Willemijn Verkaik

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Willemijn Verkaik
Willemijn Verkaik.png
Background information
Born (1975-06-16) June 16, 1975 (age 39)
Son en Breugel, Netherlands
Genres Broadway, vocal
Occupation(s) Singer, actress
Years active 2000–present
Website willemijnverkaik.nl

Willemijn Verkaik (born 16 June 1975), is a Dutch singer and actress. She is best known for her stage roles in Wicked and Elisabeth, and she can be heard on the German cast recording of Wicked.

Early life[edit]

Verkaik was born in Son en Breugel, Netherlands, but grew up in Nuenen near Eindhoven. She graduated from the Rotterdam Conservatory.[1][2] She also studied briefly at the Guildford School of Acting.[citation needed] She is a certified vocal teacher.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Before her acting career began, Verkaik sang in various pop bands for over ten years.[1] Her first professional theatre role was that of an ensemble member in the Dutch production of Elisabeth.[3]

In 2004, Verkaik played the singing voice of Erica in the Dutch version of the animated movie Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper. In 2008, she recorded the Dutch voice of Lydia in Barbie & the Diamond Castle.

Since then, her various musical theatre credits have included Elisabeth (in Holland and Thun, Switzerland),[4] The Three Musketeers, We Will Rock You[1][2] and most notably Wicked, in which she was chosen as the "Wicked Personality of the Year", among all the actresses who played the role in November 2010, in an online poll with over 16,000 voters.[5] She is the only actress to have played the role in more than one language: as of December 2013, Verkaik has appeared in the Dutch, German, Broadway and London West End productions.

Verkaik originated the role of Elphaba in the original German-language production of Wicked, which began performances in Stuttgart on November 1, 2007, prior to a November 15 opening night. Sabrina Weckerlin was her original alternate, appearing in the two shows a week which Verkaik was not contracted to perform.[6][7][8] She can be heard on the original German cast album.

She played her final performance on January 6, 2010, three weeks before the production closed, in order to prepare for the Best of Musical 2010 Gala tour, which played venues across Germany in early 2010. Wicked later transferred to Oberhausen with previews from March 5, 2010. Verkaik joined the production from opening night, which took place March 9. She took a 9-week break from Wicked beginning in September 2010, subsequently departing the Oberhausen production permanently on February 27, 2011, after being billed as lead for over three years across the two productions.[citation needed]

Verkaik soon repeated her performance in the original Dutch-language production, which premiered in Scheveningen on November 6, 2011, after previews from October 26. This required her to learn the role in her native language. The run ended on January 11, 2013, and Verkaik transferred to North America, to make her Broadway debut in the English-speaking New York company of Wicked, marking her third language production. Verkaik played a limited 15-week engagement at the Gershwin Theatre from February 12, 2013 to May 26, 2013.[citation needed]

Verkaik played the role of Donna in the Stuttgart production of Mamma Mia! for a limited run starting 26 July 2013,[9] before playing the role of Elphaba again. Beginning on 18 November 2013, she made her West End debut in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, London. Due to health reasons, Verkaik had to depart early from the West End production of Wicked on 19 July 2014.[10]

She can be heard on Wicked's German-language cast recording, as well as Scott Alan's album What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up[11] and on the Scott Alan album LIVE, which was recorded at the Birdland jazz club in New York City on April 30, 2012. The CD was released on June 26 of 2012. She also provides the Dutch speaking and singing voice and German singing voice of Elsa the Snow Queen in Disney's 2013 CGI movie (German speaking voice provided by Dina Kurten) Frozen.

It was announced on 24th October 2014 that Verkaik would be joining the cast of the musical, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown alongside Tasmin Greig, Ricardo Afonso, Hadyn Gwynne, Jérôme Pradon and Anna Skellern, in the role of Paulina. The show's previews start on 16th December 2014 with an opening night on 12th January 2015. The show will run until 9th May 2015.[12] This will be Willemijn's first role after her surgery in 2014.

Personal life[edit]

She is married to musician Bart van Hoof.[13]

Theater Work[edit]

Show Country Role Year
Elisabeth Netherlands Ensemble 2001
Jeans 11 Netherlands Soliste 2001 - 2002
3 Musketeers Netherlands Ensemble 2003
We Will Rock You Germany Killer Queen u/s 2004 - 2005
Elisabeth Switzerland Elisabeth 2006
We Will Rock You Germany Killer Queen 2006
Wicked Stuttgart Elphaba 2007 - 2010
Aida Germany Amneris 2009
Wicked Oberhausen Elphaba 2010 - 2011
Wicked Scheveningen Elphaba 2011 - 2013
Wicked Broadway, New York Elphaba 2013
Mamma Mia Stuttgart Donna 2013
Wicked West End, London Elphaba 2013 - 2014
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown West End, London Paulina 2014 - 2015

References[edit]

External links[edit]