Movie, TV and Broadway actor Jenna Gavigan has dug deep into her own theatre experiences to write her new book, “Lulu the Broadway Mouse” (Hachette, $16.99). And the Brooklyn-raised author is thrilled with the response to her new labor-of-love project.
Gavigan is a fourth generation New Yorker who grew up in Bay Ridge. She attended Adelphi Academy and calls herself a “well-documented only child.” Gavigan’s parents, Jim and Jayne, lived in Bay Ridge before moving the family to Armonk.
As a child, Gavigan fell in love with the theater. “I made my Broadway debut in ‘Gypsy’ with Bernadette Peters while I was in high school,” Gavigan said. “I took my SATs before a two-show day and I’m still proud of that.”
Gavigan graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, where she focused on fiction, television, and screenwriting. Since then, she’s appeared in such plays as “Come Back, Little Sheba,” in the movies “Deliver Us from Evil,” “Kinsey” and “A Single Man,” and on television in “Boardwalk Empire,” “Gotham,” “Criminal Minds,” “Cold Case,” “The Good Wife” and “Commander in Chief.”
Gavigan has tapped into her own acting experiences and her Broadway journey as the inspiration for “Lulu,” her first novel aimed at middle schoolers, that tells that tale of a mouse who lives in the Shubert Theatre and dreams of performing on its grand stage. The story focuses on Lulu, who guides a human girl through the world of the theater and its quirky cast and crew.
The book has received rave reviews from people like Tim Federle, the author of “Better Nate Than Ever,” who called Gavigan “a true Broadway baby whose backstage debut novel will delight theater kids of all ages and species.”
Actor Jonathan Groff, a Tony nominee for “Spring Awakening” said, “Jenna manages to capture the drama and tension and excitement of the theater without ever losing the magic and joy of what it feels like to be on Broadway. Lulu’s burning desire to be onstage was exactly how I felt when I was younger, and reading this book reawakened that feeling in me.”
Gavigan will be signing copies of her new book on Sat., Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. at the BookMark Shoppe, 8415 Third Ave.
“I’m so excited to be back in our old neighborhood, and to introduce Lulu and the world of Broadway to this generation of Bay Ridge budding performers,” Gavigan told this paper. “The cherry on top of things would be to visit Once Upon a Sundae for a chocolate ice cream soda but, alas, that’s not possible. Maybe I’ll get a slice of pizza at Nino’s, which I know is still there.”