Chafee Sailors give ‘Wicked’ tour for cast

CTT2 Steven Carlson and the “Wicked” cast and crew tour the bridge of the USS Chafee.

Story and photo by Brandon Bosworth

Staff Writer

Members of the cast and crew of the touring company for “Wicked” toured the USS Chafee on Nov. 30.

“Wicked” is a successful Broadway musical based on the novel “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” by Gregory Maguire.

The tour came about as a result of Lt. j.g. Jamie Talbott’s background in the theatrical community and her friendship with a member of the show’s crew.

“I am friends and a former colleague of J. Jason Daunter, the production stage manager,” she said. “He and I did “Cyrano de Bergerac” on Broadway in 2007 and “Up in the Air” at the Kennedy Center in 2008. I also know assistant stage manager Molly Braverman. I met her when she and Jason were doing the Broadway production of “Wicked.””

Cast and crew members of “Wicked” were intrigued by the idea of a former stage manager going into the Navy.

“I went to see the show, and Jason introduced me to some of the cast and crew,” said Talbott. “I told them what I did for a living. Jason asked me if it would be possible for some of them to come see the ship and the base, so I asked the XO [executive officer] and CO [commanding officer] and coordinated it through OPS [operations] (and DESRON 31 [Destroyer Squadron 31), and through the MIDPAC PAO [Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific Public Affairs office].”

“Interest kept getting generated as more of the cast and crew heard that a tour was being offered, hence the nearly 30 personnel we hosted last Friday,” Talbott said.

Throughout the tour of Chafee, the visitors from “Wicked” were curious and enthusiastic, asking questions ranging from the type of medical care available aboard the ship to emergency procedures to day-to-day life while at sea. Some of the questions had their origins in pop culture.

“A lot of what I’m asking comes from ‘Star Trek,'” said actress Renée Lawless-Orsini.

Talbott said she thought the tour went very well.

“The Sailors and artists, both professional experts, developed a deep respect and beginnings of friendships with each other,” she said.

“For Sailors, it is always beneficial and a source of professional pride to show our citizens what we do and display our excellence, to allow them to take pride in the tax dollars they spend, ensuring we can do our job in defending our nation and being the global force for good,” Talbott said.

The guests from “Wicked” were also happy with the experience.

“This was pretty incredible,” said company manager Steve Quinn. “It’s just amazing to see the dedication and commitment to our country.”

“Wicked” is being performed live at the concert hall at Neal S. Blaisdell Center through Jan. 12. For more information, visit ww.blaisdellcenter.com.

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Category: News