Glinda floats in her bubble down toward the stage. The bubble is comprised of little steel circles. She is wearing a blue, frilly ballgown.

Meet the Wicked Witches

Glinda and Elphaba stand together, hands clasped. Glinda is holding an old tome.

Austen Danielle Bohmer as Glinda and Lauren Samuels as Elphaba in the National Tour of WICKED. Photo by Joan Marcus 2024

The witches of Oz are coming to Denver this summer; Wicked is flying into the Buell Theatre on July 24. In the interview below, Glinda and Elphaba, portrayed by Austen Danielle Bohmer and Lauren Samuels, talk about their roles, the impact of Wicked, and what they’re looking forward to during their stay in Denver.

DCPA: Now, Elphaba is such a great role to dive into. Elphaba may be considered the “wicked” of the two witches, but what can you tell us about her journey from being an outcast to becoming a powerful character in this storyline?

Lauren Samuels: Playing Elphaba is a whirlwind. She has such an interesting arc. Diving into the character, there was so much I didn’t know, she’s very complex. I think the main thing that stands out is just how loyal she is to her own beliefs. She never wavers. Even if that means she’ll end up ostracized and alone, she stands strong.

DCPA: We all know Glinda as the “good witch,” but she is also perceived initially as superficial. She evolves through the musical. What do you find challenging about portraying Glinda and her personality?

Austen Danielle Bohmer: I love this question. You know, I actually don’t think Glinda is superficial at her core. I think, as a young woman, she’s obsessed with being perceived as good. It’s important to her that she always be held in high esteem, that folks think of her in a positive light. Glinda’s friendship with Elphaba coaxes her to slowly recalibrate her understanding of morality. What is truly good might involve dissent, might involve moving against the grain, might require personal sacrifice. The most challenging part of playing Glinda, and what I love about her, is that this recalibration of her moral compass, an internal wrestling, must be alive from start to finish. And all underneath Glinda’s signature poise, humor, and effervescence. It’s an exhilarating kind of juggling.

DCPA: Glinda also has a lot of comedic elements, so how do you balance that with the more serious aspects of your character?

Bohmer: Glinda is remarkably confident. She was raised as the center of attention, so she doesn’t have any reason to question her own instincts! If she has a thought, even if it’s barely fleshed out, she will share it with gusto! It’s a lot of fun to embody someone so unfamiliar with self-consciousness and then to track her journey as she becomes more aware of her impact on people – how she causes harm, how she makes people feel seen. 

DCPA: What’s your favorite song or scene to perform and why? 

Samuels: I think my favorite has become “No Good Deed.” I love how passionate and driven Elphaba is during this song, and how many emotions she battles through. The song is such a journey and I feel so powerful singing it.

Bohmer: I really treasure the scenes I share with my incredible Elphie, Lauren Samuels. We have real love and respect for each other, and it makes the show all the more fun.

DCPA: What are you most looking forward to during your stay in Denver?

Samuels: I’ve never visited Denver and am most excited!  I have heard the nature is very beautiful, and I am most looking forward to venturing on some hikes and strolling around the city spotting murals and street art.

Bohmer: I have some family and friends in Denver, so I’m stoked to spend time with them. Otherwise, I love to rock climb, hike, and spend time in nature. It seems like Denver could be my new favorite city!


Before attending Wicked, take the quiz below and see if you’re a Glinda or Elphaba!