Wicked’s Christine Dwyer Shares Her Memorable Theatregoing Experiences

Favorite Things   Their Favorite Things: Christine Dwyer Shares Her Theatregoing Experiences
 
Amy Morton, K. Todd Freeman and Sharon Washington are among Dwyer’s favorites.
Christine Dwyer FT HR

Christine Dwyer, who was seen as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked, shares the performances that most affected her as part of the audience.

Sharon Washington in The Scottsboro Boys

Washington 638.jpg
Sharon Washington in The Scottsboro Boys Paul Kolnik

The moment at the end of the show when you finally figure out who the Lady is. I can imagine it would be unbelievably hard to stay invested in a show the way she had to. But her moment at the end of the show before the blackout was one of the most exciting things I've ever seen on stage.

Idina Menzel in Wicked

Idina Menzel in <i>Wicked</i>
Idina Menzel in Wicked Joan Marcus

I mean...come on! How could I not include this performance? I will never forget the moment she ran forward for her first entrance. And no matter how tired I was during the show, I always felt lucky to perform on the same stage as Idina. And the moment she flies...there's just nothing like it. It still gives me chills.

Amy Morton in August: Osage County

Jeff Perry and Amy Morton in <i>August: Osage County </i>
Jeff Perry and Amy Morton in August: Osage County

The End of Act 2!!! I couldn't breathe she was so good! You could have told me that play was 20 minutes long and I would have believed you. I wanted to watch it over and over again. I've never seen an audience leap to their feet the way they did at the end of this show.

Beth Malone in Fun Home

Sydney Lucas, Beth Malone and Emily Skeggs in<i> Fun Home</i>
Sydney Lucas, Beth Malone and Emily Skeggs in Fun Home Joan Marcus

First of all, I think this entire show is just absolutely brilliant and a complete game changer for what musicals could be and will be in the future. But Beth Malone's performance was so inspiring. “Telephone Wire” is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, and Beth's voice and spirit brought the whole audience to tears. It's such a tense and also tender and gut-wrenching and beautiful moment in the show. That audience is really witnessing something so special watching her perform this role.

Fantasia Barrino in The Color Purple

Fantasia Barrino  in <i>The Color Purple</i>
Fantasia Barrino in The Color Purple Paul Kolnik

I haven't seen this new production yet with Cynthia Erivo, which I know will knock my socks off, too! But Fantasia's performance in this musical was mind blowing. Vocally, emotionally, physically just a beast of a performance. I wept every time she opened her mouth and stood up at the end of every song along with the rest of the theatre. I was in awe.

Steven Boyer in Hand to God

Steven Boyer in <i>Hand to God</i>
Steven Boyer in the Broadway production of Hand to God Joan Marcus

I saw this show three times, I loved it so much. Steven Boyer's performance still doesn't make sense to me. He played opposite himself! And he completely made me forget I was watching one person in those scenes. His physicality and the way he manipulated his voice was unlike anything I've ever seen.

K. Todd Freeman in Airline Highway

The cast of <i>Airline Highway</i><br/>
The cast of Airline Highway
Joan Marcus

I can't believe I got to do scenes with this man in Wicked the year before! It was unbelievably exciting to see him as Sissy Na Na in this amazing play. His performance was as funny as it was moving. He had me laughing and in tears in a single sentence. To navigate that dialogue — which was so quick and right on top of each other — and still get the message of your character across in such a clear way is just brilliant.

Tom McGowan in Casa Valentina

Tom McGowan in <i>Casa Valentina</i>
Tom McGowan in Casa Valentina Matthew Murphy

Tom's performance as Bessie was one of the most honest performances I've ever seen. We all watched him practice walking in his heels backstage at Wicked, and to see all that work come together in his beautiful performance was amazing! To make walking in those heels and wearing those dresses look so pedestrian and easy, even though I knew how hard it was for him, was simply amazing.

Celia Keenan-Bolger in The Glass Menagerie

Celia Keenan-Bolger and Brian J. Smith in <i>The Glass Menagerie</i>
Celia Keenan-Bolger and Brian J. Smith in The Glass Menagerie Michael J. Lutch

I mean...this girl can do anything. I've seen her make me laugh until I cried and cry until I kept crying....basically for this whole performance. It was so pure and honest and beautiful and devastating. I loved every minute of this show, and I will never forget Celia's expression the moment the unicorn broke on the ground. Everyone in the theatre, including me, held their breath. That's a truly magical power to have.

Douglas Lyons in The Book of Mormon

Douglas Lyons
Douglas Lyons

My best friend making his Broadway debut has to be the most beautiful theatrical experience I've ever had. I'm sure everyone around me thought I was crazy as I burst out into tears in the front row to the line “I've got maggots in my scrotum.” Ha! But there is absolutely nothing like witnessing a friend achieve their dreams. At the top of my next list of favorite theatrical experiences will be seeing the musical he has written open on Broadway. I will be there with bells on. And also in tears.

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