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Why the spastic Glindas?

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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#26
Posted: 8/7/07 at 1:03pm
I would be alot more receptive to Hilty's portayal of Glinda if it wasn't such a rip off of what Thompson so geniously did (she herself admits to being told by the production team in rehearsel to be "less Jennifer, more Megan" when she was preparing to assume the role after a tenure as Thompson's standby.)
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#27
Posted: 8/7/07 at 2:30pm
I adored Megan's portrayal of Glinda. She really captured her youth and ultra-girlyness, which, as much as I love Chenoweth, lacked. She kept me entertained the whole show.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#28
Posted: 8/7/07 at 3:27pm
"Chenoweth was too calm and far too mature in her portrayal. Popular should be spastic...it makes the song far more entertaining."

I completely disagree. I like it much better when the actress playing Glinda doesn't try so hard to be funny. Kristin has better comic timing than the other Glindas I've seen/heard and it seems more natural with her. I honestly cringe when some of the Glindas are spastic and screaming during Popular.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#29
Posted: 8/7/07 at 3:28pm
I saw Kendra in Chicago a couple of years ago. I thought she was pretty good in the role. I saw her again about six months or so later and her performance had grown completely obnoxious.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#30
Posted: 8/7/07 at 7:34pm
I absolutely love Cheno, but after seeing Megan play G(a)linda, I've decided that I actually prefer Hilty's interpretation. Chenoweth was a great Glinda, but Megan really nailed the "teenage Galinda" scenes. She played the character much closer to the actual age that she's supposed to be, as opposed to Cheno, who in my opinion played Galinda a little bit too mature during Act 1. But I really do like both interpretations. They're very different, but they're both good.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#31
Posted: 8/7/07 at 11:12pm
This is the EXACT reason why I hated Stacie Morgain Lewis in the role. Particuarly in Popular she was extemely spastic. I could barely understand what she was saying, and the song sounded nothing like the version I knew and loved from the OBCR (although Stacie's voice wasn't very good to begin with). I've also noticed a lot of Glinda's doing this for laughs (I've seen it three times and they were all the same, although Stacie was the worst). I'd much rather have Cheno's more subtle approach to the song.

::Waits for crazy Stacie fans to bash me (yes they do exist!)::
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#32
Posted: 8/7/07 at 11:21pm
To clarify: I believe the song should be spastic, as long as it is not playing for cheap laughs.

Also, I am open to new interpretations of the role.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#33
Posted: 8/8/07 at 12:14am
I think Megan was the perfect Glinda.
IMO Kate Reinders was the most spastic Glinda.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#34
Posted: 8/8/07 at 12:20am
I agree with the person on page 1 that said that Kendra does a really good job of maturing her character in Act 2. I'm not sure how anyone would believe that seeing Kendra is somehow getting "stuck" with her. (Well, yes I am. See my rant at the bottom of this post.)

Granted, I'm not coming from at this from the same angle as people who are true fan(atics)s of the show. I didn't know anything about 'Wicked' before I saw it except that it was a back story to the "Wicked Witch of the West". So, I had no clue the characters were supposed to age. It was just a pleasant surprise when Act 2 started (I love character maturation). The way Kassebaum portrayed her character made it so clear that it was a few years later, and she'd grown up. I actually commented on it to myself, considering how silly she was in Act 1. The change was quite drastic. Kudos to her!

< RANT >

Honestly, 'Wicked' fans are the most scary of fans. It amazes me how many of them have never even seen the show live but make the sort of comments that I see. I see this sort of thing with a lot of shows, true, but nowhere near the cult like level it is with the Wicked fan(actic)s. Honestly, when you bootleg, you are not helping yourself. It's like watching too much porn. It starts to mess with your perception after a while. BooTube clips are like looking at someone through slits of glass. You can get in idea, but the whole picture may shock you (just like a big name porn stars face without the pound of make-up). To those fan(atics)s of which I speak:

There is nothing cute about sitting around on BooTube, watching different clips, and convincing yourself that you have actually seen the show. You don't really have enough information to either praise or piss on someone's performance! At least see the show FOR REAL before you jump into grown folks conversations! BooTube is NOT a ticket to the show. Stop joshing yourselves. It's sad.

< /RANT >




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Updated On: 8/8/07 at 12:20 AM
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#35
Posted: 8/8/07 at 12:24am
BooTube is NOT a ticket to the show. Stop joshing yourselves. It's sad.

Amen!
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#36
Posted: 8/8/07 at 2:39am
Jennifer Laura Thompson will always remain on top of the Glinda list. She was the perfect balance of Kristins inspiration with a new foudn groundedness. No spasticness there
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#37
Posted: 8/8/07 at 8:51am
The character of Galinda is not that of a "bubbly schoolgirl." She's in college, not high school. The character is intended to grow from shallow, vain, manipulative and self-centered to a caring, compassionate, more socially aware woman.

