Actor–singer Jennifer Damiano, who made her Broadway debut in the original cast of Spring Awakening at age 15 and earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance as the daughter in Next to Normal, is performing her cabaret show September 10 and October 2 at Joe’s Pub in New York.
As she did in her July booking at the Greenwich Village cabaret, Damiano will perform songs from throughout her life and career. But she told Playbill that the new concert takes audiences through a new stage in her life. “When I did my solo show at 54 Below a little bit over a year ago the theme was my journey coming of age on Broadway from 15 to 25. When I came to Joe's Pub this summer I really just wanted to have fun and sing a bunch of songs I loved. This next incarnation is a little bit of a combo of the two, but leaning towards the latter. It's just a fun night of good music. I try to cover a range of genres but mostly it is pop/rock from the 1970s through to today.”
In particular, she said, “I like to cover Paramore's ‘Ain’t It Fun’ because it is a song that meant a lot to me in my early 20s. It’s about how the older you get the more you realize that your life is not always going to be perfect, and especially in this industry everything is not always going to go your way. But that there is a certain kind of freedom in realizing that and moving through life as best you can regardless. I know a lot of my fans aspire to be young theatre performers and so I think it’s important to keep a super relatable experience at the forefront of my performance.”
Damiano said that some of her favorites in the set are “Criminal” by Fiona Apple, “Can't Help Falling In Love With You’” by Elvis Presley, and “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. But she added that she will not forget her Broadway roots. “I will never do a set without singing ‘Superboy and the Invisible Girl.’ It's too important to me and fans of Next to Normal.”
Having played several New York venues, she said, “Let's face it, Joe’s Pub just has that cool factor. It is the incarnation of what a downtown rock venue should be. I love the edge that comes along with performing there. It's loud and fun and you really don't have to apologize on stage in any way. The space really allows for you to just go for it. Joe's Pub makes everyone feel like a rock star.”
Damiano’s other Broadway roles have included Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (2011) and Jean in American Psycho (2016). Off-Broadway, she starred in Venice at the Public Theatre, and a pop-up production of Cruel Intentions: The Musical. No stranger to the cabaret world, she has taken part in eight engagements at Feinstein’s/54 Below, including her sold-out show Jennuinely in 2016, and Broadway Loves Kelly Clarkson in April 2017.
Tickets for the 9:30 PM concerts cost $20 and can be ordered online at Joespub.com, or by phone at (212) 967-7555. Joe’s Pub is part of the Public Theatre complex at 425 Lafayette Street in the Manhattan.