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Unnaturally Green: One Girl's Journey Along a Yellow Brick Road Less Traveled

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  326 ratings  ·  48 reviews
In January of 2010, a wide-eyed English grad went from peddling software in NYC to understudying the lead role in WICKED the musical -- her first professional theater gig (ever). UNNATURALLY GREEN is the humorous account of the entire journey, from her pit-stain-filled audition to the bittersweet closing night. Author Felicia Ricci wears her heart on her sleeve as she tack ...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Felicia\Ricci
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Unnaturally Green by Felicia Ricci is a memoir about a girl who understudied for Elphaba, one of two main witches in the musical Wicked, in San Franciso's company. Felicia's memoir captures her experiences with Wicked from her very first time seeing it on Broadway as a teenager to her audition to her experience performing four shows in one weekend for huge audiences.

This book was well written, easy to read, insightful, and hilarious. Felicia writes her memoir like she writes on her blog - like s

I hate reviewing books that I only have lukewarm feelings for; I especially hate when those books are memoirs. I mean here is this person who has obviously done something more than I've ever done and, yet, I can't bring myself to anything more than 'like' for their book.

The reasons for the disconnect are myriad, but usually fall under the umbrella of I couldn't relate to the author as a person (and, one must for a memoir to work at it most basic level), or the writing needed a little more polis
If you know me in the real world, it should not surprise you that I was dying to read this book. I am just a little bit obsessed with Wicked. I’m pretty sure my sister sometimes wishes that my copy of the soundtrack would disappear, but, back on track, I was determined to read this. Unsurprisingly then, I was super excited when my parents gave me this for Christmas (they know me too well)!

The first thing you need to know about this book is that Felicia’s writing is hilarious! She describes her j
ETA 12/10/12: Received all the shinies (ie. this) in the post today! Because like eleven minutes after I finished reading it on my Kindle, I went and bought a paperback copy because I NEED IT ON MY SHELF FOR REAL. AND NOW I HAVE IT. YESSSSSSS. And even better? I used my first payslip from my new job to pay for it! :D (NB. I was paid more than the $13.88 the book cost, don't worry.)

Oh my god you guys, ALL THE STARS EVER!!! I loved this book so much. I loved it to so many itty bitty little bits an
First off, may I say how amazingly wonderful Felicia Ricci is as an actress, singer, and writer! She responds promptly to fan questions and messages through her twitter @FeliciaRicci. Yes i'm going to plug for her because she deserves it :) And she was so kind enough to send me an autographed copy of her book! xo

Alright, on with the review.

This is a memoir about Felicia Ricci's experience of playing and becoming our favourite green witch Elphaba in the Broadway Musical Wicked, San Francisco Pro
I have to applaud Felicia. She is a hard worker. She practiced like crazy and is dedicated to her craft. Thus, it showed as Felicia was very good as Elphaba. I saw a video clip of Felicia performing. I wished I could have seen her live. I liked the behind the scenes detail of a musical. Felicia gave very good details. She did not leave much behind. Which in turn you may find some TMI (too much information) moments. Hey, this is Felicia’s memoir and she can say what she wants and she does.


As a musical theater lover and former obsessed fan (okay, maybe not SO former), I devoured this book in only a few sittings. Because I had never heard of Felicia Ricci before this book, I had set low expectations. I was actually almost AFRAID to read it and to ruin the Wicked memory I hold very close to my heart. The Yale English major turned Elphaba standby did NOT disappoint.

Her story begins with the unexpected mid show illness of the star of the show, Eden Espinosa. As a standby, these situa
Makayla Osipenko
This book was absolutely hilarious. Being a huge fan of Wicked (and theatre in general) I had the best time reading this book. I was barely able to put it down. Felicia has an amazing way of getting through to any age group, and I think this book is good for anyone who wants their day brightened.
This, by far, is the best autobiography I've ever read. It's gripping, hilarious, and easy to read and connect with. You laugh, cry, and groan with Felicia as she reveals everything. (Literally ;) )
Amy Dixon
This book for me was everything I wanted it to be. Since learning all about the auditioning process and life on stage, Ricci brought her story to life in a way that was thoroughly entertaining. Knowing and loving Wicked for a long time now it was awesome to have a backstage insight into how you spend your time in rehearsals and being a Standby.

My favourite part of the book was when she wrote the thought process between the left and right side of the brain. I thought it was so clever and you coul
I read this book while doing research about understudies and I actually learned a lot: how auditions work, the difference between a standby and an understudy, what the life of a standby is like, etc. I enjoyed the book - the author has a lot of personality. She's young and perhaps a bit naive, but that's ok. The writing could use a bit more polish - I feel like a really good editor could have done wonders for the book. But overall, I admire what the author has accomplished at her tender age, inc ...more
Unnaturally Green is the memoir of Felicia Ricci, an understudy for the role of Elphaba in the San Francisco-based production of Wicked. Detailing her audition for the role, her experiences on the stage, and the mixed emotions she felt at the conclusion of the show’s San Francisco run, the book offers a unique look at life Over the Rainbow in San Francisco.

