Jennifer Gambatese

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Jennifer "Gamby" Gambatese (born September 10, 1975) is an American actress and singer. She is gaining recognition by performing on stage, and even starring in Broadway productions. Gambatese has performed in the popular musical production of Disney's Tarzan as Jane.[1] Gambatese also played Glinda on the 1st National Tour of Wicked.

Early life[edit]

Jenn Gambatese grew up in Richmond Heights,[2] a suburb of Cleveland. Her passion for acting began during the summer of fourth grade at the Willoughby Fine Arts Center[3] in where she attended theater classes. Her first performance was “playing a ‘whitewasher’” in the story of Tom Sawyer.[4] Jenn continued taking acting classes, and in her senior year of high school attended Beck Center as well as Cleveland State University.[5] In 1993 Jenn left the City of Richmond Heights for Manhattan, in where she enrolled in NYU's Tisch School of the Art’s drama department.[6] Jennifer’s talent and dedication was rewarded by being nominated for NYU”s “Artist and Scholar” along with three other graduating class members.Jenn graduated in 1997 with a double major in sociology and drama. After graduation Jennifer took on her first professional job touring the country to perform with American Family Theater, which performed for a younger audience.[7]

Theater and Musicals[edit]

  • Little House on the Prairie -played the part of Mary Ingalls, directed by Francesca Zambello[8]
  • Romeo and Juliet – played Juliet, directed by Terrance Mann[9]
  • Little Women –played older sister Meg March, directed by Nick Corley
  • Refer Madness- understudy for the part of Mary Lane, directed by Andy Fickman
  • Devil in the Flesh- played Marthe, directed by John Caraffa
  • Sunday in the Park with George- NYU- played Dot
  • Uncle Vanya- played Sonya
  • All Shook Up as Natalie
  • Tarzan, Bway. Played Jane [10]
  • Jenn Gambatese switched from comedy to playing a role of Annie Oakley in “Annie Get Your Gun” which is part of the Goodspeed Opera House Production in 2010.[11]
  • Carousel - played Carrie (2012 Goodspeed Opera House production)
  • Wicked - On February 26, 2013 Jenn Gambatese joined the 1st National Tour of Wicked as Glinda [12]
  • The Sound of Music - Maria

Broadway Performances[edit]

Gambatese went on a national tour playing the role of Serena Katz, “Fame”,[13] which she did so well that she earned A National Broadway Theater Award for “Best Actress in the Theater”. She made her Broadway debut in “Footloose” in October 1998. She played the role of Urleen and also as an understudy to the female lead actress. “Footloose” was directed by Walter Bobbie and ran on Broadway from October 2, 1998 through July 2, 2000. Gambatese followed “Footlose” by the musical of “Hairspray” directed by Jack O’Brien that ran on Broadway from August 2002 through January 2009. She played the role of Penny Pingleton. In April 2003 David Petrarca directed a fantasy musical, “A Year with Frog and Toad” in which Gambatese played a few roles: Bird, Mouse, Squirrel, and a young Frog. In March 2005, Gambatese starred in the original musical of “All Shook Up”,[14] a play directed by Christopher Ashley. “All Shook Up” featured popular music from the collection of Elvis Presley, in which Gambatese plays the role of Natalie Haller as well as Ed. From a rock and Roll style performance, Gambetese flew into the air with another starring performance of Jane Porter in Bob Crowley’s Disney imitation of “Tarzan”. The musical comedy of “Tarzan” played on Broadway from May 2006 through July 2007 in the Richard Rodger’s Theater. “The lavish Disney stage version of its 1999 animated film will close after 486 performances and 35 previews…” Micheal Kuchewara informed the public.[15] In an interview with Valerie Smaldone, Gambatese comments that it was actually Phill Collins himself that believe her to be the perfect role for Tarzan’s Jane.[16] After swinging across the stage, Gambatese came back into another starring role; she took the lead as Marie Leroux in a comedy play directed by Michael Blakemore “Is He Dead Yet?” that opened its doors on Broadway in December 2007.

Television and Film[edit]

  • Played "Woman in Bar" in Robert De Niro’s “The Good Shepherd”. Part was edited out of the final cut.
  • All My Children (television series) in 2005 as herself[17]
  • Recorded music to the Broadway musicals of “Tarzan” and “All Shook Up”, which are currently on iTunes

Personal life[edit]

Jenn married Curtis Cregan who was a member of a children’s television show “Hi-5” and also a Broadway performer, they wed in June 2007. In January 2009, it was announced that Jenn and her husband, Curtis Cregan, are expecting their first child together in May 2009. On May 12, 2009, Jenn and Curtis welcomed a daughter, Josephine. Jenn likes to keep active by practicing yoga and bike riding as well as playing on the field as second base with her Broadway Show League. When Jenn is not in Manhattan she likes to spend time with her family in the Catskills mountains.[18] Gambatese played Annie Oakley in the Goodspeed Musicals, East Haddam, Connecticut, production of Annie Get Your Gun from April 16, 2010 to June 27.[19]

She is good friends with Shoshana Bean.

References[edit]

External links[edit]