Rita Gardner has had a long career on and off Broadway, she is best known for originating the role of The Girl in the longest running musical of all time, The Fantasticks. Her Broadway credits include A Family Affair, Ben Franklin In Paris, 1776, and Last of the Red Hot Lovers. Most recently, she created the role of Rosie in the musical The Wedding Singer.
Ms. Gardner‘s Off-Broadway credits include Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,Steel Magnolias, and Wings. Other theatrical credits include A.R. Gurney’s The Snowball, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,Gingerbread Lady,and Side By Side by Sondheim. She has performed in productions at Goodspeed Opera House, Ford Theatre in Washington, DC and New York City’s Connelly Theatre, among other
celebrated venues. Ms. Gardner also performed in the National tour of Kiss of the Spider Woman.
Her film credits include Mr. Gibb, Super Heroes and most recently P.S. I Love You, with Hillary Swank.
On TV, she can be seen in Tracy Morgan’s The Last O.G. on TBS. She has had roles on Guiding Light and on each version of Law and Order, as well as various other television appearances.
Ms. Gardner‘s most recent theatrical activities include the reading of the new Broadway musical version of Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, starring Tyne Daly, Lucy Arnaz, and Keith Carradine. She also has the title role in the reading of a new play with music, Zazou, at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. Film work includes short films, done as part of RIPFEST, which has just recently concluded.
Ms. Gardner studied with Uta Hagen and has taught at H.B. Studios for many years. Her students have included Lorna Luft, Liz Callaway, Steve Ross, and Sidney Myer.
She has conducted master classes at Juilliard, Princeton, NYC, the International Cabaret Conference at Yale University and, most recently, at Duke University.
And, along with this busy schedule, she continues with her first love: her one-woman show, Try To Remember: A Look Back At Off-Broadway. She is accepting concert bookings (with or/without master classes) at universities, cabarets, and theaters throughout the country.