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Markki Stroem makes stage debut

Markki Stroem says that Henry in Next to Normal is one of his dream roles. Other dream roles in musical theater include Melchior in Spring Awakening, Roger in Rent, Benny in In The Heights, Fiyero in Wicked, Pippin in Pippin, Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Chris in Miss Saigon. Next to Normal runs from March 11 to 27 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.

MANILA, Philippines - After gaining national attention in Pilipinas Got Talent, finalist Markki Stroem will make his professional stage debut as Henry in Atlantis Productions’ highly anticipated staging of the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical Next to Normal, which runs from March 11 to 27 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.

The multi-talented Filipino-Norwegian instrumentalist and vocalist is thrilled to be joining the Philippine musical theater scene in the ground-breaking rock musical that explores how one suburban household deals with crisis.

Ben Brantley, in his New York Times review, raved, “Next to Normal is one of the bravest musicals to hit mainstream — a jolt of raw, contemporary pain, propelled by a rock ‘n’ roll pulse. It makes your heart swell.” Next to Normal, with music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, won three Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Next to Normal recently concluded its hit Broadway run and continues to run on tour. The Manila production is the first licensed English language production followed by an Australian production in April. The license is made possible through Music Theatre International.

Director Bobby Garcia, fresh off the critical success of his Manila and Singapore staging of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, will be directing Next to Normal and says, “Markki came into audition for Next to Normal and we immediately knew we had found our Henry. He is an honest, truthful young performer with a remarkable singing voice. He is also passionate about theatre, which is a rarity in young performers these days. We are thrilled he will be making his professional stage debut in Next to Normal. He is a welcome addition to the theatre scene!”

Despite his star fast rising in mainstream showbiz, Markki has always been in love with musical theater and couldn’t believe he landed the role of Henry. He says, “As an avid rock musical fan, having followed shows such as Spring Awakening and Rent, I am greatly honored to have landed a role in Next to Normal. I remember when my co-manager Mariolle Alberto told me about the role in the play, and asked me if I wanted to audition for the show. I automatically agreed and auditioned for the part. Landing the role of Henry with such a great cast, including Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Jett Pangan, I am ecstatic to start working on the project! The musical is so powerful and controversial in so many ways, it is going to be a challenge for a professional theater rookie. Although this is the case, I enjoy challenges and I am excited to take part in this exciting show!”

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But after Next to Normal Markki returns to his fast-rising showbiz career, which will include releasing an album later in the year. Markki says of his showbiz dreams, “My dreams in showbiz are to create great relate-able songs, perform my best every time on stage to entertain my audience and to always be passionate about what I am doing.”

No doubt with Next to Normal and his numerous upcoming showbiz commitments, Markki is on his way to conquer the Philippine entertainment industry.

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For tickets to Next to Normal call Atlantis Productions at 892-7078 or 840-1187.

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