Playbill.com polled our readers via Facebook and Twitter asking which them to share their choices for the coveted lead role of Elphaba. Their choices ranges from previous cast members, Broadway stars and Hollywood actors.
Here are some reader responses followed by our own commentary.
Gwion Jones: Idina Menzel all the way!!!
Paris Katherine: That's not a question!!! Elphie IS Idina!
@irishforaday26: @playbill @WICKED_Musical Idina Menzel. For sure.
@alwaysrobyn: @playbill @WICKED_Musical thee original herself: Idina Menzel
@gnucksjr: @playbill @WICKED_Musical who other than @idinamenzel?
Idina Menzel, who won the 2004 Tony Award for her performance as the ambitious green witch in Wicked, was the most popular choice amongst our readers. Menzel received critical acclaim for her performance and continued in the show through January 2005, and was succeeded by Elphaba standby Shoshana Bean. The actress also originated the role of Maureen Johnson in the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Rent and later went on to reprise her performance for the 2005 film adaptation. Maybe the Tony winner will follow in the same pattern if Wicked materializes on the big screen.
Lily Kaufmann: I agree with Lea Michele as young Elphie and Idina Menzel as grown up Elphaba!
@RachHadley: @playbill @WICKED_Musical Lea Michele! @msleamichele
Spring Awakening and "Glee" actress Lea Michele was also a popular choice amongst our readers. Michele, who has also been seen on Broadway in Les Misérables, Ragtime and Fiddler on the Roof, plays Rachel Berry on "Glee" and has covered songs from Wicked multiple times on the series. Click here to watch Michele sing "Defying Gravity" and here for her performance of "For Good."
@singalldaylong: @playbill @WICKED_Musical it's all about @LindsayMendez
@megrojahn: @playbill @WICKED_Musical besides Idina Menzel? @LindsayMendez because she's so talented!
@LishaLove1: @playbill @WICKED_Musical Hands down @LindsayMendez bcuz she's so expressive and phenomenal, her vocals are SICK, but Damn she can Act also
@RaechelMcGhee: @playbill @WICKED_Musical The only Elphaba is @LindsayMendez -- game over.
Lindsay Mendez, a Drama Desk Award nominee for her performance in the Off-Broadway musical Dogfight, currently stars as Elphaba on Broadway. Although Mendez originally never thought of herself as an Elphaba, her powerhouse vocals and original take on the not-so Wicked Witch made her a popular choice to reprise her performance on screen. Check out the recent Playbill.com feature with Mendez and her co-stars Derek Klena and Katie Rose Clarke.
@Tettekete: @playbill @WVerkaik would be a perfect Elphaba in a Wicked film. The only Elphie who makes me forget she's an actress when she runs onstage! Willemijn Verkaik, a recent Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked, has played the green-faced witch for over 1,000 performances in both Germany (Stuttgart and Oberhausen) and Holland and in three languages: Dutch, German and English. Click here to read the Playbill.com Diva Talk column with the actress and here for her Playbill "Obsessed!" video with Seth Rudetsky.
|Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN|
Jeffrey Shirk: Anna Kendrick as elphaba. She is so beyond talented. From her performance in the movie "Camp" I was totally hooked as a phan!
Lois Rubin Gross: At this point, I'm going with Anna Kendrick as Elphaba. Watch "Camp" she has the belt and the range. They'd have to cast around her to find an appropriate Glinda. I saw it for the 4th time on Broadway, a few weeks ago, and Glinda was taller than Elphaba. It threw me a little. I do think it might still be possible to go with the originals, but I don't think they will.
Anna Kendrick, who was Tony-nominated for her performance in High Society, recently wrapped filming on the screen adaptation of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years. The actress is no stranger to the big screen and is also known for her film work in "Pitch Perfect" and "Camp."
Jessica Panis: Samantha Barks!
Maria Redwood: Samantha Barks. (Seriously, look up her version of Defying Gravity. That was when she was around 18, so it would be even better now.)
@Menxudis: @playbill @WICKED_Musical Samantha Barks :D She would be gorgeous
Stage and screen actress Samantha Barks, who brought Eponine to life on the big screen in the recent film adaptation of Les Miz, played the role in the London production in 2010 and again in the show's 25th anniversary London concert at the O2 Arena. Barks also appeared in the Hollywood Bowl production of Chicago and the West End productions of Oliver! and Cabaret. We'd love to see her tackle the role of Elphaba. Here is her performance of "Defying Gravity."
|Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN|
Dee Roscioli is a veteran of the Broadway, Chicago, San Francisco and touring productions of Wicked. She holds the distinction of having played Elphaba in more performances than any other actress.
|Photo by Jimmy Asnes|
|Photo by Laura Marie Duncan|
Sutton Foster, a two-time Tony Award winner for Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Her numerous Broadway credits include Shrek, Little Women, Young Frankenstein and The Drowsy Chaperone. Foster also recording Wicked's stand-out song "Defying Gravity" on her album "An Evening With Sutton Foster - Live At The Cafe Carlyle."
|Photo by Scott Kirkland/FOX|
Zooey Deschanel, the star of the television series "New Girl," previously took a trip to Oz in the 2007 television series "Tin Man." Also a singer-songwriter, Deschanel was tapped by country singer Loretta Lynn to play her in a stage musical adaptation of "Coal Miner's Daughter."
|Photo by A.M.P.A.S.|