Dutch songstress Willemijn Verkaik has played the central role of Elphaba in the Musical WICKED over 2,000 times in London, Europe and Broadway, which is more than anyone else and is the only person to have played the role in three different languages – English, Dutch and German. She made her West End debut at the Apollo Victoria in 2013, but for health reasons left the show eight months later, only to return in January this year as part of the show’s 10th Anniversary celebrations. Her final performance was on the 22nd of July. In an online poll of 16,000 voters she was chosen as the ‘Wicked Personality of the Year’. It took me a while, missing Willemijn on a few occasions at various venues, but I finally got my sketch signed prior to her departure at the Apollo.
I have seen four different Elphabas, but have no clue who the first two were. I saw it once on Broadway and three other times in Charlotte. I feel like each Elphaba brought something different to the role, but don’t remember when I discovered certain aspects of the characters. My last Elphaba, who was a standby, embodied everything I already knew about Elphaba and still was able to bring something new to the role. Elphaba is a character I have such a personal bond to her as I do really relate to her, but don’t relate to everything. She is sort of like a map as to what I want from a musical characters. She is my favorite musical character ever.
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