:59pm

Just wondering if Laura has ever mentioned or discussed if she's ever auditioned for the show? Almost every musical theatre actor has and considering she was still starting out and the right age by the time Chenoweth left I can't help but wonder if she auditioned and if so how far she got. I feel as though she would be a great Glinda!

Bell0708
Understudy
joined:7/23/13
Understudy
joined:
7/23/13
Laura Benanti Wicked?#2
Posted: 5/31/19 at 11:27pm

She broke her neck doing "Into the Woods" about 2 years before Wicked opened, but it took her a while to recover.  Glinda's not the most strenuous role physically, but there are a lot of stairs she would have to navigate, which I personally would not want to deal with potentially getting hurt again.  I see her more as an Elphaba, which she definitely wouldn't able to do, I don't think.  Just speculating though.

singer234
Stand-by
joined:8/31/08
Stand-by
joined:
8/31/08
Laura Benanti Wicked?#3
Posted: 5/31/19 at 11:44pm
Also, right around the time she would have replaced was around when the Wedding Singer was being developed.
Plannietink08 Profile PhotoPlannietink08 Profile Photo
Plannietink08
Broadway Star
joined:6/2/11
Broadway Star
joined:
6/2/11
Laura Benanti Wicked?#4
Posted: 6/1/19 at 6:54am
Interesting thread; what other successful performers unsuccessfully auditioned for Wicked?
"Charlotte, we're Jewish"
NOWaWarning Profile PhotoNOWaWarning Profile Photo
NOWaWarning
Broadway Star
joined:2/1/16
Broadway Star
joined:
2/1/16
Laura Benanti Wicked?#5
Posted: 6/1/19 at 9:21am
Well Kelli O’Hara has several callbacks to be the original Nessarose.

Sara Ramirez was one of the ladies who auditioned to originate Elphaba along with Idina, SJB (who had been doing the workshops), Ana Gastayer, and Julia Murney.

Anneliese van der Pol had several callbacks to be a Glinda a little while ago.

I can’t find anything to back this up, but I feel like I read somewhere that Christiane Noll auditioned to replace Kristin Chenoweth along with JLT and Hilty, but I might be making that up.
Plannietink08 Profile PhotoPlannietink08 Profile Photo
Plannietink08
Broadway Star
joined:6/2/11
Broadway Star
joined:
6/2/11
Laura Benanti Wicked?#6
Posted: 6/9/19 at 4:27pm

NOWaWarning said: "Well Kelli O’Hara has several callbacks to be the original Nessarose.

Sara Ramirez was one of the ladies who auditioned to originate Elphaba along with Idina, SJB (who had been doing the workshops), Ana Gastayer, and Julia Murney.

Anneliese van der Pol had several callbacks to be a Glinda a little while ago.

I can’t find anything to back this up, but I feel like I read somewhere that Christiane Noll auditioned to replace Kristin Chenoweth along with JLT and Hilty, but I might be making that up.
"

 

I’d love to hear Sara Ramirez sing that score!

 

"Charlotte, we're Jewish"
Zion24
Featured Actor
joined:3/27/19
Featured Actor
joined:
3/27/19
Laura Benanti Wicked?#7
Posted: 6/11/19 at 12:33am

i know Shayna Steele auditioned and didnt get a callback which is just plain insane. 

i had heard Stephanie J Block was developing the show and was set to take it to San Fran and Broadway but the producers fell in love with Idina. 

i had never heard Kelli Ohara was in that mix at all though! Source?

BrodyFosse123 Profile PhotoBrodyFosse123 Profile Photo
BrodyFosse123
Broadway Legend
joined:2/27/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/27/06
Laura Benanti Wicked?#8
Posted: 6/11/19 at 12:44am

had heard Stephanie J Block was developing the show and was set to take it to San Fran and Broadway but the producers fell in love with Idina.

