Tuesday, October 29, 2013

WICKED Week: Spotlight on the Fiyeros

The most successful musical of this generation, Wicked, is celebrating a great milestone on Wednesday. As of October 30, they will have been on Broadway for 10 years. (Scroll down to the bottom for a synopsis and main character list) Miss yesterday's tribute with documentaries, interviews, and original rehearsal footage? Check it out here!  

Wicked Week continues today with a spotlight on the leading man, Fiyero. Fiyero has become one of those parts that everyone plays. It's like a right of passage. So here is a look at some of the men who have played that charismatic, wonderful Winkie Prince.

Here is a screen-shot (PlaybillVault.com) of a list of all of Broadway's Fiyeros:
Clearly a zillion brilliant guys have played this role on Broadway alone (according to PlaybillVault.com, Derek Klena is currently playing the role), so I want to highlight footage from a couple of my favorites.

1. Norbert Leo Butz
The first man to play Fiyero was Norbert Leo Butz, and if you have been reading my blog for an extended period of time (I realize I'm pretty much just addressing my mother), it is no secret that I deeply admire this guy (Exhibit A... Exhibit B... Exhibit C...). Though playing the role at age 36, even he says that he was a little old to be the rebel college heart-throb, he completely embraced the character and made it believable. The best example of this was his big solo, “Dancing Through Life,” in which Fiyero has just arrived at Shiz University and is telling all of his fellow students to just have fun and relax rather than work hard. Whether he is hanging from a set piece or dancing across the stage, everything in his body communicates a scarecrow-like fluidity that resembles instability and imbalance. This isn't the best video of this performance, because it's pretty short, but it's what I could find.

I don't know about you, but those dance moves (especially on the statue) totally bring to mind his rendition of "I'm Alive" from Next to Normal. Anybody? I love this guy.
3. Adam Lambert
Yes indeed. He was in the first national tour as a Fiyero understudy before American Idol! He looks so young though, that this seems a little creepy, but you decide.

Below, check out a YouTube mix of lots of different Fiyeros singing "Dancing Through Life," including Adam Lambert, Aaron Tveit, Clifton Hall (to whom I'm very partial, because he's the only Fiyero I've seen live), and many more from Broadway, touring, and even some British casts.

Keep checking Singular Sensation daily for more videos and fun facts about the show this week!

Wicked is about Elphaba (later known as the Wicked Witch of the West) who goes to Shiz University as a social outcast and ends up rooming with Glinda. Despite the odd pairing, the two become best friends. The story is about loyalty and friendship as it follows their journeys as they have to decide who they want to be as opposed to who other people think they are. The original cast included Idina Menzel (Tony Award, Elphaba), Kristin Chenoweth (Tony nomination, Glinda), Norbert Leo Butz (Fiyero, the ridiculously good-looking and self-proclaimed shallow guy at Shiz), and Joel Grey (the Wonderful Wizard of Oz).

Read More:
Wicked the Musical on PlaybillVault.com
Wicked the Musical official website
Full Wicked cast list (from 2003-2013, click on the box on the right that says "expand replacements")
Norbert Leo Butz on PlaybillVault

Sally Henry www.BroadwayWorld.com/author/Sally-Henry // Twitter: www.twitter.com/bwayginger // Facebook: www.facebook.com/singularsensationbway

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