Bubbly is not something that works with those initial traits. Maybe a coquette would be closer to what's intended for the character. And I doubt you'll find many coquettes spastically flailing around for laughs. When Kristen did it, you got the impression that the character of Galinda was entertaining herself with her barbs and bits. You never got the impression she was doing a vaudeville act for the audience. I agree with the OP.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#38
Posted: 8/8/07 at 8:55am
Oh trust me. I've seen PLENTy of college girls who are AS silly if not silliER than some high school girls.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#39
Posted: 8/8/07 at 9:00am
"Chenoweth was too calm and far too mature in her portrayal. Popular should be spastic...it makes the song far more entertaining."

Do you ever stop to think that maybe Chenoweth wanted to draw the line between Entertainment and Truth in HER version of Glinda? Chenoweth I'm sure could blow the theatre down with the spasticity of her talent but she chose not to. There has to be a reason why an actress of her calibre would do so and I would rack it up to a specific character choice that helps HER Glinda become more believable and less cartoonish that perhaps others tend to be.

I'm not Wicked fan but I am a Chenoweth fan in the sense that I think if composers are willing to write new musicals just for her, maybe she can help revitalize the industry artistically.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#40
Posted: 8/8/07 at 10:00am
Do you ever stop to think that maybe Chenoweth wanted to draw the line between Entertainment and Truth in HER version of Glinda? Chenoweth I'm sure could blow the theatre down with the spasticity of her talent but she chose not to.

Obviously, it was a character choice. She's a popular actress who is not lazy. However, it wasn't one that I agreed with because she was not believable as a college girl in any way. So do not be so snide about it.

Again, notice how the director has had no other Glinda on Broadway use Chenoweth's performance, but rather Thompason's, as the basis.

And I already said in this thread that I feel the character should be spastic, but not a cheap spazz. See Christina DeCicco for an example of truthful characterization with spastic tendencies...it actually can be done.
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Updated On: 8/8/07 at 10:00 AM
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#41
Posted: 8/8/07 at 10:06am
Well, I saw Kendra live twice. And she was rotten the second time.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#42
Posted: 8/8/07 at 10:14am
I was extremely lucky: I have seen 3 of the Glinda's with a Ga. I have seen Kristen Chenoweth, Jennifer Laura Thompson, and Kendra Kaussenbaum. Apologize for the spelling in advance. They all played Glinda very differently. Kendra's was very very funny. Not spastic, just playing up to the crowd in the theatre. Kristen's was more serious and mature throughout the show. Jennifer's was the nice balance between the two. I prefer Jennifer Laura's Glinda. But thats just me. Kendra is not bad at all tho -
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#43
Posted: 8/8/07 at 10:25am
I agree, Princeton. For me, Kristin is the difinitive Glinda, not because she originated the role, but because of personal preference. Since I began working with the costumes last year, I've met a lot of people that have been around since the inception of the show. So much changes as the show matures. A decision was made to make a greater distinction in the maturity of Glinda's character. Needless to say, she now comes across as a 5 year old in bad need of some ritalin. Sure, I still get enjoyment out of watching "Popular", but I'm usually laughing at site gags. Kristin's comedic timing was amazing.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#44
Posted: 8/8/07 at 1:24pm
The character of Galinda is not that of a "bubbly schoolgirl." She's in college, not high school. The character is intended to grow from shallow, vain, manipulative and self-centered to a caring, compassionate, more socially aware woman.

I think you're thinking of the book version of Galinda. Certainly in the book she is a Grade A social climber as well as all the other adjectives you used. But the stage version of Galinda was clearly written to be more silly and childish. Just look at the types of things she says in Act One:

"Fiyero and I are going to be married...he doesn't know yet!" (and she was dead serious too)
"We're gonna make you Pop-u-lar!"
"It seems the artichoke is steamed."
"Somethings wrong. I didn't get what I want. I need to lie down!"

Galinda/Glinda didn't say those types of things in the novel. Until the death of Dillimond, she was purely focused on elevating her social status, and to hell with anyone or anything that got in the way. That is not conveyed at all in the play.

And I totally agree with Jordan. I have seen girls that are on their way OUT of college and are very Galinda-ish. Since when does college automatically make everyone mature?
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#45
Posted: 8/8/07 at 2:08pm
Maybe Kristin was trying to convey some of the novel aspects of Galinda/Glinda even if they were not specifically written in the musical. You have to remember that when Idina and Kristin did the roles, the musical was still an unknown property and depended a lot on the film Wizard of Oz and the source novel. Now that Wicked is successful on it's own terms, they can really change the direction of the characters to what they feel fits with what the audience wants to see.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#46
Posted: 8/8/07 at 2:36pm
"I think you're thinking of the book version of Galinda."

No, I'm thinking of the stage version.

I do agree that the stage version is written to be less dark than the book version. But I don't agree that Galinda is written to be "silly." The lines you quote only illustrate the naivite with which a young adult might think. They certainly don't textually illustrate "bubbly," "silly" or "spastic."

