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Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Great De-Boq-le

[Guest post today, dear readers!  Join my good friend, the preternaturally ostentatious Etai BenShlomo, as he spins a narrative web of novelistic proportions.  And more from me soon! Lots of stuff in the works. --FR]

Salutations, friends!

As an avid follower of this Blogospheric Imaginarium of Dr. Ricci, I was thrilled to be personally invited by the one and only singer slash actress slash part-time gangster Felicia Ricci to contribute my very own guest post!

So, greetings, readers! I’m Etai BenShlomo and I’m currently playing Boq in the San Francisco (aka Kiamo Ko) Company of WICKED! I officially joined the company about 3 weeks ago (I replaced Eddy Rioseco), and have been having the time of my life. It’s been a wild ride on the WICKED train thus far, and I’m so looking forward to the adventures ahead!
Since I have neither the wit nor intelligence nor talent to match the phenomulous bloggage of my friend and next-door neighbor Felicia (“phenomulous” was my lame attempt at a WICKED-like, Ozian phrase a la “thrillify” and “gratitution”), I thought I would devote this post to a certain incident that happened to me recently that you may find interesting or funny or perhaps horrifying.

Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society (“Are You Afraid of the Dark?” anyone?), I call this story:


So it was Tuesday. I had just come off of an incredible birthday weekend…turns out 23 is not much different than 22, but still a reason to celebrate I suppose…and it was just about the filthiest day in Northern California you can imagine. Now, don’t get me wrong, I ADORE San Francisco, but I have to say: it is not quite the California I’d seen in the movies. Needless to say, when it’s sunny, it’s perfect…but I’ve realized that’s a little more rare than I had anticipated. Ah well.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Extreme Makeover: Dressing Room Edition

Yesterday I published a harrowing image of my dressing room station as it once was: a veritable garbage heap of makeup, used Kleenex, and rotting food. Just kidding, it wasn't that bad.  But indeed for the first two weeks or so my cubby-like sanctuary, in its disorderliness, resembled a college dorm -- so much so that, before I knew what was going on, I found myself striking up contrived conversations about life and purpose and eating microwavable macaroni and cheese when I wasn't hungry.

I have since seen the light, and, thanks to the wide availability of boutique-y, odds-and-ends-y, bric-a-brac-y, variety stores in San Francisco, I have purchased a great number of small trinkets that have helped to make my station spectacular! Behold!  An After Photo of Felicia's Dressing Room Station!

Brief enumeration of said bric-a-brac (<-- I am obsessed with that phrase): a nifty black and tan-patterned placemat; a green coffee mug, a green makeup case, two green little candle holders (anyone notice a color scheme?) that have been converted to makeup brush/toothbrush/pen/bric-a-brac holders, a jewel purple coaster to hold my wig pins, and an eco-friendly stainless steel water bottle.  

And that concludes today's post of self-satisfaction and adoration.

If it were legal I would marry myself,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Blogoscopic Fantasia 2010

Dear Poor, Neglected Readers,

After a long and heartless winter, it is time for the flowering spring!  In terms of blogging. Like, that was a metaphor: it's still February.  Plus I have recently learned that there are no real distinctions between the seasons in San Francisco.

To my knowledge, I have in prior posts promised the following: answers to posted-via-the-comments-section questions, recounting of my debut, as well as Etai, Jody and Paul's, a link to a fellow cast member's blog, Elphaba understudying updates, thoughts on San Francisco, an espousal of the virtues of scented candles, general exuberance and/or irreverence.  So, here I go....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Eden Espinosa will be our new Elphaba!

Hi hi!  Remember how I repeatedly used the phrase "blogoscopic fantasia" to describe today's post? Well, it's been postponed, slightly-- but for good reason!  Today, beginning at 1PM I have my first Elphaba staging rehearsal (I believe we're doing musical numbers first) and, as such, I've been really getting my booty in gear with line and lyric memorization.  Whether or not this is the expectation, I think it's way important for me to prepare as much as possible because, let me tell you, in becoming more acquainted with the script and score, I am realizing just how much of a beastly role Elphaba is, and I mean that in the best sense.

Oh, and this is SUPER FREAKING COOL: beginning March 2, Eden Espinosa will be San Francisco's new Elphaba!  Such an honor and treat to be able to understudy her, after also having been fortunate enough to watch Teal Wicks, who is ridiculously, mind-blowingly great.

In breaking news from Dork City, last night I took a photo of a wardrobe rack on which both Eden's and my Elphaba costumes were chilling out, side by side  Not sure if you'll be able to read the names unless you click on it, but nevertheless, behold!

That's all for now...  But soon, my friends, so soon.

Off to memorize,

P.S. Oh, last night Halle Berry was in the audience!  I thought that was kind of cool.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Post to say: I shall post soon!