Stephanie was part of the pre-Broadway San Francisco cast of WICKED but didn’t join the cast to Broadway as she left the show in order to play Liza Minnelli opposite Hugh Jackman in THE BOY FROM OZ.  

Plannietink08 Profile PhotoPlannietink08 Profile Photo
Plannietink08
Broadway Star
joined:6/2/11
Broadway Star
joined:
6/2/11
Laura Benanti Wicked?#9
Posted: 6/11/19 at 3:01am

I had never heard Kelli Ohara was in that mix at all though! Source?"

Kelli has said in interviews how she narrowly missed out on playing Nessarose. 

"Charlotte, we're Jewish"
NOWaWarning Profile PhotoNOWaWarning Profile Photo
NOWaWarning
Broadway Star
joined:2/1/16
Broadway Star
joined:
2/1/16
Laura Benanti Wicked?#10
Posted: 6/11/19 at 3:19am

I had never heard Kelli Ohara was in that mix at all though! Source?

Specifically, she mentioned it in her Show People interview a couple of years ago.

 

Wick3 Profile PhotoWick3 Profile Photo
Wick3
Broadway Legend
joined:8/5/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/5/14
Laura Benanti Wicked?#11
Posted: 6/11/19 at 1:47pm

yup Kelli stated she had 8 callbacks for Wicked back in the day. Jump to 14:00 in the youtube video:

 

fashionguru_23 Profile Photofashionguru_23 Profile Photo
fashionguru_23
Broadway Legend
joined:4/21/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/21/08
Laura Benanti Wicked?#12
Posted: 6/11/19 at 4:18pm

I remember Michael Cole (or Stephen Cole), who is/was? Stephen Schwartz's personal assistant mention that Sutton Foster was playing either Pfanee  or Shenshen in workshops/readings of Wicked. The role of Glinda's friends weren't much larger than what they are now, but they did keep their names from the original book. 

"The 54th Street[theatre] had a rep as. . .where old musicals went to die." -Smaxie
SFFrontRow
Leading Actor
joined:3/19/05
Leading Actor
joined:
3/19/05
Laura Benanti Wicked?#13
Posted: 6/11/19 at 5:09pm

BrodyFosse123 said: "had heard Stephanie J Block was developing the show and was set to take it to San Fran and Broadway but the producers fell in love with Idina.

Stephanie was part of the pre-Broadway San Francisco cast of WICKED but didn’t join the cast to Broadway as she left the show in order to play Liza Minnelli opposite Hugh Jackman in THE BOY FROM OZ.
"

Um, I saw the pre-Broadway SF run, and before it opened, and Idina was Ephalba. I just found a Wicked wiki site that says she understudied Ephalba in SF but was replaced on way to Broadway by Shoshana Bean.

And Anna Gasteyer as Ephalba still confuses me. I know she did the original Chicago run and was quite popular in it, but..... she just seemed older than the character.

JBradshaw Profile PhotoJBradshaw Profile Photo
JBradshaw
Broadway Star
joined:10/10/04
Broadway Star
joined:
10/10/04
Laura Benanti Wicked?#14
Posted: 6/11/19 at 5:43pm
Block was the standby in San Fran. Didn’t she go on once?

When it came to Broadway Eden Espinosa was the original Elphaba standby - my first time seeing the show was actually Edens first time on.
Shoshana took over as standby after Eden left for “Brooklyn”
SchuylWERKsister Profile PhotoSchuylWERKsister Profile Photo
SchuylWERKsister
Stand-by
joined:9/26/17
Stand-by
joined:
9/26/17
Laura Benanti Wicked?#15
Posted: 6/12/19 at 3:35pm

JBradshaw said: "Block was the standby in San Fran. Didn’t she go on once?

When it came to Broadway Eden Espinosa was the original Elphaba standby - my first time seeing the show was actually Edens first time on.
Shoshana took over as standby after Eden left for “Brooklyn”
"

She was the understudy. There are pictures of Stephanie J. Block in her ensemble costume from SF. There was no standby in SF.