Producing and Performing the Hidden Gems of American Musical Theater in Europe
Jewel Box Musical Theater loves to showcase small, sophisticated American musicals that have not been seen often in Europe. We think fans of musical theater will truly enjoy these lesser-known musicals, presented in intimate venues.
Starting Here Starting Now Trailer
This production is presented in cooperation with Auteursbureau ALMO on behalf of Music Theatre International (Europe).
Our First Show!
The Jewel Box Musical Theater is proud to present the hit Off-Broadway musical "Starting Here, Starting Now". The show features the songs of lyricist Richard Maltby Jr. and composer David Shire. "Starting Here, Starting Now" is performed by John Rinaldi, Merel Zeeman and Krissy Dorn, with Musical Director Frans Heemskerk at the piano.
“SHSN” is full of fun, sophisticated, sometimes biting songs like "Crossword Puzzle", "I Don't Remember Christmas", "Autumn", and of course the title song (which was recorded in the 1960s by Barbra Streisand). Maltby and Shire went on to write big hit shows like "Baby", "Closer Than Ever", and "Big", but this show, made up of many of their favorite songs, is a delightful trip through their work of the 1960s. We can't wait to share "Starting Here, Starting Now" with you.
You can now support our mission to revive the 'Hidden Gems' of Broadway via Patreon or Tikkie. Become a sponsor and support us on Patreon with a monthly tier as low as EUR 10 (you can cancel at any time), and you will get access to exclusive JBMT goodies!
Tikkie (NL only) and PayPal allow you to make a one-time payment which will make us equally happy.
Our Artists in Action
Photos, Audio and Video
Krissy and John sing Sondheim's "Take Me to the World" (from "JB Presents The Best of Broadway")
Krissy and Merel sing "Flight" by Craig Carnelia, at the Hotel Cecil, Copenhagen
Artistic Paths that Keep Crossing
John (from Orange, California) first met Krissy (from Cologne, Germany) when they both lived in San Francisco, CA and both were involved in musicals at the same theater in Walnut Creek. Before they had a chance to work together, Krissy moved back to Cologne, and started studying CVT Vocal Technique in Copenhagen, Denmark. That's where she met and started collaborating with Merel, who lives in Utrecht, The Netherlands. A few years later John moved to Beets, The Netherlands with his Dutch husband. Krissy and John re-connected when they realised that they lived just across the border from each other. They worked together, remotely (her from Germany and him from the Netherlands, with a pianist in NYC) to record a duet during the Covid lockdowns of 2020. Their duet was produced by a company in San Jose, CA.
In 2021, John was working on his first cabaret show in The Netherlands and needed a Musical Director. He met Frans through a colleague's kind introduction. They immediately hit it off and the show (at the beautiful Kerk van Beets) was a rousing success. Who came to see that show as a surprise to John? Krissy! Who did she bring? Merel! Oh and just as a bonus, it turns out Merel and Frans had met years before when she was a student and he was a teacher at the renowned Frank Sanders Academy in Amsterdam.
So: 2 continents, 4 countries, 5 states/provinces, 8 cities later, here we all are, making music together for you.
The Creative Team
Getting to Know Us
Krissy loves performing different styles and genres of music. She started off with German folk music back in her childhood and went on to Americana, Pop, Rock, Jazz – you name it! Moving to California for a few years, she lost her heart to the musical theater scene in the San Francisco area, performing in theater productions around the Bay, such as "The Sound of Music", "South Pacific" and numerous revue shows. Inspired by the famous California spirit, she started producing her own cabaret and revue shows: "To California with Love", "Martuni-Fest – a Celebration of Fall, Fun & Germany's Finest" and more.
Besides music, Krissy loves the written word and has translated hundreds of novels als a trained translator, John Grisham amongst others. After 25 years of doing this, she decided it's time for a change and got a degree as an Authorized Teacher in the innovative Complete Vocal Technique. Today she loves sharing her passion for music and singing with her voice students in her own voice studio in the heart of Cologne. www.krissydorn.com
John brings over 40 years of stage experience to his newest role at Jewel Box Musical Theater. He has sung in everything from Aida to Evita, with plenty of The Sound of Music and A Little Night Music in between. On the cabaret stage, John has performed his one-person shows ("He Said, She Said", "Another Hundred People", and "Not Just a Phase") in San Francisco, New York, and here in the Netherlands. He recently appeared as Oliver in the short film "Crossroads Life", and online he played Mr. Mushnik in the "Little Shop of Horrors Online Cabaret" for Tenacious Theatrics in Atlanta, Georgia.
