PHOTO CALL: Jason Robert Brown, Scott Alan, Stephen Schwartz and Eden Espinosa Join Willemijn Verkaik at Birdland

News   PHOTO CALL: Jason Robert Brown, Scott Alan, Stephen Schwartz and Eden Espinosa Join Willemijn Verkaik at Birdland
 
Dutch theatre star Willemijn Verkaik, who originated the role of Elphaba in the German production of Wicked, made her American concert debut Aug. 22 at the famed jazz club Birdland.

Verkaik was joined by guest composers Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin), Jason Robert Brown (Parade, Last Five Years) and Scott Alan (Dreaming Wide Awake, Home), who accompanied the singer on work from their songbooks.

Here's a look at the concert:


Willemijn Verkaik was born in The Netherlands, and her professional singing career began as a lead vocalist for pop bands. After ten years on the road, she turned her attention to musical theatre and appeared in the ensemble of the Joop van de Ende-produced musical Elisabeth. She later understudied and played Queen Anna in the world premiere of the musical 3 Musketiers. Verkaik was also seen in the German productions of We Will Rock You and Aida; for her performance as Amneris in the latter, she received the Da Capo Award for Best Musical Performer. Verkaik was also a founding member of the New World Musical Ensemble, of which their inaugural production was Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World. Since November 2007, she has become best known to German audiences for her portrayal of the misunderstood witch Elphaba in the hit musical Wicked - die Hexen von Oz. Verkaik will open the Dutch production of Wicked in late 2011.

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