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John Tartaglia
Born John Nicholas Tartaglia
February 16, 1978 (1978-02-16) (age 31)
Maple Shade, New Jersey, USA
Occupation Actor, singer, dancer, puppeteer

John Nicholas Tartaglia (born February 16, 1978) is an American singer, actor, dancer, and puppeteer.

Tartaglia was born in Maple Shade, New Jersey, U.S.. He joined Sesame Street's puppetry team at the age of 16 part-time, performing as a right hand and many minor characters, including Phoebe and being the backup for Kevin Clash's Elmo. He performed Ernie for the second season of Play with Me Sesame, Oscar the Grouch for Sesame Street 4D and Kermit the Frog. He became a full time part of Sesame Street at the age of 18.

Tartaglia created and puppeteered the roles of Princeton (the recent college grad) and Rod (the closeted Republican-investment banker) in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Avenue Q, for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical in 2004. He left the Broadway cast of Avenue Q on January 30, 2005.

Tartaglia appeared in 2004 at the 14th annual Broadway Bares, which was a great success raising $525,000 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.[1]

Tartaglia reprised his roles as Princeton and Rod in the Las Vegas sit-down production of Avenue Q, until December 11, 2005. He then appeared in the musical Newsical 2006: The Next Edition in New York City. Tartaglia joined the cast of Beauty and the Beast as Lumière on November 21, 2006 until early June 2007. He was replaced by David deVries.

Tartaglia is now working on his own television show for Playhouse Disney entitled Johnny and the Sprites as creator, executive producer, and star. While the episodes began as only 5 minute interstitials, the show began a full 30-minute series on January 13, 2007. The show began filming season two during mid 2007.[2]

He recently played the roles of Pinocchio and the Magic Mirror in Shrek the Musical, another musical in which Tartaglia also performed all of the puppets in the show. [3] After a try-out in Seattle the show landed in New York at The Broadway Theatre beginning December 14, 2008. He performed in the show until August 16, 2009 and was replaced by Wicked star, Robb Sapp. He returned to the show on December 15, 2009 where he stayed until its closure on January 3, 2010.

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