John has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music (Vocal Performance) from Notre Dame de Namur University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He has also had the good fortune to study with fantastic singing teachers like Kathryn Skatula and Darlene Romano, and gifted acting teachers like Greg Fritsch and Steven Ditmyer.
In addition to performing, John is a busy voice teacher with students (both inperson and virtual) in the US and Europe. He loves helping people discover their own, unique voice, and find the magic that happens when good acting meets good singing. www.johnjamesrinaldi.com
Merel fell in love with musical theatre as soon as she saw a production of "Les Miserables" at 11 years old. She decided this had to be her future and so she made it happen.
After studying at the InHolland conservatory in Alkmaar she performed in a broad range of shows. Starting with an ensemble part in "Les Miserables" in Berlin, she made the circle full. Some of Merel's other credits include "Beauty and the Beast", "Sister Act", "Tanz der Vampire", "Mary Poppins" and "Kinky Boots", roaming throughout the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Austria.
Recently, Merel added Complete Vocal Technique to her skills, becoming an Authorized CVT teacher. She also records audiobooks for the visually impaired and works as a coach for speakers in the same foundation. www.merelzeeman.nl
JBMT Music director/pianist
Frans studied jazz piano and light music at the conservatories in Hilversum and Amsterdam from 1992 to 1998. His mentors were Larry Goldings, Kenny Werner, Rob Madna, Frans Elsen and Henk Elkerbout. He has also studied with Gary Dial in New York.
In 2009, Frans received a John Kraaijkamp Musical Award (“best score/ arrangement”) for The Wild Party. Frans has served as musical director of "Moeder Ik Wil Bij De Revue", "The Bodyguard", "Tina - the Tina Turner musical", "Was Getekend Annie MG Schmidt", "Lovestory" and many others.
Frans was a recording artist with the lounge group Water, releasing eleven tracks for the "Supperclub" albums during 2002-2008. He recorded a live album with his jazz/ funk quartet The French Connection, a trio album called 'Persona' and his new album 'Control Voltage' was just released in February 2023.
His extensive experience with jazz, blues, pop and theatre music makes Frans a versatile and creative musician and composer. www.fransheemskerk.nl
JBMT Stage Director
Heike Wertgen is a German actress (stage and screen), director and theater teacher. She studied musical theater at the Stage School, Hamburg and the Lee Strasberg Institute, NYC, and theater pedagogy and direction at the Theaterpädagogisches Zentrum in Cologne, Germany.
Her directing works include musicals like "The Icecold Heart" and "Mein Honk", plays like "Charley's Aunt" and professional children's theater like "Pippi Longstocking." Heike works in theater education for various institutions with people of all ages with and without disabilities. She specializes in original musicals and was nominated twice in the "Mixed Up Wettbewerb", an annual contest launched by the German Federal Association for Arts Education and Cultural Learning. Ballet is her passion, and she's always happy to help with dance steps and choreography. Heike loves bringing music and theater to life on stage by helping the performers reveal their authentic selves. In "Starting Here Starting Now", Heike not only contributes her experience as a director, but also the profound love and deep insight in the genuine American musical theater.
After graduating from the Hilversum Conservatory in 1996, Maarten Helsloot started working as a freelance keyboardist. He started playing with Chris Hinze, and popact Sarah, followed later by singer Boris and Kasper van Kooten. He also worked in the theater with, among others, Karin Bloemen and Igone de Jongh.
In addition to his work on stage, he developed himself as a producer in his own studio in Amsterdam where he worked with Sabrina Starke, Gregory Porter, Michiel Borstlap, Gregor Salto and many others. He produced albums for Boris and Jennie Lena and also worked on many productions for Tim Dawn, Stan van Samang and others.
In addition to a performing and producing musician, Maarten Helsloot also works as a principal teacher of piano/keys at the conservatory in Zwolle. He also teaches music production there.