The World Premiere of JOY, A New Musical Opens at George Street Playhouse - based on the life of Joy Mangano and her book Inventing Joy: Dare to Build a Brave and Creative Life.

(Top, L to R) Pomme Koch; John Hickok; Erika Henningsen; Brian Shepard; Justin Gregory Lopez (Bottom, L to R) Anthony Wayne and Ryan Duncan in JOY at George Street Playhouse. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Cast Includes:

Vicki Lewis (News Radio), Stephen DeRosa (Mr. Saturday Night) and Trent Saunders (Hadestown) join 

Erika Henningsen (Mean Girls)  as “Joy”

Running Now through December 30th

Erika Henningsen performs “Change Forever” with accompaniment by Andy Einhorn

Newsroom Post: New Brunswick, NJ – George Street Playhouse announce the full cast for the world premiere production Joy the Musical starring Erika Henningsen at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. The musical is based on the life of Joy Mangano and her book Inventing Joy: Dare to Build a Brave and Creative Life.  Performances began December 7th and continue through December 30th.  Tickets are now on sale.

Joy the Musical is directed by Casey Hushion with choreography by Joshua Bergasse and features music and lyrics by Tony Nominee AnnMarie Milazzo (A Walk on the Moon). Musical supervision is by Andy Einhorn and book by Tony Award Winner Ken Davenport.

Joy is a heartwarming and powerful musical based on the life of Joy Mangano—the entrepreneur, inventor, best-selling author, and self-made millionaire whose journey epitomizes the real American Dream. This uplifting true story is about one woman’s triumphant climb, from divorce to single motherhood and bankruptcy, to becoming a wildly successful dynamo that all started with the invention of a mop – her Miracle Mop!  Joy is a feel-good musical about finding yourself through determination, imagination, and reinvention with a twist, and is sure to inspire audiences long after they leave the theater.

(L to R) Erika Henningsen and Stephen DeRosa in JOY at George Street Playhouse. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

(L to R) Trent Saunders and Erika Henningsen in JOY at George Street Playhouse. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

The George Street Playhouse World Premiere production is presented in association with Sandi Moran and Ken Davenport with TBD Theatricals, Jonathan and Rae Corr, Christine Williamson, Michael T. Cohen and Robin Reinach, Sheri and Les Biller, Megan Ann Rasmussen, and Adam Riemer. Miranda Gohh is associate producer.

About The Cast & Creative Team

Erika Henningsen
  (Joy) was last seen starring as Cady Heron in the Tony-nominated musical Mean Girls. She debuted on Broadway as Fantine in the recent revival of Les Miserables opposite Ramin Karimloo.  Other credits include Beth in the Kathleen Marshall-helmed musical Diner with music by Sheryl Crow at Signature Theater and Kim Ravenal in the PBS televised Show Boat: Live from Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic. She can be seen recurring on the critically acclaimed Peacock series Girls5Eva as well as the hit Amazon comedy, Harlem.  Erika recently debuted her solo show Raise Your Standards in  a sold out run at The Feinstein’s Nikko in San Francisco. Upcoming projects include voice work in the popular animation series, Hazbin Hotel in production with A24. 2018 Star of the Year and Outer Critics Circle Award Nominee. @erikahenningsen

Vicki Lewis
(Toots)  Vicki is perhaps best known for her role as Beth the secretary on the hit NBC series Newsradio,  She also starred in the NBC series Three Sisters with Dyan Cannon along with recurring roles in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Caroline in the City, Grey’s Anatomy, Home Improvement and many others. Her films include: The Ugly Truth, Den Brother,The Last Day Of Summer, California Dreamin’ (Dave Foley and Lea Thompson) Godzilla(1998) Mousehunt (Nathan Lane, Lee Evans and Christoper Walken) Pushing Tin (John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton Angelina Jolie and Cate Blanchett ) I’ll Do Anything (Nick Nolte, Albert Brooks) The Huntress, Bye Bye Birdie (Tyne Daly, Jason Alexander) and Breakfast Of Champions(Bruce Willis, Nick Nolte).  She starred as Velma Kelly in the Broadway and Las Vegas productions of Chicago. She played Gloria Thorpe in the Tony nominated Damn Yankees and in Pal Joey (opposite Patti LuPone and Peter Gallagher) for “Encores”. East of Midnight her debut album, which she wrote and produced with Junior Burke, and which was orchestrated by Stephen Taylor, is available on iTunes, along with her hit EP of Christmas songs Santa’s Little Helper.

