By Jeffrey Epstein
We always knew Ana Gasteyer was hilarious. After all, she spent six seasons on Saturday Night Live making us laugh with her impersonations of Celine Dion and Martha Stewart (to name just a couple). But it wasn't until 2005's tele-musical Reefer Madness that we learned she could sing. And not just sing'blow the roof off the place. After a little Madness, it was time to get downright Wicked, and Gasteyer donned gobs of green paint to transform herself into Elphaba'the much-misunderstood girl who would grow up to be known as the Wicked Witch of the West'for the Chicago production of the award-winning musical. Manhattan soon beckoned. Gasteyer, who lives in New York City with her husband and 4-year-old daughter, was one of the standouts in the 2006 revival of Threepenny Opera, and she recently took over the role of Elphaba in Wicked's Broadway company (through January 7). While her daughter flitted excitedly between their three Christmas trees, Gasteyer took a few minutes to chat with us.
Are people surprised that you have such a kick-ass voice?
They continue to be. I'd been fighting a long time to get onto the Broadway scene. People have had a hard time historically with brand changes. But I think it definitely is slowly changing. I reached a career high recently. Randy Jackson was at the show a few days ago. I was like, Oh my God, I've arrived!
You bring out a lot of humor that's in the role, which I think is critical for the audience to fall in love with Elphaba.
It's just in the script. It wasn't a concerted choice on my part. Otherwise she's just angry. Comedians are a lot like the Elphabas of the world. They tend to be outsiders who see things from a different perspective. That usually means they're funny.