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Defying Gravity in Austin with Celia Hottenstein of “Wicked”

We sat down with the actress currently touring as Glinda the Good Witch to chat about Wicked's stop in Austin this March

Celia Hottenstein as Glinda and Olivia Valli as Elphaba in the National Tour of WICKED, photo by Joan Marcus – 0162r
Celia Hottenstein as Glinda and Olivia Valli as Elphaba in Wicked (photo by Joan Marcus)

Wicked took to the stage for the first time in 2003 and since then has taken the world by storm, becoming a staple for musical fans and non-musical fans alike. The story is a spin-off of the classic Wizard of Oz, and follows the unlikely bond between Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West. We sat down with Celia Hottenstein who is currently touring as Glinda the Good Witch before Wicked comes to town this March 13 – 31.

How did you get involved in Wicked?

I started auditioning for Wicked about eleven years ago, auditioning five different times over a span of six years. In June 2019 I started rehearsals with the Broadway company of Wicked and made my debut in July 2019, singing in the ensemble and understudying as Glinda and Nessarose. I was with the Broadway company until April 2023, and that’s when I came on to tour to play Glinda full time! I’ve been here for about ten months now playing Glinda everyday. It’s been a lot of Wicked over the last half decade!

Celia Hottenstein as Glinda and Olivia Valli as Elphaba (photo by Joan Marcus)

It’s a huge responsibility, and there’s a lot that comes along with it. The witches carry the show, and it’s been really good for me to take on that responsibility. The show is so popular, so big, and so loved. I feel really lucky that I was given the trust to carry the show and play this role for a year.

Do you have a favorite part of the show?

My favorite scene to do is “Popular.” It’s pretty difficult to do. There’s a lot happening, it’s a fast song with physical harmony and movement in it, and it’s a big number. I’m always out of breath! It’s super fun to take on that comedy and work with Olivia Valli who plays Elphaba. I also love listening to Olivia sing “No Good Deed.”

Celia Hottenstein as Glinda (Photo by Joan Marcus)

What do you think it is that keeps fans coming back to see Wicked time and time again?

Everyone can relate to this show, both a child and a very old adult. It’s a story about friendship, love, being misunderstood, and questioning authority- all things that we go through in our lives everyday. The story follows a girl that is ostracized because of the color at her skin, and everybody at some point has felt ostracized. The show teaches us to be true to who we are, to be a good person, to understand people, and not judge on first impressions. The comedy is so well written, the music and special effects are spectacular, and I get to wear the best costumes in the industry. There’s so many aspects of the show that fans love.

Have you been to Austin before, and is there anything you’re excited to do while you’re in town?

I’ve only spent one day in Austin about eight or nine years ago while on tour with Phantom of the Opera. I’m so excited to spend three weeks here! I’ve never heard a bad thing about Austin. It’s one of the top cities I’ve wanted to visit for a long time now. I’m excited for restaurants, drinks, coffee shops, and all the outdoor things that I could potentially do there. I’ve heard nothing but incredible things.

Wicked will be showing at Brass Concert Hall from March 13 – 31. Tickets can be purchased here.