PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — “Wicked,” one of the most popular Broadway shows in history, is playing in Pittsburgh for the third time.
It’s a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz” from the perspective of the witches.
We know her as the Wicked Witch of the West, but in the musical, Elphaba is just a school girl who happens to have green skin.
Actress Alison Luff, 25 and naturally beautiful, says she likes being green.
“I often feel more pretty green then I do not in my green makeup,” says Luff. “Because when you’re out of makeup, you still kind of have a green tint to you and you’re still a little bit green in your hairline, so you just look a little sick.”
Make-up artist Christina Tracy starts the greening process 45 minutes before show time. After doing this more than 1,000 times, she can greenify Elphaba in nine minutes in a pinch.
She says despite her coloring, Elphaba’s not supposed to be ugly.
“I see Elphaba as the most beautiful and most interesting person in Oz that everyone kind of wants to be, but is afraid to be,” says Tracy.
The green is professional foundation by MAC, applied with a special brush.
“I’m brushing it on with pocket brushes that the Japanese use as calligraphy brushes,” says Tracy. “It helps the speed of it and it also gives it a very air-brushed quality to it.”
The green goes on Luff’s ears, chest and hands.
Once the green foundation is on, powder prevents it from rubbing off – lots of puffs of powder.
But the transformation doesn’t end there. Regular make-up is last, only with purple blush and gunmetal lipstick.
After two microphones and a wig, Luff is ready for the stage – far from the wart-covered witch you might remember from the movie.
KDKA’s Kristine Sorensen: “So, did you grow up watching ‘The Wizard of Oz’ when you were a little girl?”
Luff: “Yeah, absolutely. Dorothy was the first professional role I ever played when I was 10-years-old.”
In “Wicked,” you learn what happens before Dorothy arrives in Oz, why the Wicked Witch is green and that she isn’t wicked after all; she’s just an outsider.
“I play her very real,” says Luff. “And everything that she goes through, every single person can relate to.”
“Wicked” runs through Sunday, Feb. 9. Tickets are still available.
By the way, Tracy calls Uniontown her second home, having spent summers there and her parents live there now.