June 19 — My Philadelphia trip began with this hysterical interview with the bubbly and outrageous Jennie Eisenhower, just before the evening curtain for Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits. Jennie shared her impersonations of Ethel, Liza, Bernadette, Idina, Renee, Carol, a miserable Fantine, John (that’s Travolta of Hairspray fame) in this funny interview which left me dying to see the show.
Jennie was drawn to impersonations, even as a kid, although she didn’t mention doing her famous grandfather Richard Nixon and great-grandfather, Dwight D. Eisenhower. “I used to dance up down our grocery aisle hoping to be discovered like Shirley Temple.” So how did she get such dead-on impersonations for the show? “God bless YouTube. and all it has to offer. ”
It’s been a big year for this busy Philly actress: she played Atta at Walnut Street Theatre in Criminal Hearts, the pothead Mae in 11th Hour Theatre Company’s production of Reefer Madness, played Hedda Gabbler at the Mauckingbird Theatre Company, and directed Our Town at her alma mater Contestoga High School, where she is an adjunct director. “I get to direct their musical and their play, and run their dance program. It gives me (a job)every year that I know will go on, no matter what happens with the theatre.”
In the DC area, Jennie appeared as Joan of Arc in Olney Theatre Center’s production of Saint Joan in 2005. “It was a huge challenge and to be the only woman in the cast of all these men.” (Jim Gagne, Peter Kybart, Robert Leembruggen, Josh Lefkowitz, Tim Lewis, Alex Major, Eric M. Messner, Richard Pilcher, Lawrence Redmond, Stephen F. Schmidt, and Jeffries Thais). “..my roots are mostly musical theatre, and I was branching out… I was just the right energy for that role”.