Hello dear readers,

Forgive me for neglecting you!  I shall in the extremely near future publish the electronic equivalent of reams of pages of content (as in, probably tonight, after the show).  We (meaning the cast of WICKED-- which now includes ME! Yeah! Yeahhhhh!) have been unusually swamped because we've been having lots of rehearsals on top of performances in order to assimilate the throngs of new folk who have joined us (which, in addition to me, now includes Paul Slade Smith, Jody Gelb, Etai BenShlomo, and Libby Servais).  Plus, some of the New York WICKED creative team is here to do some clean-up work on the pre-existing company.  More on this shortly.

In the works, blog-wise, are: answers to your posted-via-the-comments-section questions, recounting of my debut, as well as Etai, Jody and Paul's (theirs was last night! woot), a link to a fellow cast member's blog, Elphaba understudying updates, thoughts on San Francisco, an espousal of the virtues of scented candles, general exuberance and/or irreverence.

I hope you will join me later for this blogoscopic fantasia.

That's right: blogoscopic fantasia,

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I did it!

I survived!  I more than survived, I had the time of my life.  Thank you, everyone, for the kind words of encouragement-- you inspired me to do my best!  Special thanks to my amazing family and my ├╝bermensch boyfriend for the cards, roses and fruit baskets galore!  Special, special thanks to the cast and crew for being so ridiculously supportive, both tonight and throughout the entire process.  I am such a lucky lady!

I will reflect in greater detail on the specifics of my debut at a not-too-distantly-future date.  (There is so much to share!)  Until then..

I must sleep....

I couldn't be happier,
Felicia zzzzZZZZZZZZ

Friday, February 5, 2010

Well, folks. This is it.

Back home now after watching the show from backstage one last time-- my last time as a spectator, before I join the cast!  That's right, it is the eve of my WICKED debut.  I know I've been terrible about keeping a running log of recent events, but I promise to do so retroactively.  The sad, but logical, truth is that in the busiest times -- when the most meaningful and juiciest stuff goes down -- I have much less time to blog about it!  So let it be here writ that I shall make amends and will fill in the blanks in due time.

In the meantime, allow me to post pictures I took from backstage!  One of the coolest parts of tonight that made everything seem more real than ever was that I have officially been allotted my own mirror station in the female ensemble's dressing room! This excited me greatly, and as such I was obsessed with taking photos of signage and other official confirmations of both my existence and my impending integration into the cast.  You'll see what I mean when you scroll down (pics!).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Anniversary Party Pictures

As promised, photos from WICKED's One-Year-in-San-Fran Anniversary bash!  (I understand that, given prior stipulation, this presupposes that I look "moderately attractive," but let me qualify by saying that the adverb is key.)

Top to bottom: 1) The lovely Laura Pugliese, whose track I'm taking over in the ensemble; 2) L to R: Teal Wicks, Natalie Daradich, Annie Funke, Neka Zang, Alexa Green, Allison Leo, Felicia "I'm Wearing A Romper" Ricci; 3) Nicolas Dromard, who plays Fiyero, with the party's servers (Emerald City meets bikini -- am I right or am I right?); 4) This photo includes three of the four newbies: Lauren Haughton, Etai BenShlomo, and me (not pictured is our new Morrible, Jody Gelb), and second from the left is Jonathan Ritter, swing extraordinaire! Okay that's all for now. Bye! --FR

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fo' mo' days

Dear Unnaturally Green Readers, 

I have been terribly remiss in keeping you abreast of my WICKED whereabouts! So sorry! Lots of updates, thoughts, musings (both relevant and irrelevant) brewing these some-odd days...  But rather than attempt to construct a narrative through-line, whereby I overcome obstacles, realize that life is bittersweet, and come to terms with the fact that the things you love can get taken from you, but you find love in other places and emerge a sadder, but wiser, young adult, whose father runs a funeral home (in other words, rather than recount the plot of "My Girl"), I am --  you guessed it -- going to bullet point to the MAX!

1) Got an email from a lovely woman named Ellen whom I had the good fortune to meet outside the stage door last week.  She asked me, "What does Elphaba eat during her scene with Dr. Dillamond?"  Good question, Ellen!  During a long understudy rehearsal Friday (more on this soon) I relayed this question to Kyle, our super cool props master, and he explained that she eats a Lemon Zest Lunabar.  When questioned further, he let me in on the careful thought that went into choosing this particular comestible (which was, in my opinion, emblematic of the care and attention that go into all creative aspects of WICKED): Lunabar has a relatively vague look and feel to it, and so could be any manner of lunch-time snack.  The reasoning behind the particular flavor is what gave me the biggest kick: in order to keep the performer in good voice, Kyle explained, the bar couldn't have either chocolate or nuts in it.  This left two options: Chai or Lemon Zest.  Chai, Kyle explained, was considered by most to be "questionable."  And so they arrived upon the ever-enduring Lemon Zest. Which does, I would wager, have incredibly widespread appeal.  I also like that the snack is a Lunabar-- which is to say, a bar for women.  And Elphaba is a woman.