West End Star Jennifer DiNoia on Her Worldwide Wicked Ride

January 18, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgJennifer DiNoia has traveled the world with Wicked, shifting between various American cities to perform the musical in Australia and South Korea and now in London, where she plays Elphaba at the Apollo Victoria through January 31. As she entered the final phase of her limited West End run, the delightful DeNoia chatted with Broadway.com about flying all over the world as the green-tinted witch.How amazing to have you in London as part of what seems to be your ongoing tour of the globe with Wicked.I know, right? It’s like I’m the international Elphaba, which is probably why they send me everywhere. I think [the producers] know I really enjoy it. My whole journey with this show has been so wonderful, and I couldn’t be happier about it.Where did your Wicked journey begin?I started as a dancer-swing in 2006 so I’ve been with the show on and off for almost nine years. In auditions, I had always gone in for the dance call, but then when I saw the show and heard the recording, I absolutely fell in love with it. After watching [performer] Kristy Cates I thought, “Oh my goodness, this show is insane and I want to play this role,” but it took a while for me to get to do it.Which you did eventually!Yes, I was a swing for a year and a half in the Chicago company and then I took on the understudy part and eventually moved into standby. I was fortunate enough to be a standby for quite some time during which I learned a lot of things from all the women I was standing by for while also building up my own stamina at the same time.When did you first go overseas with the show?The years all mush together, but I went out to Sydney [Australia] because somebody was injured. I found out on a Friday and left on a Monday—they had just opened in Sydney, so they needed someone who could jump on quick. Some while later, the Australian production went on their Asian tour so they needed a standby for that, which meant I got to go back and revisit all my friends.Have you always had the travel bug?Not at all. My family did a lot of camping when I was young but that was only in the U.S. My first time going abroad besides Canada was a trip to Italy for the first time in 2008 while I was still doing Wicked in Chicago. The London call kind of came out of the blue: I was in New York filling in on the Broadway company for a couple of weeks when it was mentioned that they needed somebody out here for a few months and everything fell into place.I hope you’re keeping a journal![Laughs.] I started keeping kind of one while I was in Korea but I really should write more stuff down. I have the memories in my head for sure.Does Wicked change depending on where in the world you are performing it?In Korea, they don’t have artichokes, so we changed that reference to broccoli. And where we talk in the U.S. version of the show of having “room assignments,” here in London we call them “room allocations.”Do you find that the material itself always works?This show seems to have no problem connecting anywhere. In Korea it was interesting because nobody there knows The Wizard of Oz. They never grew up with all that, so even though that part of the story is very clever and unique, it’s the relationship between the two women that makes people love [the musical] so much and keep coming back. At heart this is a really beautiful story of friendship, and presumably everyone can relate in some way to that experience.The original London Elphaba was Idina Menzel, and I think it works having that character speak with a different accent.It really does, and the Wizard here has an American accent, which kind of fits, as well. The thing about Elphaba is that she comes from a different world so it sort of makes sense that she’s not like everybody else. The truth is, once they hired me for London, the question of how I would sound never came up. I think they just assumed I would sound like myself.Do you find yourself changing intonation and inflection at all?Very much so. When I’m singing with Savannah Stevenson [who plays Glinda] or somebody else, I find that I am definitely over-pronouncing a lot of different words. It’s so strange: I got on stage for the first night and suddenly there I was singing “defying gra-vi-tee.” it was all very crisp! I’m going to try singing it like that if I ever do the show again in America if only because it keeps you from getting lazy.Is it hard leaving your husband [designer Rion Stassi] and your dog back in New York?It is hard being away and I really do look forward to working at home, but it’s also really exciting that my husband has come to see me in every city I’ve done the show. It’s been exciting showing him my version of London.What’s next in your Wicked future?This is the sixth company that I’ve been with and as I come to the end of this London run, I find myself thinking that I would love to do it again. I would love to play it at home but I’m up for traveling as well. I love the show so much that I don’t really mind where I play it! View Commentslast_img read more

Man Utd through as second after limp defeat to Valencia

January 6, 2020 0 Comments

first_img0Shares0000Phil Jones scored an embarassing own goal but Manchester United qualify for Champions League last 16 © AFP / JOSE JORDANVALENCIA, Spain, Dec 13 – Manchester United squandered the chance to win their Champions League group on Wednesday after a lacklustre display got what it deserved in a 2-1 defeat to Valencia.Already through to the last 16, Jose Mourinho made eight changes at the Mestalla, including a return for Paul Pogba, but United were largely outplayed by their Spanish opponents, who sit 15th in La Liga. After the game, Mourinho seemed to aim a dig at those players to have come in. “Nothing surprised me at all,” he said.Carlos Soler’s driven shot and a Phil Jones own-goal put Valencia two up early in the second half before United came alive in the final minutes after Marcus Rashford’s header gave them brief hope.Perhaps Mourinho and his players had assumed Juventus would win away at Young Boys but the Italians’ surprise 2-1 loss meant United had first place within their grasp.Instead, they go through as runners-up into Monday’s draw for the last 16, with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and Porto all potential opponents.As group winners, they would have had Atletico Madrid, Roma, Schalke, Ajax or Lyon.“Apart from a couple of clubs that are clearly much better than the others, I don’t think the draw will be significantly different,” Mourinho said.“There are teams that finish second that the ones that finish first will not be happy to play against.”Porto would probably be the favoured pick but on this evidence, they might feel the same about United. After all, Valencia also made changes, eight of them, with their fate resigned to dropping into the Europa League.Valencia had failed to score in six of their previous eight Champions League games while poor form in La Liga has their coach Marcelino fighting for his future.After drawing against Sevilla last weekend, their fans swung white handkerchiefs in the air to demonstrate their dissatisfaction.“We needed this winning feeling back in our game,” said Marcelino afterwards.Pogba, left out against Arsenal and Fulham, started here but contributed little, save for a glaring miss in the first half. Eric Bailly also came in but his partnership with Jones was rocky all night.United made Valencia look like world-beaters in the opening 45 minutes. They were slow in possession and just as sluggish out of it. Frustration bubbled and burst, as a handful of tackles flew in and missed.Valencia were excellent. Geoffrey Kondogbia and Dani Parejo both went close early on before another pinball session in the penalty area saw the ball land at the feet of Soler. He looked up, picked his spot and drove into the far corner.Michy Batshuayi should have made it two but headed over and Mouctar Diakhaby could have had a penalty when denied a simple finish by the clambering Marouane Fellaini.United had the occasional opening, the best of them falling to Pogba, who somehow stabbed wide after Fellaini’s header offered him a tap-in from two yards at the back post.Jones marched off at half-time shaking his head, having berated his midfield for failing to track back, but the interval brought no relief.Almost as soon as they restarted, Romelu Lukaku misread a Bailly pass. Just as others had before, Bailly threw his arms up in frustration.Soon after it was two, Soler’s pass landing between Sergio Romero and Jones, with Batshuayi on the chase. Jones panicked, met the ball on the slide, and pushed it past his approaching goalkeeper and into his own net.There were 43 minutes left but a United comeback never looked likely until Rashford, on as a substitute, headed home in the 87th minute. Jesse Lingard had done well to keep the ball alive before Ashley Young supplied the cross.Juan Mata could even have equalised. Pogba’s scooped ball over the top left him alone in front of goal but he missed the ball as he tried to volley on the turn. A point would have been more than United deserved.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more