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Elphabas Over The Years - Who's Your Favorite?

Author KevinKevin, February 27th, 2024

Check Out These Leading Ladies Of Wicked!

No one, in all of Oz, could ever have predicted that so many talented women would play Elphaba! From the OG Idina Menzel to the latest witch in school, Cynthia Erivo, over 46 actors have embodied the emerald-green queen since her first appearance in 2004, and that's only on Broadway! Yes, everyone deserves the chance to fly - but as there are one too many witches to list, here are some names that we pulled from the cauldron.

1. Idina Menzel

    The Beyonce of theatre has a voice that's pumped with personality, when you think of Elphaba, you think of her. The original version of Defying Gravity' has been streamed over 46 million times, and it's because she lives and breathes the character she created.

    Menzel's character, the show, and 'Defying Gravity', earned her a loyal musical theatre following. She was the first to give depth to Elphaba, and in the process, inspired a whole new generation of stage actors. Now a breakout star beyond the stage, you may know her as Elsa from Frozen and for appearing in many other successful blockbuster films.

    2. Stephanie J Block

      The Wicked veteran was working on the character as early as the year 2000. She did readings, and workshops, and spent over two years developing Elphaba. If Idina Menzel is the queen of Wicked, then Stephanie J Block is the Queen Mother

      Block was the original standby, however, she went full circle and became the first actress to play the role in the show's first U.S. national tour in 2005. She later reprised the role of Elphaba on Broadway from 2007 to 2008. She is admired for bringing something completely different to the character that she helped create, and for the journey that she went through with Elphaba.

      3. Willemijn Verkaik

        The Wicked Witch of The West? More like the Wicked Witch of 3 languages! Not only is Verkaik the first and so far only actress to perform the role in more than one language, but she's the first to do it in three....just like magic.

        The Dutch singer and stage actress played Elphaba in the original German production of Wicked, as well as in the original Dutch production of Wicked. She remains the only actress to have performed the role in four countries and has played the role more times than any other actress in the world.

        4. Kerry Ellis

        Fantine in Les Miserables, Nancy in Oliver!, Grizabella in Cats...Kerry Ellis is one hell of a leading lady! Her portrayal of Elphaba earned her numerous awards and nominations, including the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Takeover in a Role. She's had two top forty albums, including one with Brian May, and since her time in Wicked, has continued to have a successful career in both the theater and music industries. In 2021, she was selected to sing Defying Gravity' at the finale of Musicals: The Greatest Show, a socially distanced show with no audience at the London Palladium.

        5. Rachel Tucker

          Tucker was the second British actress to portray Elphaba on Broadway and the fourth actress to have played the role on Broadway and in the West End. Fans and critics alike adore her, especially because she adores Wicked and keeps the legacy alive and burning!

          She performed 'The Wizard and I' at West End Live 2010 and the Laurence Olivier Awards in 2012. 'Defying Gravity' was performed at Pride London 2010, West End Live 2011 and 2012. In 2011, she also performed the song as part of a theatre-themed episode of Dancing on Ice for ITV. In 2015, she took over the lead role of Elphaba from Caroline Bowman and concluded in 2017.

          Bonus Elphaba: Cynthia Erivo

          From the stage to the screen, the Tony Award-winning actress is best known for her outstanding portrayal of Celie Harris in The Color Purple on Broadway. Later this year, she will star alongside pop sensation Ariana Grande in Wicked the Movie - and if her resume is anything to go by, it could be one of the best portrayals yet! She even snagged a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album, which only makes us wonder - what awards are on the cards for this upcoming role?

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