During his four years at Saint Viator, Joe Giovannetti ’10 auditioned for nearly every play and musical, and created memorable roles as Riff in West Side Story and the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.
Turns out, he still is drawing attention on stage. Performing in his first professional show, “The Most Happy Fella” at the Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre in Chicago, Giovannetti was nominated for a Non-Equity Jeff Award in the best supporting actor in a musical category, for his portrayal of Hermann.
The show closed in mid-May, but it led all musical productions with 11 nominations, including best musical, and was a Jeff-recommended musical.
It was his first role after taking a three-year hiatus from performing.
“I started to take performing in musical theater more seriously in high school, but I decided to go to music school and become certified as a music educator,” Giovannetti says. “I received my Bachelor of Music Education from Indiana University in 2014.”
Even though Giovannetti was in Indiana’s acclaimed music school, he couldn’t stay away from the theater and performed in eight main stage musicals at IU.
“I was regularly the only person in the cast not from the theatre school,” he adds. “I really liked being able to perform while working on my teaching license. I felt like I got the best of both worlds.”
One year after earning his music education degree, Giovanetti returned to Saint Viator to direct the choral program, where he collaborated with his former theatre director, Mrs. Kate Costello. He now is pursuing a master’s degree at Northwestern University, when he’s not performing on stage.
“Joe was one of the few triple-threat young men that I have ever had the pleasure to direct,” Mrs. Costello says. “He was a joy to work with as an adult as well. He is a brilliant choreographer and music teacher.”
Giovannetti not only earned a Jeff nomination for his first professional role, he earned rave reviews as well, including this one from in March from Chris Jones, theater critic for the Chicago Tribune: “The cast, especially Giovannetti, yet another big talent performing for the first time in Chicago, also imbues the total switcheroo that the score often requires.”
Looks like the Non-Equity Jeff Awards, whose ceremony takes place June 5 at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago, is just the beginning for this Saint Viator product. Break a leg!