While this is the fifth company of “Wicked” DiNoia has been a part of, the current production marks Podschun's debut as Galinda. After seeing the original Broadway production of the musical a decade ago, she was determined to play the role.
“I auditioned for Galinda over a course of six years,” Podschun said. “That's a long time, but I was never discouraged. I had the drive to do it so badly, and now is the perfect time for me to be doing it. I feel like I've matured and learned a lot since my first audition.”
The relationship that develops between Elphaba and Galinda provides much of the show's emotional resonance. It's a delicate balancing act that can't be forced, no matter how talented the female leads are.
“People who knew Jennifer told me we'd get along, and they were right,” Podschun said. “We bonded really quickly, and we get along so well. People tell us after the show that our friendship really shows in this production. That's really special to me.”
DiNoia recalled a similar encounter with a fan in Houston who approached her at the stage door. As DiNoia was signing autographs, a teenage girl tapped her on the shoulder and handed her something.
“When I got in the car, I opened it up and saw that she had ripped off a piece of a brown paper bag and wrote the words ‘You inspire me' on it. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever, and I've since framed it and take it with me to every city we visit. That's what makes this job so rewarding.”
It's not difficult to understand why audiences clamor to see “Wicked.” Schwartz's marvelous score, Holzman's clever book and Maguire's oddly appealing characters all combine to create a truly rewarding theatrical experience.
“Every part of this musical is really well done,” DiNoia said. “We're lucky to step into a show that is so familiar to people. They walk into the theater knowing the characters, but the show changes their minds about the story and the characters they thought they knew so well.”