Shoba Narayan Reveals Why Filling The Role Of Nessarose In Broadway’s ‘Wicked’ In ‘Incredibly Meaningful’

As 'Wicked' continues its reign on Broadway, actress Shoba Narayan has become the first South-Asian American to play the role of Nessrose. She spoke to HL about her new gig!

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Wicked will celebrate its 17th year on Broadway this year, and Shoba Narayan is now going to be a part of the moving show’s beautiful legacy. The actress, fresh off the Hamilton tour, joined the cast of Wicked as Nessarose, making her debut on December 16th in the role. Speaking to the day after her first performance in an EXCLUSIVE interview, Shoba revealed the first thing she thought when she woke up was, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I was just in Wicked on Broadway!” “It was amazing. It was an absolute dream come true,” she gushed over her opening night. Filling the role of Elphaba’s wheelchair bound sister, Shoba is the first South-Asian American to play the part, and admitted it was a role that had “always been on my mind.”

“I got an audition for it in my email and I remember my heart just started racing because one I love Wicked so much and two, I felt like this role was going to be a really great fit and that I really connected with this character,” she explained to HL. “I was just completely elated when I heard that news.” Nessa begins the show as a sweet, excited young woman ready to start anew and attend college at Shiz University, but begins to harden after the death of her father and neglect by Elphaba, as the harsh governor of Munchkinland. “She kind of makes this 180 turn to this darker, kind of crazy girl. I knew that I had that in me and, not that I’m a crazy person, but I  have that kind of depth in my acting and am really excited to show that,” Shoba added.

She also doesn’t take lightly the fact that she is representing a disabled person the stage. “It’s similar to Elphaba, she just wants to be accepted and seen as a normal person,” Shoba said. “It’s very meaningful to me to be able to be able to be the girl who gets to go into the role and tell that kind of story every night.”

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