Willemijn Verkaik Flies Into Broadway's Wicked Feb. 12
By Andrew Gans
Dutch actress Willemijn Verkaik, recently seen in the Dutch production of Wicked, makes her Broadway debut as Elphaba in that hit Stephen Schwartz-Winnie Holzman musical Feb. 12 at the Gershwin Theatre.
Verkaik is scheduled to play a 15-week Broadway engagement; she succeeds Jackie Burns, who played her final performance Feb. 10.
"Since opening in 2003, Wicked has truly become a global phenomenon and no one exemplifies the show’s international appeal more than Willemijn," said producer David Stone in a previous statement. "As soon as we saw Willemijn's astonishing debut as Elphaba in 2007, we knew we wanted to bring her to New York one day. Happily, that day has arrived. Her performance has thrilled audiences in two major international markets, and we cannot wait to introduce her to Broadway."
Verkaik joins a cast that includes Alli Mauzey as Glinda, Kyle Dean Massey as Fiyero, Randy Danson as Madame Morrible, Adam Grupper as The Wizard, Catherine Charlebois as Nessarose, Tom Flynn as Dr. Dillamond and F. Michael Haynie as Boq.
Verkaik has performed the role of Elphaba in Wicked for over 1,000 performances in both Germany (Stuttgart and Oberhausen) and Holland. She was awarded the Musicalworld Award for her performance in Wicked and also received the 2009 and 2010 Readers’ Choice Best Musical Actress Award from the German magazine Musical. Her other musical credits include Joop van de Ende’s production of the musical Elisabeth; the world premiere of the musical 3 Musketiers; the Dutch Army-Orchestra’s Eternity; Killer Queen in We Will Rock You in Cologne; and Amneris in Aida at the Open-Air Theater of Tecklenburg, for which she received the Da Capo Award for Best Musical Performer.
Adapted from the novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked delves into the back story of the iconic characters from Oz. The hit musical has a score by Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman, direction by Joe Mantello and musical staging by Wayne Cilento.
The production also features scenic design by Eugene Lee, costume design by Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Tony Meola, projections by Elaine J. McCarthy, wig and hair design by Tom Watson, music supervision and arrangements by Stephen Oremus, orchestrations by William David Brohn and dance arrangements by James Lynn Abbott.
Wicked won Tony Awards for Costume Design, Scenic Design and Best Actress in a Musical (Idina Menzel). It was nominated as Best Musical.
For tickets visit WickedtheMusical.
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