Bay Ridge

Brooklyn-raised author draws on her own theater experiences for new book

Brooklyn BookBeat

November 29, 2018 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Movie, TV and Broadway performer and author Jenna Gavigan. Photo by Deborah Lopez

Movie, TV and Broadway actor Jenna Gavigan has dug deep into her own theatre experiences to write her new book, “Lulu the Broadway Mouse.”

And the Brooklyn-raised author is thrilled with the response to her new labor-of-love project.

Drawing on her experiences appearing in “Deliver Us from Evil,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Gotham,” “Criminal Minds,” “Cold Case,” “The Good Wife” and “Commander in Chief,” Gavigan penned  “Lulu,” her first novel aimed at middle schoolers, which tells the tale of a mouse who lives in the Shubert Theatre and dreams of performing on its grand stage.

Lulu soon befriends a human girl, whom she guides 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 Late 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 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 Jane, 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.”

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Gavigan graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, where she focused on fiction, television and screenwriting.

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.”

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