She is best known for originating the roles of both Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut in the Broadway musical, Avenue Q, for which she received a nomination for the 2004 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (which she lost to Idina Menzel for her performance in Wicked). She also received a Drama Desk nomination, the Theatre World Award, and the Outer Critics Circle Special Ensemble Award. Her other stage credits include Skitch Henderson's New Faces of 2004 at Carnegie Hall, Carnival (for City Center Encores!), Encores! 10th Anniversary Bash, I Love You Because... (off-Broadway), If You Give A Mouse A Cookie (TheaterworksUSA) and Chess (for the Actors' Fund).
On television, Stephanie has used her puppetry skills as various Muppets in Sesame Street, and has done puppeteering and voice work in Oobi, Sheep in the Big City, The Book of Pooh, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss. She has also been featured in various commercials and promos. She currently has been added to the large celebrity cast and is one of the only two Broadway actors on VH1's I Love the... series (along with Stephen Lynch from the acclaimed musical The Wedding Singer).
On Scrubs, Stephanie guest starred in a musical episode as a patient with a mysterious ailment that caused her to interpret speech as Broadway-esque song and dance numbers. She sang in five of the nine songs. Four of the episode's songs were co-written by Avenue Q composers Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. The episode aired on January 18, 2007 on the NBC network.
Stephanie's production of a puppet television show called "Freeform" was directed by Elizabeth Kirkscey and won the National College Emmy award for comedy.
Stephanie grew up near Pittsburgh before graduating from the Radio/Television/Film program at Northwestern University in 1993. At Northwestern, she lived in the Communications Residential College (CRC); Stephanie's husband, Craig Shemin, was also an alumnus of this dorm. She could often be caught watching (and, as it turns out, studying) Sesame Street there during the day. She also had a large collection of Muppet recordings; she auctioned off a mix-tape thereof for dorm fundraisers. Her husband Craig Shemin had lived in the same dormitory, though he graduated before Stephanie began her college studies.
At Northwestern, Stephanie's other standout roles included Mildred in the short film "The Ballad of Hank and Mildred" and herself in "The Glance." While in college, she also performed with a campus improvisational comedy troupe.
- Stephanie D'Abruzzo and John Tartaglia - Downstage Center interview at American Theatre Wing.org
- THE Q INTERVIEW: Kate Monster interviews Stephanie
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