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Theater

Glen Ellyn native lands on Broadway

Brad Giovanine makes Broadway debut in 'Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812'

GLEN ELLYN – Glen Ellyn native Brad Giovanine dreamed of being on Broadway his entire life.

"I've been performing since I was 10," the 2006 Glenbard West High School graduate said. "And of course for any actor, Broadway is always the pinnacle of what you want to do with your career."

That dream came true in December, when he made his Broadway debut in "Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812," which stars entertainer Josh Groban. Stepping out on the stage for first time, Giovanine said he wasn't as nervous as he thought he would be.

"I just felt very prepared, and it felt very normal, and it felt like I was in the right place doing the right thing," Giovanine said. "It just felt very comfortable. I wasn't nervous at all, and I thought I would be."

In his role, Giovanine sings and dances and plays the clarinet – he studied the instrument for 15 years. He has come a long way since performing "A Christmas Carol" at the College of DuPage when he was in the fourth grade. Giovanine attended Forest Glen Elementary School.

His mother, Sandi Giovanine, is proud her son never gave up on his dream of being in a Broadway show.

"He just persevered, and he did it," she said. "He made his dream come true. He worked really hard to get there. It wasn't always easy, and it wasn't handed to him. He really worked to get it."

Giovanine said he loves being part of such an innovative show.

"It's been called the most innovative musical since 'Hamilton,' '' he said. "It's a 360 degree experience, so we really get involved with the audience, which is really fun for me. And the music itself is very complex. It's an amazing pop opera. I hear new things in the score every single night when I'm on stage. It keeps me really engaged."

He even got to chat with Groban during a Christmas party for the cast.

"He's very gracious," Giovanine said. "He's a really wonderful human to work with. And we both enjoy Wheaten terriers. He has a Wheaten terrier puppy, and that's the breed of dog my family has always had. So that was a really fun moment for us, to talk about our dogs."

He noted Groban also is making his Broadway debut in the show.

"We're all kind of learning together," Giovanine said. "That's kind of the beauty of the cast. At least 70 percent of the cast is making its Broadway debut, so we're all feeling the same thing, which is pretty cool."

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