So last week on Tuesday 15th September, Rachel Tucker returned to playing the role of Elphaba in the musical Wicked, but this time on Broadway in New York, at the renowned Gershwin Theatre. Where it has been playing since it opened on Broadway on 30th October 2003.
In case you missed all the news about Rachel's return to the role of the green Witch, but on Broadway, check out some of these articles... Playbill, WhatsOnStage, OfficialLondonTheatre, The BelfastTelegraph, U.tv, SomethingAboutJaime & the more recent Broadway.Com, Playbill & NewYorkTheatreGuide articles.
Rachel previously played the role of Elphaba to critical acclaim* in London's West end for the best part of 3 years from March 29th 2010 - October 27th 2012. Making her the longest running Westend Elphaba to date.
*Rachel won the 2011 WhatsOnStage award for 'Best Takeover in a Role' & the West End Frame's Award for "Best Performance of a Song in a Musical, for her "Defying Gravity."
So.. on Tuesday 15th September we woke up to an updated cast list on Wicked The Musical's website, with Rachel's new headshot & the reality of it all finally set in for us.. Rachel was BACK as Elphaba.
Before the show Twitter & Rachel's official Facebook page were flooded with well wishes & good luck messages from fans & friends all over the world. Many of her previous cast mates & of course the Oz family.. many an ex-Elphie & Glinda sent their support. It was a joy to see so much support & love for our girl & from all the fans of Broadway too. What an incredible community to have your back on a night like that.
Here's a fabulous picture of Rachel getting ready before her debut in Wicked on Broadway & thanking fans for the flowers. We love this because her face shows pretty much what all our faces must've been like all last week with the lead up to & aftermath of her donning that green make up again.
Then @FlyingHighWKD tweeted pictures of the boards outside & it all got even more real...
Rachel took to the stage on Tuesday & from the buzz over Twitter the next morning, it seems that our girl did us, herself & her family proud with her Broadway Elphie Debut. We all know that Rachel has dreamed of this since the very first time she saw the show back in 2006 (we think) with her Mum & sister, so can only imagine just how special this moment was for Rachel & we just couldn't be prouder if we tried.
Rachel had lots of support on the night, a couple of fans from over here even managed to make it & many of her fellow Last Ship mates managed to be there to support her & her Wonderful Wizard & fellow ship mate Fred Applegate.. Even Sting himself was there for her.
There doesn't appear to be any new pictures of Rachel's Broadway Elphaba yet, but as soon as we see any we'll let you know. So as we couldn't get any official pictures, like any fan's we've turned to the internet to find some glimpses of Rachel's Elphaba. There was of course an explosion on Youtube of audios & even a couple of video's of Rachel's debut, as you would expect considering how much support Rachel has had. Everyone was clearly just dying to hear what her American Elphie would sound like & from what we've heard, absolutely astonishing. Simply can not wait to get ourselves over there to experience the Tucker as Elphaba magic once again, for ourselves.
Credit - Claudia Mazza
Rachel's first Elphaba on Broadway Curtain Call
Credit for the above 4 photos - Sarah Moore
Mini Review from Sarah Moore
"After seeing The Last Ship on Broadway 9 times, I had to catch Rachel Tucker’s first performance as Elphaba on Broadway. It was so exciting and so emotional to be sitting near Sting and cast members from The Last Ship. It was also hard to sit still amongst foreign tourists as I was thinking to myself “you guys have no idea what you’re in for.”
The entrance applause on Rachel’s entrance to Shiz was pretty amazing, and I wish I could capture the picture in my mind and send it all to you, to see the joy on her face on her entrance, and at the end of Wizard and I.
Of course, she sang the score flawlessly, and connected with all of her castmates, even the understudy Nessarose (shout out Emily Ferranti, who was lovely). And I will admit I fully lost it when Fred entered as the Wizard.
I know many of you all are super concerned with riffs, but I will just have to say that she riffed only where it was warranted!
