Thursday, February 7, 2013

Alice's Review: Unnaturally Green

Summary: In January of 2010, a wide-eyed English grad went from peddling software in NYC to understudying the lead role in Wicked the musical -- her first professional theater gig (ever). Unnaturally Green is the humorous account of the entire journey, from her pit-stain-filled audition to the bittersweet closing night.

Author Felicia Ricci wears her heart on her sleeve as she tackles the role of Elphaba, Wicked's green-skinned heroine. She leaps countless hurdles, both professional and personal: conquering the "Songs of Death," weathering a trans-continental "Week I Didn't Poop," enduring the artistic limbo of understudying, and -- worst of all! -- meeting the man of her dreams. And all the while learning, time and again, what it means to be "green."

Hop into the mind of an over-sharer as she discovers Broadway's Man Behind the Curtain -- and the thrill and terror of personal growth.

Review: I have looked forward to reading this book for almost two years. I have seen Wicked in New York City. I loved it instantly, as I’m sure nearly everyone else who has seen it does. How could I pass up an opportunity to read a memoir written by the San Francisco Company’s Elphaba standby?

She shared with us her entire Wicked experience, from the sweaty armpit stained nervous audition through her final show. The more I read Unnaturally Green, the more I loved it. Ms. Ricci does an outstanding job of giving her readers a real account of what a standby’s life is like. For her constant practicing, to being backstage waiting for something to (hopefully not) go wrong, to her nerves of actually having to perform. She chose her words thoughtfully and with honesty and humor. She describes her daily waiting game without making it sound mundane and boring. This memoir is well written. I laughed often and even cried. She’s quirky, fun and someone I wish I knew in real life. She wasn’t afraid to share one funny T.M.I. moment after another or her darkest secrets regarding being Elphalba and specifically her relationship with Rambo Marshall. (Marshall is her boyfriend who you will fall in love with.) She showed such vulnerability.

This memoir is fantastic in many ways and applies to many different readers: To the dreamer waiting for your greatest wish to come true. To the theater lover who wonders what happens before the show and back stage. To those who love the musical Wicked. To the ones who believe in following your heart and taking a chance on Love. To those of us who enjoy a wonderful love story.

Thank you, Felicia, for sending me Unnaturally Green. I loved it and I wish I could have seen you as Elphaba. Thank God for youtube!

Final Take: 4/5



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