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Sarah A Fernandez
Elphaba in Wicked
"WICKED is a difficult musical to sing. The two women playing the witches do most of the work, and one of them has to hit that high F in 'Defying Gravity.' The night I saw the show, that job fell to Sarah Anne Fernandez, who is the understudy for Elphaba. (Before you get nervous about that, remember that Sutton Foster was originally the understudy in Thoroughly Modern Millie, a show for which she went on to win a Tony). Fernandez is phenomenal - she can belt with the best of them, but also brings out the depth of Elphaba's character. It's this depth that made all of the difference for me this time around. Weaker singers have so much work to do simply hitting the notes that the character development takes a backseat. But Fernandez is very strong, able to skillfully bring out the characters' richness and complexity."
- Krista Garver, BroadwayWorld.com
"As someone who listened to the cast recording of 'Wicked' with the mega-talented Idina Menzel as Elphaba for 15 years, hearing someone else belt out 'Defying Gravity' may have been weird but I was lucky enough to see Sarah Anne Fernandez step into the role as an understudy. She was phenomenal."
- Chelsea Wicks, KOIN CBS
"Fernandez’s commanding presence during “Defying Gravity,” the jaw-dropping finale of the first act, was the show’s unmitigated highlight, especially when paired with special effects that really pulled off the, um, “defying gravity” feel of it all."
- Blair Stenvick, Portland Mercury
"Understudy Sarah Anne Fernandez's turn under the pointy black hat was a perfectly likeable, believable transformation from awkward outcast to self-determined sorceress. She rose – literally — into Elphaba's high-flying number, "Defying Gravity," which remains a thrilling first-act closer after all these years."
- Lee Williams, The Oregonian
"The original Broadway run of Wicked starred Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, arguably the two most household name-y Broadway stars of their generation. Their prissy-good-girl-versus-misfit dynamic is perfectly reproduced by Sarah Anne Fernandez and Erin Mackey."
- Blair Stenvick, Portland Mercury
"I could say something like 'Sarah Anne Fernandez defies gravity in Wicked' but I feel like it’s just too contrived and doesn’t quite capture the feeling Fernandez gave as Elphaba, aka The Wicked Witch of the West. In fact, I find it extremely difficult to put into words how exactly the performance felt. The only word I could think of? Magic. She killed it last night at the Keller Auditorium. At a mere 22 years old and fresh out of college, Sarah landed her dream role and put her all into it. You could feel the excitement radiate from her performance from beginning to end. She hit the notes, played Elphaba beautifully, and has an incredibly bright future ahead of her."
- Carol Jones, TheLifeSheHas.com
"The night that we attended, Elphaba was performed by the understudy (Sarah Anne Fernandez). She was SIMPLY amazing! She is an NYU Tisch 2018 grad and is thrilled to be joining her dream show here in Portland. During her performance, 'Defying Gravity,' I swear I had a million goose bumps that ran on me from head to toe!"
- Amber Brown, Dazzling Daily Media
"I received an email prior to the show that the understudy, Sarah Anne Fernandez, would be playing the role of Elphaba (who we know as “the Wicked Witch”). I can’t even imagine it being played better."
- Amy Conway, PDXParent.com
"The incomparable Erin Mackey as Glinda and the immensely talented Sarah Anne Fernandez (the understudy for Elphaba – who in my opinion could carry the role every night!), were electric on stage together. Delivering incredible musical performances and packing personality into every line, these two were a dynamic duo who breathed new life into the witches of Oz."
- Bekki Smith, ChasingSupermom.com
Emma Jung in Sabina
"Sarah Anne Fernandez is both a tender and determined Emma Jung, who displays a strong vocal presence, especially in her solo 'Stepping into the Light.'"
- Carla Maria Verdino-Sullwold, BroadwayWorld.com
"The melodies soared or sunk in combination with the emotions expressed in the lyrics. Their subtle placement within the well trained voices of professional performers, such as Sarah Anne Fernandez as the resilient Emma Jung, resulted in a succession of highlights. Fernandez shined in her solo spots while also contributing to well balanced duo and company numbers."
- Steve Feeney, Portland Press Herald
"Sarah Anne Fernandez has one outstanding solo. The long-suffering wife of a “wanderer” husband, the mother of Jung’s child, she has ambitions beyond being in the background. She sings, “I will not step back!” and we believe her."
- Patricia Reis, PortlandStage.com
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