When the National Tour of Wicked stops at The Segerstrom Center For The Arts, the four-week engagement will be a homecoming for several cast members, including KC Fredericks, who plays Chistery. KC somehow found time during his busy schedule to sit down for a StageSceneLA interview!


Hi KC. You grew up in Colorado, but moved to California during your high school years and later went to college in Costa Mesa, where you’re about to open in Wicked.  So when and where did you get your start in musical theater?

I first got started when I moved from Colorado to northern California my junior year in high school. 

And what inspired this interest in doing musicals?

It happened after a trip to NYC. I was there on a dance scholarship and saw two Broadway shows.  I was completely in awe and felt a special connection to those stages.  I saw myself on them and told myself that I had to have that someday. When I moved to my new high school, I auditioned for the school musical and landed the lead. 

That must have been quite a thrill for you!

It was pretty exciting for me because it was all so new. The choir director worked on the show and convinced me to change my class schedule and to join choir.  That was my first experience with vocal training. I ended up auditioning for a local theater company that ran during the summer.  I worked with the Youth Entertainment Stage Company for two summers before moving down to southern California. After two years of combining my dance training with musical theater, I knew I had sparked something within me that I wanted to chase. 
What would you say was your favorite role or production before joining the Wicked tour?

The summer before I booked Wicked, I worked at Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston.  I did their entire summer season of three shows, the last playing Nicki, a Cagelle in La Cage Aux Folles.  It was a really great and exciting experience for me because it pushed my boundaries of an actor further than any previous show I’d done, though I suppose touring with Cats holds a close second.  I had never performed in drag—or in heels for that matter—so it was learning experience on so many levels. My director, who’d been a Cagelle in the original Broadway cast of La Cage, and my cast made the experience a highlight of both my summer and my performance career. 
What’s the high spot of the tour so far?

Performing in Philadelphia has probably been my most favorite tour city thus far.  I’d never been there, and we spent a month in Philly.  Not only did I fall in love with “The City Of Brotherly Love,” but it’s closeness to New York City allowed friends of mine from the city the opportunity to visit and see me in the show. I also got to perform for my little brother and his wife, neither of whom had had the opportunity to see me perform in anything larger than a dance recital. 
You’ve got a particularly strong dance background. What kind of roles do you most enjoy playing?

I definitely started as a dancer and started performing in more dance-based shows such as Damn Yankees, West Side Story, and the National Tour of Cats.  I really enjoy performing in athletic roles because they connect me with my dance background.  However, in receiving more vocal training, I’m really hoping to also be seen as an actor/singer and not only a dancer who strictly belongs in the ensemble, though I do love being in the ensemble by the way.  

Any particular role you’d really love to sink your teeth into?

I’d love to step into a lead or supporting role in a show in the future. In dreaming big, I would love to play the role of Boq in Wicked.  
As Chistery, you do plenty of acrobatic moves and stay pretty much incognito.  Do you ever feel, “That’s a lot of hard work for not getting recognized at the stage door?” 

I will say that the role is highly physically demanding. I’d also venture to say that 90% of the audience doesn’t have a clue about how hard it is on the body.  It is sometimes laughable when people seem unimpressed when you tell them you played Chistery. However, Chistery is a lot of people’s favorite supporting role in the show and more often than not, audience members are excited to receive an autograph and/or a photograph.  

That’s great to hear, and let me say, having seen Wicked numerous times, I’m blown away by anyone with the athleticism necessary to play Chistery!  Back to Wicked, the show, why do you think it’s had such phenomenal success throughout the world?

In my opinion, Wicked is such a phenomenon because of the story it tells.  It’s a story of acceptance and has so many elements that everyone who sees the show can connect to in some way. We’ve done Q&A sessions with groups of inmates and they’ve expressed how touched they were with the show and the message it gave. On top of its beautiful story, Wicked is packed with humor, innuendo—and “outuendo,” and lots of connections to the original Wizard of Oz film. I think people enjoy making the connections between the two and sharing the show with friends and loved ones for the first, but most commonly for a duplicate time. 
What are your feelings about performing in a major National Tour so close to where you grew up?

Though Philly has been my favorite tour city thus far, I’m most excited to perform in Orange County.  It’s such a special treat for me to be so close to home, near so many friends and family. I’m ecstatic to be able to share this show with a mass amount of people that I personally know!  So many of them rarely leave California, so the opportunity for them to see me in a show is rare.  On top of being grateful to perform for them, having them see me in Wicked is more than a dream come true. It was my dream show years ago, since I first saw it in L.A. and on Broadway, and to be a part of it today … well I simply cannot express my gratitude.   

Thanks so much KC! Can’t wait to see the show on Opening Night and see you out of costume at the stage door!

KC’s Wicked bio: Equity debut!  Nat’l Tour: CATS. Regional: La Cage Aux Folles, West Side Story, Damn Yankees. Dance companies: RhetOracle Dance Company, Odyssey Dance Theatre. Film/TV: “The American Mall” (MTV), “Disney’s High School Musical 3.”  Love and thanks to God, family, and Telsey+Co.

Click here to order tickets to see Wicked at the Segerstrom Center For The Arts, March 9 through April 3.

Wicked photo by Joan Marcus.


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