At 7 PM on Oct. 30 — the evening before Halloween — the mechanical dragon atop the proscenium of the Gershwin Theatre began to stir, and audiences were taken to the magical Land of Oz, where two witches (one green; one popular) would relive their childhoods for the 4,157th time.
The enthusiasm at the tenth anniversary performance of Wicked was palpable, as Glinda (a vibrant Alli Mauzey) descended from her bubble — to rapturous applause — and greeted both the citizens of Oz and the packed house, filled with fans, family, friends and Wicked alum, at the Gershwin. "No One Mourns the Wicked," the opening number of the Tony-nominated Best Musical, was also met with cheers.
"I had a moment where I [thought], 'We might be here all night if they keep applauding,' but I also thought, 'If we go past union [time constraints for the] musicians, this can be a problem,'" Mauzey told Playbill.com. "So I knew I had to move on at some point, but the audience just didn't want to stop applauding [at] the notes and the chords and the word 'Wicked.'"
"I think when Kristen Gorski [-Wergeles], the Witch's Mother who has been in [the cast] since the beginning, got her entrance applause, that was a special moment for everyone on stage — so thankful that she was getting the gratitude that she deserved," said Michael Wartella, the show's Boq, currently making his Broadway debut. "To see that kind of appreciation coming back from the fans was unbelievable. I feel like a lot of us weren't nervous when we started, and then that happened, and we were like, 'Oh, we've got to put on a good show.'"
One person in the cast who was a bit nervous before Wicked's big night was the show's leading lady, Lindsay Mendez.
"I was so nervous, just because I knew there were so many people who have done the show in the audience and [who] had been a part of it and touched by it," admitted Mendez. "I just wanted to deliver for them and give them a nostalgic experience [as well as] a new experience, so I was really nervous."
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