Stephen De Rosa
(Rudy)  Broadway: Mr. Saturday Night, Gary: A Sequel to Titus AndronicusOn The Town, Betrayal,The Nance, Hairspray, Twentieth Century, Henry IV, Into the Woods (2002), The Man Who Came to Dinner (filmed live for PBS). Off-Broadway: DoReMi, Wonderful Town, Irma LaDouce (all for Encores!), Love’s Fire (The Acting Company/RSC), The Mystery of Irma Vep. Regional Credits include Westport Country Playhouse, Yale Rep, George Street Playhouse, Berkshire Theater Group, Williamstown and many others. Television: Law & Order, Ugly Betty, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (Eddie Cantor). MFA: Yale.

Trent Saunders
(Tony) Broadway: Hadestown, Aladdin. London: Evita (Che). National Tours: American Idiot. Regional: Evita (Bay Street), Aida (Village Theatre), Smokey Joe’s Cafe and Forever 54 (Jerry Herman Ring Theatre). Graduate of UMiami ’12.

Additional Casting includes: Sami Bray (
Christie),  Badia Farha (Ronnie/Ensemble), Pomme Koch (Dan/Ensemble), Gaelen Gilliand (Ensemble), Hazel Anne Raymundo (Thelma), Olivia Jones (Young Joy), John Hickok (Cowboy Eddie/Ensemble), Ashley Marie Arnold, Brian Shepard, Dana Costello, Kristen Faith Oei, Alanna Saunders, Ryan Duncan, Anthony Wayne, Justin Gregory Lopez, (Ensemble); Bronwyn Tarboton (Dance Captain/Swing), Michal Kolaczkowski (Swing). 


Casey Hushion (Director) has had the pleasure of working on Broadway for many years, on projects including Mean Girls, Aladdin, The Prom, In the Heights, and The Drowsy Chaperone as the Associate & Resident Director. Working with Broadway’s finest writers, producers, directors and creative teams, Casey has simultaneously established a successful directing career of her own. Recently Casey directed the new hit play CLUE, which premiered at Cleveland Playhouse. The production went on to successful runs at La Mirada, Paper Mill Playhouse, and was the most licensed U.S. Play in 2020 & 2021.  Casey also directed the world premiere of Mystic Pizza at Ogunquit Playhouse. Other New York credits include Call Me Madame at City Center Encores!, Fat Camp at the American Theatre of Actors, and the Broadway production of Nerds (almost).  For television, she has choreographed episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and staged press events for The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, The View, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the NBC special One Night Only: The Best of Broadway among others.

Joshusa  Bergasse
(Choreography) For film/television, Joshua won the Emmy Award for his choreography on NBC’s musical drama Smash. He also choreographed multiple segments on So You Think You Can Dance and PBS’s Sinatra: A Voice for a Century. On Broadway, Josh choreographed the revival of On The Town, which opened to rave reviews. He received an Astaire Award and was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Awards. Also on Broadway, Josh choreographed the revival of Gigi, and most recently choreographed the Broadway debut of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Off-Broadway credits include Sweet Charity staring Sutton Foster; Cagney (Drama Desk, Astaire, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for choreography); Bomb-Itty of Errors and Captain Louie. Josh’s other credits as a choreographer include West Side Story at the Stratford Festival; Little Me, and It’s A Bird… It’s A Plane… It’s Superman! at City Center Encores!; Pirates of Penzance at Barrington Stage Co; Guys and Dolls, and The Sound of Music at Carnegie Hall.  As a director/choreographer, Josh co-directed and choreographed the Bombshell on Broadway concert at the Minskoff Theatre. He directed and choreographed Hazel, a new musical at the Drury Lane Theatre and West Side Story at North Carolina Theater.

