Cheers, screams and applause rang through the Sixth & I synagogue this past Valentine’s Day. Not a common occurrence one usually finds at a religious institution, but it comes as no surprise when it’s for Jessica Vosk, acclaimed actress and singer best known for her role as Elphaba in the Broadway show “Wicked.” For her sixth night on tour, she made her D.C. debut with her exclusive, cabaret-style show “Broadway Valentine.”
“You are worthy of whatever you want,” Vosk said to the crowd.
From the powerful ballad selection to her funny, personal, Broadway stories, Vosk preached this lesson of love and self-worth.
Vosk knows how to command a stage. Her energy and confidence exuded from the very moment she burst through the back door, clad in an ankle-length, sparkly, red bodycon dress and white iridescent high heels. You could say she made head turns.
For those who hadn’t already loved Vosk at the start of the show, she left everyone completely enamored by the end of the night. From direct eye contact that felt like a personal serenade to witty comebacks from shouts in the crowd, Vosk was born for the stage.
Her show was a mix of storytelling and singing. It sometimes even felt like a stand-up comedy show — and always like a Broadway musical. With a setlist compiled of music from a variety of decades, including show tunes and her favorite female artists, she added her own flair to every song. The range of artists included Judy Garland, Elton John and Taylor Swift, as well as Broadway songs from shows like “Fiddler on the Roof” (she played Fruma Sarah in this one) and “Funny Girl” (which she just really likes). This might have been the only night one will find grown men head-bopping to Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero” in a synagogue.
Onstage with Vosk was Michael O. Mitchell, an award-winning pianist and musician, and Marissa Rosen, her close friend and talented backup singer. It’s still hard to believe this was Vosk and Mitchell’s first time performing together; their stage chemistry was magnetic and hilariously entertaining. And Rosen could have her own show altogether. While her harmonies and background vocals melded nicely, Vosk turned the spotlight over to Rosen for a solo of “Son of a Preacher Man,” and her vocal ability undoubtedly matched Vosk’s.
Nearing 9 p.m., the audience was feeling all types of emotions. Vosk’s heels were piled into a corner of the stage and the mood of the room was one of awe. After a moving encore performance of “I Will Always Love You” and several standing ovations, the Broadway star said goodbye to the room full of couples, friends and families.
“Feel the feels,” Vosk told the audience.
They’ll be feeling the feels for a while after this show. Hopefully inspired, loved and excited for life, just like Vosk.
To learn more about Jessica Vosk and to view her upcoming tour dates, visit jessicavosk.com.
Enjoy this piece? Consider becoming a member for access to our premium digital content. Support local journalism and start your membership today.