Tuesday, 13 December 2011

An Emotional WICKED Night

Cast Change, Wicked bids farewell to Louise.

Well I’ve finally recovered from a very emotional night at the Apollo Victoria on Saturday. As I’m sure most of you are know, Saturday marked the end of their WICKED journey for most of the cast as they waved goodbye to Oz for the final time.

I’m not going to go into too much detail but rest assured it was a night to remember. There were some lovely extra touches, everyone took their songs to another level and the chemistry between Rachel, Louise and Mark was incredible. I’d be surprised if there was a dry eye in the house after the most heart warming rendition of ‘For Good’ I’ve ever heard. There were even tears on stage as two good friends – two best friends – struggled to keep their emotions under control. Louise’s ‘Get a Grip’ painted fingernails didn’t work on this occasion.

Rachel somehow managed to compose herself to give a beautiful speech at the end before introducing Michael McCabe who hinted that he’d love to see Louise flying around Oz again sometime in the future.

I didn’t go to the stage door because I knew it would be manic and I didn’t want to hold Rachel up any longer on what was a pretty cold night.

I’m now busy trying to work in another WICKED trip early in the New Year to see the exciting new cast but Louise in particular will be sadly missed as her friendship with Rachel made their Elphaba and Glinda pairing very special.

I'll now hand you over to Team Tucker member Emily who wrote the excellent review below. Her memory is obviously FAR better than mine because it's an great read and picks out almost all the nights highlights.

Saturday would have been my 4th outing to see Wicked, and 2nd with my good friend Rachel (not Tucker of course) who came with me. I, like many others I think, bought the tickets when it was announced to be Rachel’s (and the rest of the cast’s) last night, and hadn’t been since Feb so wasn’t going to give them up!

There was such a buzz in the theatre before the performance, many fans (Louise Dearman ones in the majority it seemed), friends and family filled the front few rows, and apparently some had been camping out all night – good on them! As the lights dimmed, the crowd started applauding and cheering, and all the way through the performance, applauses and cheers were that little bit longer - so I could tell it was going to be full of emotion from the start.

I have never heard Louise get such a cheer when the curtain went up. Many people actually stood too, and you could tell her grin was genuine, she looked a bit emotional. (I may be using that word a lot in this review). Rachel got an identical welcome when she ran on, and similarly you could tell she was a bit taken aback.

As ever, Rachel was brilliant. Wizard and I is my favourite song, and it still gives me goose bumps at the end when Rachel hits all those notes and riffs. Louise was brilliant in Popular, and the crowd were uber-excited, in particular as that scene is 90% her, you could tell she was enjoying it. And regarding Defying Gravity – I don’t know how Rachel does it, but every time I see her she out-does her last performance. She was (without trying to use a cliché) spellbinding, and people actually stood up during the performance and cheered about 20 seconds before she ended! Also, in No Good Deed – I don’t think I could convey how spectacular Rachel was, but (once again) the audience cheered her halfway through, and gave her a standing ovation.

Like Andy said, it was interesting to notice little things that the cast changed with it being their last night. When performing ‘What is this Feeling’, Rachel did a sly ‘wave’ to Louise, as if to say ‘bye bye, your last night’ and Louise dropped out of character for a split second in surprise – she wasn’t expecting that! Also, at the end of Defying Gravity after Rachel ended her last note and just before the lights went down she blew Louise a kiss – how sweet J Mark and Rachel had an extra long kiss at the end of ‘As long as You’re Mine’ (not sure what Guy would have to say about that!) and also, with it being the last night for a lot of the cast, the audience were great in giving them all extra cheers – Chistery even got a cheer for his one line!

You could see in particular with Rachel and Louise that they were enjoying every last note of every song, as corny as it sounds, and that the night really meant a lot to them. Certain lines, such as the last ones to ‘One Short Day’ (saying they were ‘two best friends’), and the bit in Defying Gravity when they hold the broom, really stood out and it was hard to watch at times, knowing it would be their last! Also, I re-iterate Andy’s point on For Good being amazing. I was lucky enough to have seats near the front, and (no word of a lie) they were both crying at the end. They actually couldn’t properly sing their last lines, and sort of choked it out and then hugged – I certainly had a tear in my eye, as did most of the audience probably. Lastly, at the end after they have sung the last line of the ‘No-one Mourns the Wicked reprise’ together, Rachel turned to walk to the back and looked up to Louise one last time, which I am sure she doesn’t normally do. Very touching.

Rachel’s speech at the end was heart-warming, and full of emotion. As Andy mentioned, she said her and Louise had been trying to figure out how they were going to get through the performance without crying (and admitted they had both failed) and Louise writing ‘get a grip’ on her nails was brilliant! Anyway, the whole performance was packed full of emotion, but also support for all the cast, in particular Rachel and Louise. As Andy hinted, I hope Louise finds a way back to Wicked somehow, perhaps even for Rachel’s last performance (though lets hope that is way off yet!)


EmilyR said...

Andy, I had no idea you were there! I was just about to email you my version of what happened on saturday too incase fellow bloggers were interested. I agree, it was such a wonderful night, i was blown away. I may emial you my thoughts anyway, just to share :)

Andy said...

I almost sold my tickets when I heard Rachel wasn't leaving but I'm so glad I didn't because it was a great night.

If you'd like me to post your version of what happened on the blog I'd be more than happy to add it to the existing post.

Dan said...

I was there too and thank you guys, u brought back all the emotion of the evening! - u must've been too in awe of Rachel singing Defying Gravity to notice Louise wipe tears away from her face when Rachel did those amazing high notes.

It was the most moving, perfomance I have ever seen and we will remember Team Tuckman forever more.


Andy said...

I'm so grateful for Emily's review because my memory is awful and she really helped me re-live some of the wonderful moments I'd forgot from a very special night.

You're right Dan, anybody who was lucky enough to see Rachel & Louise in WICKED can consider themselves very lucky because it's not very often the two leads have such an incredible connection and friendship.

Naomi said...

I couldn't have said it any better than this. I was there on Saturday and practically cried through it. It was an extremely emotional show and I will miss Louise, Mark, Zoe and Ben. Glad Rachel is staying though this was by far the best cast and Saturdays show was probably my favorite one. Now to just plan when i will be traveling down to see the new cast :)

CampMotha said...

Awwww thats my wallpaper of Louise!!! Bless, I really miss her!! Thanks so much for this write up, brought memories flooding back! I was one of the crazies who camped up! We did two nights! And then I did the Sunday night as well, to be there in front row to support Rachel on her first night with the new cast!!!

CC both Matinee and Evening were the 2 BEST performances I have ever seen from both ladies!! SO mind-blowing! And getting to experience them all Frint row! Moments I will never forget, ever!!!