John Nicholas Tartaglia
February 16, 1978
|Other names||John Nicholas Tartaglia|
Jonathan Nicholas Tartaglia
|Occupation||Puppeteer, actor, singer, dancer|
Michael Shawn Lewis
(m. 2012; div. 2016)
John Nicholas Tartaglia (born February 16, 1978) is an American puppeteer, actor, singer and dancer.
Tartaglia joined Sesame Street's puppetry team at the age of 16 part-time, making him one of the youngest Sesame Street puppeteers in the show's history. He performed as a right hand and many minor characters, including Phoebe and being the understudy for Kevin Clash's Elmo. He performed as Ernie for the second season of Play with Me Sesame and as Oscar the Grouch for Sesame Street 4D. He became a full-time part of Sesame Street at the age of 18.
Tartaglia is openly gay. Regarding the matter, he has stated "I'm less worried about being a positive role model as a gay person than making sure there's no negative stereotypes of any sort." He considers "nothing more addictive than the sound of an audience laughing" and regarding the possibility of being "pigeonholed" as a children's entertainer, stated "If I get pigeonholed, I get pigeonholed. When I do my dark, one-hour miniseries on Lifetime, you'll know!" In 2004, he helped to raise $525,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
He married Michael Shawn Lewis in New York in 2012.
In 2003, he performed DJ 2 in Animal Jam.
Tartaglia created and puppeteered the roles of Princeton (the recent college grad) and Rod (the closeted Republican investment banker) in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Avenue Q, which opened July 31, 2003. For the roles, he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical in 2004. He left the cast on January 30, 2005.
Tartaglia reprised his roles as Princeton and Rod in the Las Vegas sit-down production of Avenue Q, starting in August 2005 until December 11, 2005. He then appeared in the musical Newsical 2006: The Next Edition in New York City, in a limited engagement in December 2005.
He appeared in his own television series for Playhouse Disney called Johnny and the Sprites as creator, executive producer, and star. While the episodes began as only 5-minute interstitials, the show began a full 30-minute series on January 13, 2007. The show began filming Season 2 during mid-2007.
He played the roles of Pinocchio, Puss in Boots and the Magic Mirror and puppeteered the dragon in Shrek The Musical. After a try-out in Seattle the show opened on Broadway at The Broadway Theatre beginning December 14, 2008. He performed in the show until August 16, 2009 and was replaced by Robb Sapp. He returned on December 14, 2009 and stayed until it closed on January 3, 2010.
Tartaglia created and wrote John Tartaglia's ImaginOcean which was produced Off-Broadway at New World Stages, running from March 31, 2010 to September 4, 2011. The show has music and lyrics by William Wade, with puppets designed and built by The Puppet Kitchen and the set design by Robert Kovach. This is a puppet show meant for audiences between the ages of 2 and 8 about fish. They glow in the dark while the actors are in black, giving the effect that the puppets are floating. The show was nominated for the 2010 Drama Desk Award, Unique Theatrical Experience.
In 2011, Tartaglia was named a "Givenik Ambassador" from the Broadway / charity site Givenik.
- Play with Me Sesame - Ernie (Season 2)
- The Book of Pooh - Puppeteer
- Fraggle Rock: Rock On! - Gobo Fraggle (taking over from Jerry Nelson); Boober Fraggle, Uncle Traveling Matt, and Wembley Fraggle (puppetry only)
|2003||Avenue Q||Princeton/Rod||Vineyard Theatre||Original|
|John Golden Theatre|
|2006-2007||Beauty and the Beast||Lumiere||Lunt-Fontanne Theatre||Replacement|
|2008||Shrek||Pinocchio||5th Avenue Theatre||Original|
- Heller, Karen. "From 'Sesame Street' to Broadway John Tartaglia, raised in Maple Shade and Ambler, has had a hand in presenting Elmo on PBS. Now his animated face is on view as he stars in a surprising new stage hit, Avenue Q.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 21, 2003. Accessed February 3, 2013. "Young John, who grew up in Maple Shade and then Ambler, wrote Jim Henson a fan letter."
- "John Tartaglia". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
- Heller, Karen. "From 'Sesame Street' to Broadway John Tartaglia..." articles.philly.com, September 21, 2003
- Riegel, Katie (March 19, 2007). "Broadway Buzz - John Tartaglia". Broadway.com. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- "John Tartaglia | The Official Masterworks Broadway Site". The Official Masterworks Broadway Site. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
- Wong, Curtis M. "John Tartaglia, 'Avenue Q' Star, Gets Personal With 'Decade Three' Show At NYC’s 54 Below" Huffington Post, September 6, 2013
- Gans, Andrew. "Avenue Q to Close in September", Playbill.com, June 29, 2009
- "John Tartaglia Broadway" playbillvault.com, accessed January 4, 2016
- Gans, Andrew and Hernandez, Ernio. "Tartaglia to Depart 'Avenue Q' Jan. 30" playbill.com, December 27, 2004
- Lenzi, Linda (2004-06-24). "Photo Coverage: Broadway Bares 14: Now Showing". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
- Hernandez, Ernio. "Double Down: 'Avenue Q' Opens New Second Run at Wynn Las Vegas, Sept. 8" playbill.com, September 8, 2005
- hernandez, Ernio. "John Tartaglia Comes Back to New York for 'Newsical 2006: The Next Edition'" playbill.com, November 16, 2005
- Gans, Andrew. "Tartaglia and Freeman to Join Broadway’s 'Beauty and the Beast'" playbill.com, November 13, 2006
- "John Tartaglia, Jonathan Freeman to Join Beauty and the Beast". Broadway.com. 2006-11-13. Retrieved 2007-08-08.
- Gold, Matea. "'The Sprites' thrives in Broadway's ecosystem" Los Angeles Times, January 7, 2007
- "Mr. Bluelight". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
- "Brian d'Arcy James to play Shrek". USA Today. 2008-03-20. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
- "'John Tartaglia's ImaginOcean' Off-Broadway" lortel.org, accessed January 5, 2016
- Gans, Andrew. "John Tartaglia's Imaginocean to Play New World Stages" playbill.com, February 9, 2010
- Thielman, Sam. "Review: 'John Tartaglia’s Imaginocean'" Variety, April 6, 2010
- "Review: 'The Temperamentals' at The Blank Theatre Company"[permanent dead link] Los Angeles Magazine, June 1, 2011
- Gans, Andrew. "John Tartaglia, Erich Bergen, Patrick Scott Lewis Set for Blank Theatre Company's 'Temperamentals'" playbill.com, March 3, 2011
- Gans, Andrew. "'Aladdin', with Robin de Jesus, John Tartaglia, Curtis Holbrook, Francis Jue, Plays the Muny Starting July 5" playbill.com, July 5, 2012
- "Weekly Schedule" siriusxm.com, accessed January 4, 2016
- Mercedes Milligan (May 21, 2016). "PBS KIDS Dates Premiere for Henson's 'Splash and Bubbles'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- "BWW Interview - John Tartaglia Gushes Over Netflix Co-Star Julie Andrews, Talks Broadway Return Hopes & More!" broadwayworld.com, April 23, 2017
- John Tartaglia on IMDb
- John Tartaglia at the Internet Broadway Database
-  John Tartaglia & Michael Shawn Lewis production Company
- John Tartaglia talks with Craft Ideas Weekly about how he started making puppets
- Stephanie D'Abruzzo and John Tartaglia - Downstage Center interview at American Theatre Wing.org
| Performer of Gobo Fraggle
| Performer of Phoebe