Jennifer Damiano: Opening Night Style Diary

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Broadway Style Guide followed American Psycho star Jennifer Damiano the week leading up to opening night on Thursday, April 21—from her fitting with stylist Scott Allgauer to backstage in her dressing room to the party at Stage 46. In Duncan Sheik and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 thriller about a (potential) serial killer Patrick Bateman (Benjamin Walker), Damiano plays the Bateman’s secretary Jean, a woman who fascinates and eludes the antihero. In between shows, fittings, and other press engagements, Damiano texted with executive editor Suzy Evans. A transcript of their conversation is below. (Forgive the grammatical errors, it’s a text thread.)

SE: Hey Jenn, it’s Suzy from Broadway Style Guide! How are you?
JD: Heyyyy! I’m good how are you??
SE: I’m good! How’s everything going with Psycho? Are you excited about opening?
JD: Everything is going so well! We are so happy with our show and can’t wait to celebrate. I’m really excited for New York to see what we’ve been up to.
SE: It’s such an exciting show – I absolutely loved seeing it last night! This will be your fourth Broadway opening, has the prep for this one been any different from the others?
JD: OMG what did you think? The prep for this opening hasn’t been any different than others really, aside from trying to create more of a moment with my look since the show focuses so much on style.
SE: I liked it a lot! My date thought there should be a five-story billboard of Ben in his underwear outside the theater :/
JD: Lol yeah a lot of people say that.
SE: Yeah, there is a lot of style in the show! And your character in particular has a more subdued style onstage. What are you going for in your opening look?
JD: My stylist Scott Allgauer and I have come up with a really great aesthetic. We’re just trying to create a cool, relaxed, interesting fashion moment for me.
JD: One that strays from my character, but not in a distasteful way. :)

JD: Also Jean does have some style up her sleeve!
SE: Totally! I loved her red dress in the second act.
SE: I was just thinking of the moment Patrick told her to put on
heels and a skirt.
JD: Yeah that’s a classic moment. Also those pants are vintage Saint Laurent so Patrick obviously needs to check his facts.
SE: Haha. Don’t shove it in his face. He may kill you.
SE: Since this article will be coming out the day after opening can you share the dress you chose and why you chose it?
JD: I chose the Marchesa dress. Mostly because it is so much more than a dress. It’s like a piece of art. I tried a lot of fun, flirty things on but nothing felt quite as special as this. It really creates a “moment.” It felt most appropriate for our show because it is different, and makes a statement. Also, plain and simple, you can’t argue with Marchesa.
SE: Awesome! Have you worn Marchesa before?
JD: Yes I have actually! They dressed me for the 2009 Tony Awards when I was nominated for Next to Normal. A really beautiful blue dress. I’ll never forget that.
SE: That’s such a great tie-in, especially since you and Alice [Ripley] are both in this show! (I’m sure you’re sick of people saying that.)
JD: Not at all. Alice is my family, we will never escape each other haha!
JD: I love her so much. And I’m thrilled to get to experience another run with her.
SE: I love that.
SE: Can you talk a little more about what you mean when you say you wanted a style “moment”?
JD: I think what creating a moment means is that, you’re not trying to showcase any one particular thing, your body or the extremity of your look…rather you’re just trying to stay true to yourself and tastefully showcase a beautiful look that people will remember.
SE: I love that.
SE: It’s also a great moment for you in your career.
SE: Is this a different look for you?
JD: Yeah exactly. I haven’t been on Broadway in a few years and to be back now, a little older, it feels like the perfect moment to make some great fashion choices, especially with this show.
JD: The look is a little more edgy and dramatic than I’ve done before.

SE: When did you start working with Scott? How did you two meet?
JD: We were connected through Heidi Blickenstaff, who I’ve known for a bit through the industry, and it just clicked. We had a similar vision and vibe. He also styles Laura Benanti who always look amazing so, the trust was there.
JD: :)
SE: That’s so great. Is this the first time you’ve worked together?
JD: Yes the very first of many looks hopefully!
SE: Yes! There are so many events coming up :)
SE: Who will you be celebrating with on opening night?
JD: My squad.
JD: Lol jk.
SE: Bahahaha
JD: My family and a few of my best friends who always give me such amazing energy on nights like this.
JD: And of course our amazing cast and crew.
SE: Are you secretly Taylor Swift?
JD: I’m honestly more of a Selena.
SE: Nice. I’m definitely the Lena of the group.
JD: Lol nice.
SE: You must get a lot of flowers/gifts/notes on opening. Do you have any particularly memorable ones from past openings?
JD: Yes there are always so many great sentiments on opening. I remember a really beautiful note Brian Yorkey wrote me on opening night of Next to Normal.
SE: Do you still have it?
JD: Yeah let me go find it…
JD: I have a whole memory box.
SE: That’s so great.
SE: I know you’re probably going to be busy with the show tonight and opening tomorrow, is there anything else you wanted to talk about?
JD: Just that I’m really proud of our show.
SE: You should be. :)
SE: Break legs tonight and enjoy opening tomorrow –maybe I’ll see you at the party!
JD: Yay see you then!! Xxoo

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Hair by Tim Nolan
Make-up by Reiva Cruze
Clothing by Jonathan Simkhai, Zac Posen, Marchesa, Cinq a Sept, rag & bone
Jewelry by Eva Fehren, Walters Faith
Shoes by Pierre Hardy