The lines you quote are different from what she would have said in the book because there was absolutly no element of comedy in the book. The musical, however, added a light comedic element, probably to take advantage of Kristen's talents. But that element of comedy is only in the Galinda character. It's not really there in any other character in the musical. That's part of why Galinda's comedy has to be tempered or it doesn't fit with the rest of the show.

And I didn't mean to imply that college = maturity. People kept refering to Galinda as a bubbly schoolgirl. The point I meant to make is that, in my experience, the term schoolgirl is not generally used to refer to someone at the college level, regardless of maturity. My impression is that younger fans tend to identify so much with the characters that they forget they are women, not girls. I was trying to point that out.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#47
Posted: 8/8/07 at 4:04pm
Well I think taking a character song like "Popular" you really need to take into an acount how well the character comes through. The reason why I like Kristin the best is becuase her comedy is the most honest and most natural and becuase her singing is just worlds beyond any other Glinda. When Kristin sings popular the passion that Glinda feels about popularity comes through the best which makes her character the most real. It is through that reality that I find her hilarious and besides her comic timing and phrasing is just brilliant.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#48
Posted: 8/8/07 at 5:01pm
But I don't agree that Galinda is written to be "silly." The lines you quote only illustrate the naivite with which a young adult might think.

I've grown up hearing and using the word "silly" applied to any person who is foolish and/or ignorant of the world. In fact, I frequently use the word to describe a pregnant coworker who complains that her baby will impede her vacation plans. And I was reading a book last month where an 18 year old girl was called "silly" by a teacher due to her history of making overly idealistic and poorly contemplated statements. Therefore, I beg to differ that a person who decides thinks she's going to marry a guy after 1 date is not clearly written to be "silly".

But that element of comedy is only in the Galinda character. It's not really there in any other character in the musical. That's part of why Galinda's comedy has to be tempered or it doesn't fit with the rest of the show.

Once again, I beg to differ. Yes, Galinda has the funniest set of lines. But all of the named characters are funny in their own way, except for maybe Nessarose. The Wizard, Boq, Elphaba, Madame Morrible, and Fiyero all got their share of laughs and smiles. And I think Elphaba and Galinda were neck and neck in terms of laughs gained (at least when I saw the show). Off the cuff there is:

"We can't all come and go by bubble."
"I'm beautifully tragic."
"And that's my special talent: encouraging talent."
"Excuse me? There's no pretense here. I happen to be genuinely self-absorbed and DEEPLY shallow."
"Sorry, did I scare ya? I tend to have that effect on people..."
Well, there's no place like home!" (even more hilarious coming from Elphaba)
"What kind of person takes a dead woman's shoes? Must have been raised in a barn!"

Fiyero: I've been thinking...
Elphaba. Yes! I heard.

Fiyero: You must think I'm really stupid.
Elphaba: No! Not..REALLY...stupid.

And those are only the few I can remember. I'm sure there are more.

My impression is that younger fans tend to identify so much with the characters that they forget they are women, not girls. I was trying to point that out.

Exactly!! Young girls can identify with the characters because they are written to come off as very young and naive (especially Galinda), despite the fact that they are in college. If they were truly intended to act more like college students/standard young adults, there is no way so many young girls (like 11 and 12 year olds) would be able to identify with them as deeply as they do.

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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#49
Posted: 8/8/07 at 5:46pm
"I've grown up hearing and using the word "silly" applied to any person who is foolish and/or ignorant of the world..."

Well, you're the one that first brought up the word silly, so you get to define how you meant it. Though I agreed she had that aspect to her personality in my previous post. When I used the word silly, however, I meant it more in relation to acting silly or goofy, flailing around, as opposed to thinking/talking foolishly, which I agree is written in the text.

But I'm really not debating whether or not she has a childish outlook. She does. What I'm debating, in line with the original topic of the thread, is whether it's written that she should play that outlook like Fozzi Bear would, mugging and flailing about during Popular, or more like Kristen did, with intelligence.

As far as the comedy element is concerned, I stand corrected. On reflection, reminded by your line references, there were some comedic moments for the other characters. It has been a few years since I saw the show. But none of them stand out as comedic roles, whereas Galinda does.

Anyway, we'll probably never agree on this, but it's been fun discussing it with you. Sometimes these boards get so caught up in other stuff we forget to actually discuss theatre.
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re: Why the spastic Glindas?#50
Posted: 8/8/07 at 6:17pm
Oh, I hope I didn't come across as being argumentative. I actually enjoyed reading your posts and responding to them, and I get where you are coming from. You had good valid points.

I saw the show last month, so it's still fresh in my mind. But I purchased the Grimmerie (sp) book at the show which has a lot of the script, so I am able to retain a lot more than I would if I was running on pure memory.

And yes, it's nice to talk about the topic for once, instead of odd ball things that tend to sidetrack us.
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