AnnMarie Milazzo
(Music and Lyrics) served as vocal designer for Broadway’s Spring Awakening, Next to Normal, If/Then, and Finding Neverland and A Beautiful Noise. Her Off-Broadway credits include Carrie, Bright Lights Big City, and Superhero. Her regional credits include Dangerous Beauty, Prometheus Bound, Some Lovers, Dave, and A Walk on the Moon. Milazzo served as the Broadway orchestrator, with Michael Starobin, for Once on This Island, for which she was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. She is the composer and lyricist of Pretty Dead Girl, winner of the Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival, and the lyricist of Le Rêve and Le Perle. Milazzo is the Grammy-nominated female vocalist for East Village Opera Company on Decca/Universal Records. 

Rick Edinger
(Music Director)  The Unauthorized Hunter S. Thompson Musical (La Jolla Playhouse; Christopher Ashley, director); Godspell (Carnegie Mellon University; Tomé Cousin, director). 2021-2022 season (as Music Director or Music Supervisor): The Visitor (The Public Theater; Daniel Sullivan, director), Trading Places (Alliance Theatre; Kenny Leon, director), Songs for a New World (New City Music Theatre; Miles J. Sternfeld, director), & The Amazing Mr. X (Workshop; Jenny Koons, director). Chair of Acting & Music Theater and Associate Professor of Music Theater at Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. Website: Instagram: @rickedingernyc

Andy Einhorn
(Music Supervision) served as the music supervisor and musical director for the recent Broadway revivals of Hello, Dolly! and Carousel. His previous Broadway music directing and conducting credits include Holiday Inn, Bullets Over Broadway, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Brief Encounter, and Sondheim on Sondheim, while his other Broadway work includes Evita and The Light in the Piazza. Since 2011, Einhorn has served as music director and pianist for six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald; he also music directed concerts for the late Barbara Cook. He served as music director and conductor for the Châtelet Theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Passion in Paris and has twice led the New York Philharmonic, conducting for McDonald and Chris Botti. His tour work includes Sweeney Todd, The Light in the Piazza, Mamma Mia!, and The Lion King.

Ken Davenport
(Book) is a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer and writer whose credits include A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical, Once On This Island (Tony Award), Gettin’ the Band Back Together, The Play that Goes Wrong, Groundhog Day (Tony nomination), Deaf West Theatre’s Spring Awakening (Tony nomination), It’s Only a Play, Macbeth starring Alan Cumming, Godspell, Kinky Boots (Tony Award), and more, including multiple Off-Broadway productions such as Altar Boyz, The Awesome 80s Prom and more.  Ken’s shows have been produced internationally in over 25 countries around the world. He is the founder of, a one-of-a-kind “masterclass” community that provides training and inspiration from Broadway’s best to writers, directors, producers and more.  Ken created the best-selling board game, Be A Broadway Star, one of the highest-ranking Broadway gifts on  Ken was also the Executive Producer for North America for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group and is the Theatrical Consultant for Primary Wave, a music management and publishing company.  Ken’s unique production and marketing style has garnered him international attention in numerous publications, including Vanity Fair and The New York Times. Upcoming projects include The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation, JOY the Musical, Harmony: A New Musicalwritten by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman, The Ten and a musical based on the life of Harry Belafonte. For more information, visit

Design and Production Team Features

Anna Louizos (Scenic Designer), Tina McCartney (Costume Designer), , Jen Schriever (Lighting Designer), Dan Moses Schreier (Sound Designer),  Liz Printz (Hair & Wig Designer), John Clancy (Orchestrator), Rick Edinger (Music Director), Andy Einhorn (Music Supervision & Arrangements), Melissa Chacón (Production Stage Manager). 

TICKETS to Joy can be found at

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