December 5, 1973 |
Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA
|Alma mater||Ithaca College|
|Spouse(s)||Norbert Leo Butz (2007-present)|
Michelle Federer (born December 5, 1973) is an American film and theatre actress.
Early life and education
Federer is the daughter of John and Claudia Federer. She grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, where she was a student of the Shaker Heights High School Theatre Arts Department under the direction of James Thornton, and she gained early experience working in the University School Theater Program, where she first worked and became friends with future Wicked castmate Michael Seelbach. Federer's father was a math teacher in the Shaker Heights Public School System teaching at Byron Junior High School (now Shaker Heights Middle School) and currently teaches at the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland's Saperstien Campus. As a teen, Federer attended Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Camp, located in Loch Sheldrake, New York. She graduated from Ithaca College, located in Ithaca, New York, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre.
She made her Broadway debut as Nessarose in Wicked, a character she originated. The show opened October 30, 2003, starring Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.  Federer, who was the longest-running original principal cast member, left the production on January 8, 2006, and was succeeded by understudy Cristy Candler. Federer can be heard on the Wicked cast recording.
On October 27, 2008, Federer took part in The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken, a fifth anniversary concert featuring a selection of scenes and songs cut from early drafts of Wicked. The concert starred former co-stars Shoshana Bean and Jennifer Laura Thompson. 
Federer returned to the role of Nessarose in Broadway's Wicked with performances beginning August 18, 2009, this time replacing Candler. She ended her return engagement on January 10, 2010, and was replaced by Jenny Fellner.
T.V. and Film
Federer appeared in a recurring role on NBC's Smash in which she plays Monica Swift, the wife of Michael (Will Chase) who has an affair with Debra Messing's character Julia. The series also stars Megan Hilty, who starred on Broadway alongside Federer in Wicked. Smash premiered in the United States on February 6, 2012.
- Stevens, Beth. "Fresh Face Michelle Federer" broadway.com, January 2, 2004
- Simakis, Andrea. "James Thornton, revered founder of Theatre Arts Department at Shaker Heights High School, dies" cleveland.com, March 21, 2012
- Gans, Andrew. "Stagedoor Manor — Inspiration for "Camp" Film — to Celebrate 30th Anniversary" Playbill, June 13, 2005
- " 'A Man of No Importance' Listing" lortel.org, accessed July 9, 2016
- Taylor, Markland. "Review: ‘The Trip to Bountiful’" Variety, February 27, 2003
- "Michelle Federer Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed July 9, 2016
- " 'Three Days of Rain' Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed July 9, 2016
- "Federer, Blackwell, Etc. Set for Atlantic Theater's 'Anon'" broadwayworld.com, January 17, 2007
- Gans, Andrew. "Diva Talk Special: The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken" Playbill, October 28, 2008
- Gans, Andrew. "Federer Returns to Broadway's 'Wicked'" Playbill, August 18, 2009
- Hernandez, Ernio and Gans, Andrew. "Clarke and Fellner Join 'Wicked' on Broadway" Playbill, January 14, 2010
- Wichman, Maytal. Love, Lust & Laughter: Don’t Miss ‘The Cottage” at Queens Theatre" themamamaven.com, November 11, 2014
- Kinsey at Rotten Tomatoes
- Holden, Stephen. "Movie Review. 'Flannel Pajamas'" The New York Times, November 15, 2006
- Jones, Kenneth. "The 'Smash' Report: Recapping Episode 3, Or, This Is a Fine Showmance" Playbill, February 21, 2012
- Staff. "Inside the Emerald City: Wicked's Glinda" Playbill, October 25, 2013
- Jones, Kenneth. "The "Smash" Report: Pilot — No People Like Show People, or Heaven on Earth" Playbill, January 23, 2012
- " Wicked' Sweethearts Norbert Leo Butz and Michelle Federer Welcome Baby Girl Georgia" broadway.com, January 3, 2011