Backstage on Broadway: Witches of Oz give us ‘Wicked’ fun tour, share secrets

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“Now this is how you toss your hair, toss, toss,” Kara Lindsay showed me.

It’s the signature move of Glinda!

“This is the famous bubble dress,” she said. “It weighs approximately 40 pounds.”

The Good Witch of Oz is showing us her home away from home.

“This is my family,” Lindsay said as she showed us a photo frame. “That’s my mom, my grandma and my sister.”

Kara Lindsay stars as the popular enchantress in Wicked.

“We call it the untold story of the Witches of Oz,” she said. “It’s basically what happens before Dorothy drops in.”

The musical’s been on Broadway for more than a decade; history this actress cherishes.

“These are all the names of people who’ve been in the show,” she said as she showed us a wall full of name plaques. “We call it Shiz University alumni.”

The native New Yorker brought us backstage and spilled some secrets.

“These are our school books and they’re actually in German, so that we don’t get distracted on stage,” Lindsay laughed. “This is a rake stage, which means it goes up on a hill so it’s presented to the audience more and looks bigger.”

Now on stage, she showed up some things the audience can’t see.

“These are the tracks that set pieces come in and out on,” she said. “This [trap door] is what Elphaba comes up in and also right down in the center of the front of the stage is another trap.”

There was no yellow brick road, but we made it to the Great and Powerful Oz!

“May I have a huge new shoe collection, please OZ,” I asked. “Can I have a mansion in Hawaii?!” Lindsay added.

But there couldn’t be a story about Oz without the Wicked Witch of the West. So we dropped in to see what it’s like to become the green girl.

Carline Bowman transforms into Elphaba each show. The process takes about 45 minutes.

“Do you ever get it all off?” I asked. “I mean there’s always remnants of the green girl,” Bowman laughed. “But I have a lot of secrets, I have creams, face wash, [and] I take a shower every night.”

And it’s totally worth it! Getting this role was a dream come true.

“What’s really cool, when I was 16 years old for my sweet 16 birthday present, Wicked was my present,” she remembered. “I saw the show and was like I want to do that.”

She moved to New York in 2011 and immediately auditioned to be the understudy.

“I ended up booking it, it was pretty dreamy”

Bowman went on to star in Kinky Boots before coming back to Oz.

“I really wanted to finish out my Elphaba journey and play the role and dive into it,” she said.

The saying goes, there’s not place like home. And for these Witches of Oz, they’re already here.

You can see Kara Lindsay and Caroline Bowman in Wicked currently playing and the Gershwin Theatre.

Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi

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