Ok so this was coming eventually, right? Having seen the show 40+ times I’ve seen my fair share of green ladies! And just to be clear, I am only ranking the Elphaba’s I have seen, there are others I love, maybe even more so than who I’ve seen, but I guess I’ve got to be fair in this YouTube overloaded world!
5. Willemijn Verkaik
Lead (2013-2014; 2017)
So excited for her return later this month because this woman can do it all, let alone perform the show in three different languages, she kept on going when she was in the West End before in 2014 while having a back injury at the same time, I mean, I defy any footballer to try that one! Anyways, the first time I day-seated and saw the show from the front row was with this woman, to have that experience for the first time was perfect enough, let alone having the worldwide ‘Super Elphie’ belt in my face!
4. Rachel Tucker
Lead (2010-2012; 2016-2017)
When I met her I told her I loved her, because I’m perfectly sane and I meant it! Tucker is vocal goals. The fan favourite along with Kerry Ellis, Rachel is even better now post-Broadway. She’s back for a 10th Anniversary run and no one else could have done it better. Night after night the growls come out and I am always blown away. Cannot wait for her last performance this coming Saturday, the atmosphere will be electrical!
3. TIED – Louise Dearman
The only woman in the world who has played both Glinda and Elphaba, and rightfully so. This woman’s talent and soaring voice is perfection, I can’t quite explain the excitement I get whenever I see this woman in something; she’s just the best! The only time I saw her Elphaba was her last performance and she went full out and nailed it. Perfection.
3. TIED – Hayley Gallivan
Ok, maybe this is cheating a bit, but I honestly cannot chose between Louise and her incredible standby, Hayley Gallivan. When I opened the programme to see Hayley’s insert, going to be honest, my heart sank, I booked especially to see Louise as Elphaba! But I could not have been more wrong. Hayley’s Elphaba was everything. Flawless vocals. Incredible acting. The biggest surprise in terms of Elphaba performances for me. Mind blowing!
2. Alice Fearn
What can I say about this woman? Ever since I saw her as Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical I said ‘that’s an Elphaba right there’, so you could imagine my excitement when 5 years later she joined the show. And bloody hell, she did not disappoint, I had to stop myself from giving a standing ovation after The Wizard and I it was so bloody powerful! Very very tightly behind by Number 1 choice, if not, Alice would have made the top of the list. No words.
1. Jennifer DiNoia
I checked my phone one morning to see a casting announcement from Wicked and I think I stopped breathing for about two minutes. Thanks to YouTube, I had followed this woman’s career with Wicked since the beginning. She started in 2006 and as I write this, is finally the Broadway lead after 10 years with the show! Of course it was gutting that Nikki Davis-Jones couldn’t return and take over as planned, but I’m so glad we got Jenny, if only for 14 weeks! I was privileged to catch her 4 times, including her very last performance which remains one of the greatest Wicked performances to date. She encapsulates everything that makes the character special and that raspy, belting, riff-tastic voice, well…
To be honest I’ve loved every single Elphaba I’ve seen, they all bring something special to the role, so a shout out to the other incredible woman I’ve seen in the green over the past 9 years: Kerry Ellis, Alexia Khadime, Nikki Davis-Jones, Emma Hatton, Natalie Andreou, Natalie McQueen, Laura Emmitt, Caroline Bowman and Michelle Pentecost! You all continue to inspire!