Today, Jessica Vosk will take her final bow as Elphaba in Broadway’s Wicked, ending one of the great runs this character has seen since its opening in 2003.
I’ve been fortunate to have seen eight different women playing this role but never have I seen it portrayed the way Ms. Vosk has. Far from a carbon-copy of what’s been done with the character before, she was able to bring out new dimensions to Elphaba that I hadn’t seen before. While many other actresses chose to hit specific notes with powerful belts, Ms. Vosk allowed the emotion of the moment to change the volume, which made some of these moments all the more poignant and genuine. It made the joys and pains that this character goes through, feel all the more palpable.
I’ve lobbied in the past that replacement actors and actors stepping into longtime roles should be eligible for their own Tony Award and her performance is a prime example why they should exist.
Wicked isn’t going to close anytime soon, and there will be a long line of actresses who will play this role in the future. But over the past year, Jessica Vosk was able to take this character down a new unique path which I hope others will follow.