I didn’t want a heart, a brain, courage or a trip back to Kansas. I did ask for an interview, and the Wizard obliged! Stuart Zagnit gave a fabulous portrayal of the lovable yet conceited Wizard, another character who dances on the line between good and evil. Aside from Wicked, you may recognize Stuart from various TV series including The Good Wife, Elementary, Blue Bloods, 30 Rock, Law & Order and more.
Also, this blog features a guest interviewer, my wonderful brother and right-hand-man, Andrew Sinclair! He surprised me by jumping in the interview with his own questions, which I’ve indicated with “AS.” So thanks, Andrew! Now I’m off to sing more show tunes… enjoy!
The Wizard of Oz [Stuart Zagnit]
RS: What is your favorite moment of the show?
SZ: For me, I love my doing my number [“Wonderful”]. It’s my own number that I don’t have to share with anybody, and he kind of tells his story at the same time.
RS: What is your favorite part about your character?
SZ: What makes him interesting is that he didn’t set out to be an evil character. He was well-intentioned. But he fell into something that kind of corrupted him without realizing it… the fact that there was this little bit of innocence behind him that grew into something larger. I like exploring where that takes him. Also, I like the way he draws people to him. I like to explore the charm that gets him the things that he needs.
RS: I would be curious about this for any cast member: Do you basically know all of the lines in the entire play?
SZ: Absolutely not. I think by osmosis, when you hear the show when you’re not on [stage], I probably know a lot more lines than I think I do. But if you asked me to step into another role, I don’t think I’d do very well.
RS: Do you have any plans for the Fourth of July?
SZ: Well, we’re flying to Houston, and hopefully we’ll find a nice place to have a view of fireworks. We travel tomorrow, but the evening will be free.
AS: How long did it take you to learn your lines?
SZ: [Madam] Morrible, Fiyero and I all joined at the same time, and we had about three weeks of rehearsal before our first show. Right before I did Wicked, I did The Producers. I played Max Bialystok, and I was on all night long. He has songs, book scenes… and it’s relentless. I learned it in about 12 days. You have to do it. It’s amazing what you’re able to do.