Broadway powerhouse sings popular songs for Limelight and Accents concert

Professional performer Jessica Vosk (pictured above) sang for a Limelight and Accents show in Wadsworth Auditorium on Saturday April 20. Vosk is known for her portrayal of Elphaba in “Wicked” on Broadway. The concert was made possible by the Geneseo Campus Activities Board with the intention of providing Geneseo with more opportunities to witness artistic and musical events (Annie Renaud/staff photographer).

A packed audience was captivated when an amazing Broadway performer took the stage in Wadsworth Auditorium on Saturday April 20.

Broadway star Jessica Vosk bewitched her audience in what was the final performance of the spring 2019 Limelight and Accents Series put on by Geneseo Campus Activities Board.

Vosk has been in many Broadway productions, including “Finding Neverland” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” Currently, she plays Elphaba in the iconic Broadway show “Wicked.”

Limelight and Accents co-coordinator junior Leah Sherman explained that the Limelight and Accents advisor, Tiffany Brodner, was the person who recommended Vosk.

“[Brodner] saw her in “Wicked” on Broadway and loved her. We were trying to plan our series at the end of last year and [Brodner] suggested her slyly,” Sherman said. “We kind of just picked up on it, watched some videos, followed her on Instagram and fell in love with her. I found her agent’s name online, reached out and started the process.”

The audience fell in love with Vosk as well. The crowd roared the moment Vosk popped her head out from behind the curtain.

Vosk was not just a crowd-favorite performer. Sherman emphasized how easy she was to communicate with in preparation for the show.

“Her agent actually wasn’t our [main contact]. Jessica was actually one of the main communicators in the process,” Sherman said. “I got to email her almost on a daily basis for the past couple of weeks to plan out the details. She’s been very responsive and really easy to work with.”

Vosk’s setlist was a blend of Broadway favorites, current pop hits and catchy older tunes. She was accompanied by Mary-Mitchell Campbell on piano, Marissa Rosen on harmony and her brother, Dan Vosk, on guitar. 

Vosk started off the concert with an amazing performance of “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman. Vosk then explained how this would not be a normal concert, as she held several question and answer segments to engage with the audience. 

Other crowd favorites included “What Baking Can Do” from “Waitress” and “The Heart of the Matter” by Don Henley. 

Vosk and Rosen also gave a wonderful female duet of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow” from A Star is Born

Vosk’s performance transcended a normal performance, particularly because of her humor. Vosk danced around during different songs and made sly comments about herself and the audience, even kicking her shoes off at one point.

Even within all the humor, there was an emotional appeal. Biology and English creative writing major junior Daniel Fleischman enjoyed the appreciation Vosk showed throughout the performance.

“I really enjoyed the emotion behind it. You can tell she’s worked really hard from where she’s at,” Fleischman said. “She’s coming to a point in her life where she really appreciates that, and it comes through in her music.”

Vosk spoke about her life, from working in finance on Wall Street to starring as Elphaba during the 15th anniversary season of “Wicked.” Vosk shared her hardships and emphasized the love and support she is grateful for.

Her final speech led to what she claimed was her final song, “Your Song” by Ellie Goulding—a dedication to her accompaniment on stage and the audience. Vosk, however, could not leave without singing a “Wicked” favorite. 

“‘The Wizard and I’ was my favorite because I’m a sucker for ‘Wicked,’” Fleischman said.

Vosk’s concert was a huge success and Sherman stressed the importance of inviting performers like Vosk to Geneseo.

“As we can see tonight, there’s a lot of fans. She’s very popular and we try to bring in a mixture of different performances, just to try to get that audience,” Sherman said. “It shows in performances specifically like this when the crowds sell out, when we have lots of die-hard fans. Really, it’s just bringing in that musical passion for the lack of arts we have at Geneseo.”