Rachel is, I believe my 7th Elphaba, and I have to say it was such an amazing performance and emotional experience to watch her so comfortably tackle the role and blow the audience away. I truly was impressed by her American accent as well, and the character transition in act 2. Well done Rachel! I’m coming back again with my mom at the end of the month."
Credit - Louis DiPaolo
Credit - Laura
Mini Review from Laura
"Rachel Tucker is no stranger to Defying Gravity, but the West End Elphie brought her chops to the Gershwin Theatre on September 15th. Alongside Kara Lindsay as Glinda and Jonah Platt as Fiyero (whose debut performance was that same evening), Rachel gave a new take on Elphaba that I had never seen before. When they had announced Rachel would be the new green girl on Broadway and would be beginning the day I happened to have tickets for, I read a few of the articles about her and her acclaimed performances in the UK, but refused to watch any videos until I saw her live. I'm glad I waited. I hadn't seen Wicked since late 2013, but this was my fourth time and I basically began crying the minute the time-dragon clock moved. Rachel's twist on the vocals for each song were unique and I could not believe her riffs, only wishing I had the vocal ability to do that. I know this show like the back of my hand and Rachel still made me say "WOW!" to different aspects throughout the performance. If you get the chance, please go see Rachel as Elphaba! I look forward to seeing her again soon!"
Credit - LookingAtThingsAnotherWay on Tumblr
New York Theatre Guide's Stan Friedman reviewed Wicked on 21st September & had this to say about Rachel's performance
One fan (QueenIdinaMenzel) of the show enjoyed Rachel's performance so much she wrote an acrostic poem, to briefly summarise her thought's on Rachel, we couldn't agree more so had to share it with you:
During the week one of Rachel's previous cast mates, Harry Francis happened to stop by to see our green girl & managed to get a great #ElphieSelphie, like a true fan.. #Stagey
We also wanted to share with you, these gorgeous pieces of art by Thomas Sutcliffe, another of Rachel's previous cast mates (funnily enough both Thomas & Harry played the same track & covered Boq in Wicked on the Westend but in different years, with Rachel).
You may have seen them previously, but in case not & as there's no new official pictures yet, they seemed appropriate to share with you.
As we said earlier, Youtube exploded with audios within a few hours of Rachel's Broadway Elphie Debut, and being a fan blog we did um & ahh about posting these, but we knew you'd all want to hear, so couldn't withhold.. so we've embedded a cheeky playlist below..
A couple of videos have surfaced as well, whilst we can not condone this, we also find it hard not to jump for joy, so again sharing because we know you'll wanna see...
One way to finish off a perfect week for Rachel's Elphaba on Broadway debut would of course be a headline like this.. that we can assume was caused by the Tucker Effect.. haha we Jest, but congrats to Wicked on this.
Then of course Rachel decided to top off the first week with this adorable tweet..
How utterly adorable is that? Reminded us, that Rachel's young man Ben must've defied gravity more times than we can count, when Rachel was pregnant during her last few months in Wicked. That's one lucky young man.
And... here's a cheeky curtain call video from the 19th Sept 2015, found on Tumblr.
Have you started your #TuckerOnBroadwayFund yet? Little tip, whilst it may seem ridiculously expensive to make the trip, if you set yourself an attainable goal it's actually possible. When I first heard about Rachel's return to Elphaba, once I gathered myself back up off the floor on which I had melted with excitement. I was then struck with sadness at the thought of not being able to see her whilst she was over there. A friend suggested simply putting away £30 a week for a few months & see how quickly it actually grows. It's surprising how quickly my #TuckerOnBroadwayFund grew & i've just been able to afford my flights & accommodation.. so if this serial broke theatre fan can pull it off, so can you with a little effort & determination.. plus every spare penny you don't spend from your budget should also be redirected to the fund too. Good luck to you all.
For those who are already planning to go & see Rachel, please keep us posted & updated, we'd love to hear all your tales from seeing Rachel on Broadway & any hints & tips for good tickets & such. Happy planning Tucker fans.