Last week, I asked you, my fabulous readers, "who is the most wicked awesome female character in a musical?" I have to admit, I was fishing for Elphaba in Wicked. But reader Angela came up with someone even better!
Meet Evillene the Wicked Witch of the West, originally played by Mabel King in the 1975 Broadway production of The Wiz. Evillene runs a sweatshop in the underground sewers of Oz. Vengeful for Dorothy having killed her sister, she dismembers the Scarecrow, flattens the Tin Man, and tortures the Lion in hopes of making Dorothy give her the silver shoes. When she threatens to throw Toto into a fiery cauldron, Dorothy nearly gives in.
Not only did I choose her for her absolute wickedness on stage and screen, but it gives me the opportunity to introduce you all to a former high school classmate of mine, Marcus Paul James, who performed in NBC's "The Wiz Live" back in December with Queen Latifah and David Alan Grier! So proud of my fellow Spartan and his successful career on Broadway.
Also, Marcus and I performed selections from The Wiz in high school together for a musical review. So, "don't nobody bring me no bad news!"
Thank you to everyone who nominated a character last week! I love going through all of your suggestions. Sometimes you all make it really hard to choose.
Next week for Wicked Women Wednesday: I'm looking to celebrate a wicked awesome female cartoon character. Whether she's from a movie or a TV show, who's wickedest woman in animation? You can nominate via email, Facebook or Twitter.
Rachel Mannino is a passionate writer who creates characters and settings that allow readers to explore power dynamics in relationships, the empowerment of women, and the ethical and moral dilemmas love can create in our lives.
Rachel also uses her writing skills to raise thousands of dollars for entities that enrich our lives and create community change around the world. She has worked for the Peace Corps; the Humanities Council of Washington, DC; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; and the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events in Boston, MA.
Her first novel, Love or Justice, was published by Limitless Press in November, 2015. Her second novel, Fractal, will be published by eTreasures in the fall of 2016. Rachel has a BA in theatre studies and writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College, and she has used it every day since graduation. She lives with her husband, author Christopher Mannino (www.christophermannino.com), and their adorable dog and cat in College Park, Maryland.
Soon, very soon (around July 5th!), they will add a son to their family! So don't be surprised if she disappears for early July!
And Rachel's newest, polished manuscript for #PitchWars will be TIME'S FIREBIRD.
Here's the scoop: Time-traveling anthropologist Fiona Dale is studying a seventh century Pict village when the Vikings show-up a full century early. This was not how her doctoral research was supposed to go. Fiona is taken captive by the handsome and powerful Jarl Vakr. Vakr is a man who knows what he wants, and from the moment he laid eyes on the exotic red-haired beauty, Vakr decided that he would marry her. The only thing that stands in his way is the mysterious woman herself. TIME’S FIREBIRD is a 60,000 word time-traveling historical romance, the first in a series of time-traveling romance novels.
If you like Doctor Who
And a hot Viking romance...
TIME'S FIREBIRD is the project for you!
UPDATE: A NEW MEMBER OF THE FAMILY
On July 3rd, after 22 hours of hard labor, Gavin Henry Mannino was born! Thank you all for your warm wishes and felicitations. Obligatory adorable photos below. Enjoy!
She has more titles than you can count, three bad ass dragons, and a mission to free everyone from slavery. Yes, this week's Wicked Woman of Fiction is Daenerys Targaryen. Why? Let's add Wicked Awesome Ruler to her list of titles and leave it at that! Today, I give her a photo montage as tribute.
Ginger Rogers (born Virginia Katherine McMath) was an American actress, dancer, and singer. She was known for dance films in which she was partnered with Fred Astaire and she appeared in films and on stage, as well as on radio and television throughout much of the 20th century.
After winning a dance contest that launched a successful vaudeville career, she gained recognition as a Broadway actress for her debut stage role in Girl Crazy. This success led to a contract with Paramount Pictures, which ended after five films. Rogers's first successful film role was a supporting role in 42nd Street (1933). Throughout the 1930s, Rogers made ten films with Fred Astaire, among which were some of her biggest successes, such as Swing Time (1936) and Top Hat (1935). After two commercial failures with Astaire, Rogers began to branch out into dramatic films and comedies. Her acting was well received by critics and audiences, and she became one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1940s. Her performance in Kitty Foyle (1940) won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Though she remained successful throughout the 1940s and at one point was Hollywood's highest paid actress, by the end of the decade her popularity had peaked. She reunited with Astaire in 1949 in the commercially successful The Barkleys of Broadway. After an unsuccessful period through the 1950s, Rogers made a successful return to Broadway in 1965, playing the lead role in Hello, Dolly! More lead roles on Broadway followed, along with her stage directorial debut in 1985 on an off-Broadway production of Babes in Arms. In 1992, Rogers was recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors.
Rogers is associated with the phrase "backwards and in high heels", the title of her memoir, attributed to Bob Thaves' Frank and Ernest cartoon with the caption "Sure he [Astaire] was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did... backwards and in high heels".
During her long career, Rogers made 73 films, and her musical films with Fred Astaire are credited with revolutionizing their genre. Rogers was successful during the Golden Age of Hollywood, and is often considered an American icon. She ranks #14 on the AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars list of female stars of classic American cinema.
I write about power dynamics in relationships, the empowerment of women, and the ethical and moral dilemmas love can create in our lives. This is a space where I meditate on those themes and share them with the word. Who knows, my next novel may start right here...