||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (March 2009)|
|Born||Chester Gregory II
|Occupation||Actor, Singer, Songwriter|
He is currently in studio preparing his latest project, Trifecta.
Early Life and Education
Chester Gregory, Jr. was born in Gary, Indiana to steel mill worker, Chester Gregory, Sr., and school teacher, Edith Gregory.
Growing up in the same hometown as Michael Jackson inspired Gregory to become an artist. After years of performing in local talent shows and workshops for young performers, he auditioned for Emerson School for Visual and Performing Arts. Following three audition attempts, Gregory was accepted into the school and was voted ‘Most Talented’ by his senior class upon graduation.
This foundation laid the groundwork for his new training at Columbia College where he majored in Musical Theatre. Shortly before graduating, Gregory, earned the leading role as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar. The production was co-directed by David Cromer.
Recording and Acting Career
Gregory’s vocal range and acting prowess won him the lead role in Chicago’s Black Ensemble Theater production of The Jackie Wilson Story, for which he received major acclaim from the New York Times.
This award-winning role gave him the opportunity to sing for Michael Jackson in 2003. Following his performance for Jackson, Gregory booked his debut Broadway role as Seaweed in the Tony Award Winning Musical Hairspray.
He then starred in the original Broadway cast of Tarzan as Terk, and Cry-Baby as Dupree from 2006 -2007. His 2009 performance as Jimmie Early in the national tour of Dreamgirls was praised by New York Post theatre critic Elisabeth Vincentelli who remarked, “This isn’t scene-stealing but robbery on an Enron scale”. For this role, Gregory would go on to earn several additional accolades domestically and internationally.
Gregory then returned to his roots as singer Jackie Wilson. But this time, Gregory not only portrayed the music legend, he also wrote and produced the production, calling it, The Eve of Jackie. Premiering in New York, Gregory performed to a sold-out audience at supper club, 54 Below, before bringing the show to Chicago’s Black Ensemble Theater for a sold-out premiere.
During the summer of 2013, Gregory returned to his originating role as Officer Eddie Souther in Sister Act’s national 2013-2014 tour.
- Sister Act as Eddie
- Dreamgirls as James "Thunder" Early (National Tour)
- Hairspray as Seaweed
- Tarzan as Terk
- The Jackie Wilson Story as Jackie Wilson
- Cry Baby as Dupree
- Shrek the Musical as Donkey (Seattle tryout, Pre-Broadway)
- Train is Comin' as Isaac
- Chicago's Gold Soul
- Otis Redding Story
- Breakbeat Karaoke
- In Search of High Love - Chester Gregory
- Tarzan - The Broadway Musical
- Shrek (Orchestra Test) - DreamWorks Theatricals
- Hairspray - (Movie Soundtrack & Special Edition)
- Carol's For A Cure Vol. 8
- Chicago Soul Sessions
- Catch Me If U Can (Pre-Brodaway Recordings)
- Carol's For A Cure Vol. 6
- New York City Christmas
- Morning Starr- Ahdae
- The McKenzie-Burns Project
- Jackie Wilson Story Soundtrack - Black Ensemble
- The Daily Show - W Jon Stewart, Comedy Central 
- The View - Interview and performance with Rosie O'Donnell
- HAIRSPRAY -“Break Out” (Lead Vocal) New Line Cinema
- AMERICAN DREAMS NBC
- THE TONY AWARDS 2008 CBS
- ART BEAT News Chicago
- DOTS (Pilot) NBC
- "Grand Theft Auto” – Liberty City (Video Game) Rock Star Games
Awards and nominations
- Joseph Jefferson Alliance Award Winner - Best Actor in a Musical
- Black Theater Alliance Award Winner - Best Actor in a Musical
- Audelco Award Winner - Best Actor in a Musical
- Black Theater Alliance Award Nominee - For his role as Isaac in Train is Comin'
- Doo Wop Shobop at Black Ensemble Theater Award Winner
- Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical For his role as Eddie in Sister Act
- Smith, Clyde (February 17, 2009). "Broadway Star/R&B Soul Recording Artist Chester Gregory Prepares For The Release Of His Debut Album". Hip Hop Press. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Weber, Bruce (April 15, 2003). "THEATER REVIEW; A Gymnastic Pop Singer Caught Up in a Melodrama". New York Times. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- Vincentelli, Elisabeth (November 23, 2009). "Dreams are made on such stuff". New York Post. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- Williams, Brennan (March 1, 2013). "'The Eve Of Jackie': Chester Gregory Opens Up On New Jackie Wilson Show". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- Hetrick, Adam (February 1, 2011). "Victoria Clark, Fred Applegate, Chester Gregory Will Be Part of Broadway's 'Sister Act'". Playbill.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Jones, Kenneth (June 17, 2003). "Run and Tell That: Newcomer Chester Gregory II To Be Seaweed in Hairspray". Playbill.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Brantley, Ben (May 11, 2006). "Tarzan Arrives on Broadway, Airborne". The New York Times. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Thomas, Don (April 16, 2003). "Chester Gregory, an electrifying Jackie Wilson". The New York Beacon. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- "Chester Gregory Theatre Credits". Broadway World. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Chester Gregory | In Search of High Love". CD Baby. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Tarzan - The Broadway Musical (Original Broadway Cast) [Cast Recording]". Amazon.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Trapped in the Closet Pt. 1". The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. September 10, 2007.
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