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  • Writer's pictureJohn Rinaldi

Our Fairy Godmother (and Matchmaker) Jeffrie Givens

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

We at the JBMT want to take a few moments to recognize someone who is very special to us. In fact, without her, there would not be any Jewel Box Musical Theater. She is someone that both Krissy and John encountered separately while working in Bay Area theaters, and who eventually was the catalyst for John and Krissy to meet each other: Jeffrie Givens.

In 2014, Jeffrie gave a singing recital. John and Krissy, strangers at this point, ended up sitting next to each other at the venue. They immediately struck up a conversation about music and singing, and had every intention of finding a way to work together. Of course, life intervened. Krissy moved back to Germany. John and his husband moved to The Netherlands. Covid happened, and artists got creative about finding ways to work together remotely. Krissy asked John to join her on a duet of Sondheim’s “Take Me To The World” that she was working on for a company in San Jose, CA. That went so well that Krissy and John started working on a two-person cabaret show together. During the development of that show, John shared the music from “Starting Here, Starting Now” with Krissy and Frans, who immediately loved it. Krissy shared it with Merel, who was similarly captivated. It didn‘t take long from there for us to ditch the two-person cabaret in favor of putting on “Starting Here, Starting Now” with Merel as the third cast member. That was the inception of the Jewel Box Musical Theater. It would not have happened without the chance meeting of John and Krissy at Jeffrie’s recital. So, thank you, Jeffrie, for being our accidental matchmaker.

We’d like our audiences to know that Jeffrie is an amazing performer. Over the years since “Fiddler” and “Sound of Music”, we have been delighted to see her step out of the ensemble to take on all kinds of major roles in musicals. From Snoopy in “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown” to Gary Coleman in “Avenue Q” and Riff-Raff in ”Rocky Horror”, Jeffrie has come into her own as a quirky, funny character actor with an exceptional voice. She has also played roles like Sister Mary Hubert in “Nunsense” and Jack’s Mother in “Into the Woods”. We can’t wait to see what she’ll tackle next. Whatever it is, we know Jeffrie will be fantastic!!!

We’d also like to applaud Jeffrie for being so supportive of our efforts here at JBMT. We are grateful for her friendship, and hope that one day we’ll all be able to share a stage with her again!


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