After several years of being "green" as Elphaba in the Los Angeles, San Francisco and Broadway productions of the hit musical WICKED, singer/actress Teal Wicks can now be seen touring the country in the new Broadway-bound revival of JEKYLL & HYDE: THE MUSICAL, in which she co-stars with Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis and Grammy nominated pop star Deborah Cox.
Featuring book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and music by Frank Wildhorn, this newly-conceived production -- which began previews locally at the La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts last year -- will now be playing a limited 3-week engagement at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood starting February 12, before finally making its April bow at the Marquis Theatre in New York City.
Trading in her witch broom and pointy black hat, Wicks is now cinched into the 19-century corsets of Emma Carew, the uber-loyal fiancée of Dr. Henry Jekyll (played by Maroulis). While on the road, Ms. Wicks agreed to answer a few of our silly, rapid-fire questions... in which we learn her pre-show rituals, her past musical influences, and what she likes to belt out in the shower...
Subject: Teal Wicks
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Hi, Teal! So, you spent your college years here in Orange County, CA as a musical theater student at the University of California Irvine (UCI). Looking back at it now at 2013, what were some of the more significant things you learned about yourself that you first discovered during your time at that school?
Well, I discovered I could belt. I discovered Chekhov. I discovered that there is always more to learn and there is no such thing as a finished product when it comes to your art.
Many, of course, know you for playing Elphaba in WICKED in L.A., San Francisco and on Broadway. What was your favorite part of that experience?
It was a huge undertaking and I really discovered who I was as a performer through it all. I worked with so many amazing people and learned a lot from every one of them. I just grew a lot throughout my journey as Elphaba, and I am so grateful for it all... the good and bad, it has only made me stronger.
Would you ever go "Green" again?
My Broadway run was pretty much the pinnacle of my WICKED journey and I am happy discovering new roles, but [I might] with the right cast and maybe somewhere abroad like Australia.
You are currently playing Emma Carew in the Broadway-bound revival of JEKYLL & HYDE. What do you feel has been the most rewarding aspect of playing this role?
Tearing up the dance floor with Deborah Cox! Basically, this is quite a phenomenal cast and it is just a blast to play on stage with these folks every night.
Alright... time for the lightning round... Do you have any pre-show rituals that you do to prepare before a performance?
Vocal warm-ups and some stretching... coffee and some tunes to get in the zone.
Okay, imagine you've got an iPod and we stole it from you. What music will we find on it?
Music takes up about 75% of the storage on my phone, so I can't even begin to list individual artists! But mostly you'd find... classic rock, indie folk-rock, bluesy ladies, singer-songwriters from the 1960's and on, rough demos my boyfriend sends me of his original music, and my voice lessons.
In one sentence, describe what goes through your head right before you step out on stage:
Deep breath... And go.
What's your favorite musical cast album of all time?
Tough one! Too hard to pick one! RENT in high school; THE WILD PARTY (Andrew Lippa) and THE LAST FIVE YEARS in college; and now FLOYD COLLINS and ONCE.
Who were some of your icons and/or influences that have helped shape your journey as an actor?
In no particular order: Kate Winslet, Julie Andrews, Mary Louise Parker, Daniel Day Lewis, Gene Kelly, Sherie Renee Scott, Brian D'Arcy James, Audra McDonald, Sarah Vaughn, Janis Joplin, Patty Griffin, Bob Dylan... and my parents.
So what's the song that you like belting in the shower or when you're all alone in the car?