As a big Broadway fan, I was expecting to LOVE this book. While I appreciated all the Wicked trivia (which, okay, to be honest, there wasn’t
I'm a huge huge fan of the musical Wicked (in fact I've seen it a total of 14 times in the last 2 years). Felicia was our Elphaba standby in San Francisco when they were here from 2009 - 2010 and although I never had the pleasure of seeing Felicia on stage as Elphaba, I was a huge fan of the blog she kept up while she was here. As a fan of a production and cast, you're always curious to know if they're normal people like us (okay, tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this!) and what is it tha ...more
Alice Bola
I have looked forward to reading this book for almost two years. I have seen Wicked on New York City. I loved it instantly, as I’m sure nearly everyone else who has seen it does. How could I pass up an opportunity to read a memoir written by the San Francisco Company’s Elphaba standby?

She shared with us her entire Wicked experience, from the sweaty armpit stained nervous audition through her final show. The more I read Unnaturally Green, the more I loved it. Ms. Ricci does an outstanding job of
I enjoyed this book as it's in my favorite genre, biography/memoir. Ricci is funny, easy to read, and makes you feel like you're getting a glimpse behind the curtain of a major Broadway production. I'm sure loving Wicked the way I do, helped me read this as well. If a reader has no schema for the show and especially the character Elphaba, then it would be hard to follow. Still, Ricci, is a fun writer! I was only saddened by the ending as it didn't really tie up some of the loose ends that I beli ...more
This book is about Felicia ricci's journey from the audition for wicked to closing night. She tells you about her daily life in showbizz and what to eat before the show in her case a banana! This book is really great if you are into biography/autobiography's or if you are a theatre lover ! That's why I give it 5 *****
Jennifer Donovan
I LOVED this book! Felicia Ricci is a go-getter, a Yale grad who was an English major and did some theater, who decides to try out for Wicked and ends up cast as the understudy for Elphaba in the San Francisco cast.

Her tone was just right in this memoir -- not too much information, not too little -- and she's funny!

I certainly recommend it for fans of musical theater, but I think that it has general appeal as well to those who can relate to starting off after college, trying to figure out who yo
Ok so this book was fab! For anyone who is a theatre-lover, a Wicked enthusiast, or someone looking for a good laugh- myself being all three- READ IT. The story of Felicia's (notice I use her first name because I feel like we're friends after reading this) transition from English major to Wicked's Elphaba to life decisions beyond was enjoyable and informative. Besides learning cool facts about backstage life, I related to so many of her questions about her own future in my search to figure out m ...more
Amazing and absolutely phenomenal! Felicia is so easy to connect to. She is honest and funny and you really get a good idea of what its like to do professional theater. Her story is amazing! For anyone with an interest in theater this is the perfect read!
Jeff J.
A memoir from an actress about her time as an Elphaba understudy in the San Frrancisco production of Wicked. Lots of great backstage stories.
Felicia's book gives her readers a taste of what it's like playing the understudy of the lead in the musical Wicked. It's witty, clever, and incredibly real. I enjoyed the various anecdotes and stories, as well as hearing about the challenges and struggles Felicia went through. One of my favorite parts was when she shared every detail of what she was thinking during her first solo of the show; she shared not only the technical steps that were running through her brain, but also the random, funny ...more
I loved it! Witty and well written this books gives us a glimpse of what it's like to be an actor.
Bianca Smith
Felicia Ricci moved to San Francisco about three weeks before I did and were probably in the theater watching the show at the same time.

I love Felicia's story of taking on one of the most immense roles in theater, trying to make it her own and discovering how the franchise works to maintain its success. It's a realistic telling of life as a performer, working your butt off and the uncertainty that comes with it. Along with the marvelous friends gained and experiences encountered.

And yes, Felici
Patricia Pierry
I read this a little while back, and only remembered it now, but I really enjoyed it. Good story with interesting behind-the-scenes information about the insane complexities of a musical.
I thoroughly enjoyed Felicia Ricci's book! The backstage glimpses into her time with "Wicked" were really fun to read, made all the more amusing by her good sense of humor. However, the most meaningful part of the book for me was Felicia's honesty about her self-doubt and struggles that all 20-somethings face. When I finished, I was not only impressed by her obvious talent for performing but also by her candid and humorous writing. Definitely one of the most entertaining and insightful books I'v ...more
Very good. I enjoyed the behind the scenes account of Wicked.. Humorously written, enjoyable..
Unnaturally Green tells the story of a young, theater-obsessed girl's professional acting debut in Wicked. It's cute, witty charm makes this book a fun, easy read. However, I probably wouldn't recommend this book to any non-theater geeks. You definitely need a little background information (best bet: go see the show) on Wicked before you read this book. Seeing this show before you read the book will greatly increase your overall enjoyment of this fantastic book!
Unnaturally Green is an awesome read. I couldn't put the book down! It was very interesting in a way that it pulled you in, you couldn't help but wonder what was going to happen next. Even though the main character is very different from myself I could still feel myself relating to her and I felt as if I was a part of her. I'm very glad I won this book for free through a goodreads giveaway, I would definitely recommend it!
I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I'm a huge fan of Wicked, and of funny memoirs, so this was perfect for me. I could've done with less talk of "number two", as she calls it, and with fewer uses of the expression "as time told", but other than that, I thought this book was fantastic.
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FELICIA RICCI is an author-performer-vlogger from Providence, Rhode Island who, until the age of seven, had an imaginary friend named Chum loosely based on Alfred from "Batman." Felicia received her B.A. in English from Yale University and won the J. Edward Meeker award for nonfiction and the prestigious Louis Sudler Prize for the arts, whose prize money she promptly squandered.

Soon thereafter, sh
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