The WICKED Blog Begins

chris scalzo rehearsal room column 1
Chris Scalzo in the WICKED rehearsal room

So then. Here we are. You and me. Reader and writer. Our toes poised surreptitiously on the precipice of a veritable road of yellow-bricked opportunity and infinite adventure. Over the coming months, I’ll be popping up here on the site jotting some musings and meanderings on all things Oz. That’s not a typo – I did actually mean Oz – not Aus. Why? Because the Aus Oz , is soon to become the Asian Oz. If you are reading and have recently been living under a rock, then there’s a few vitals I should probably bring you up to date with:

I am of course writing of the worldwide phenomenon that is WICKED.

The first and hugely successful Australian Tour of WICKED concluded its 3 year run recently in Perth.

The first International Tour leg, starring the wonderful WICKED Australian Cast opens in (only) three weeks time.

The WICKED costumes are really (really) heavy.

The Emerald City is packing its top hats, bustles, stripy socks and pointy shoes and heading off to Asia to continue spreading the magnificent joy and wonder that only WICKED can bring. We are set to open with much fanfare at the incredible Grand Theatre in the even more incredible Marina Bay Sands complex, Singapore. Seriously, Google image search it. Yes, you should be jealous. And yes, you should come visit.

I have the complete pleasure of joining the Company on their international voyage and I write this inaugural column well in to my second week of rehearsals. Although my body is sore, my brain is churning and my voice has semi-permanently shut up shop, I and all the other fresh faces are still pretty much grinning like Cheshire cats. How can you not when your day at work involves conjuring a wondrous world of magic and getting to respond to notes like ‘Okay, let’s try that again guys. This actually needs to be so over the top that you feel almost stupid and completely ridiculous…only then will you be halfway to what we’re going for…’

This rehearsal process has been slightly unusual to the norm given that there are quite a number of new cast members joining the cast members who are continuing with the show. So we have been piecing things together in stages. The first few days were held in Sydney where only a handful of us (mostly the new principal covers) shook hands quickly and set about cramming as much of the first chunk of the script into our brains and bodies as we could. We then relocated to Melbourne, shook hands with a few more people and set out doing the same, but this time focusing on our ensemble tracks. Arriving in Melbourne has seen us having virtually taken over The Ministry of Dance with nearly every studio filled with someone or something WICKED related. One thing is for sure…this show is as big as it gets. Big on singing, big on dance, big on sets, big on costume and a big, compelling story to be told.

Plotting is like a complex and intricate jigsaw puzzle, with all blocking being almost completely individual; or at least executed with a very individual twist. So, later this week we are joined by the rest of the returning Company for a full run through and to piece everything together. I guess there’s no rest for the wicked. Wish us luck…I will keep you posted…!

Chris Scalzo

Chris is currently performing in the International Tour of Wicked (GFO/Universal).Other theatre credits include Doctor Zhivago, The Chaos Fairy, The Pirates of Penzance, Jekyll and Hyde, and Floyd Collins. A graduate of NIDA, Chris toured the USA with the Original Cast of Frank and Bryant’s The Silver Donkey (Echelon), including playing an Off-Broadway season with The York Theatre Company. He was a Grand Finalist in the 7th Annual Cabaret Showcase and also the 2nd Aussie Theatre Rising Star Award. He can soon be seen in Gavin Creel's music video debut entitled Make Some Noise, shot on location in NYC with all profits going to Broadway Impact. TV credits include: Neighbours, Blue Heelers, Wicked Science, Guinevere Jones, Thunderstone, Carols by Candlelight and Sunrise.

Chris Scalzo

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