Erika Amato

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Erika Amato
Erika Amato.jpg
Born (1969-12-07) December 7, 1969 (age 51)
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1992–present

Erika Amato (born December 7, 1969) is an American singer and actress and a founding member of the band Velvet Chain.


Amato was born in the city of Plainfield, New Jersey and grew up in nearby Mountainside.[1] She started playing and performing music at the age of three. Amato attended the all-girls Kent Place School (receiving the Drama Award upon graduation) and then Vassar College, earning a BA with both General Honors and Honors in Drama.[2] While at Vassar, she performed in the Music Department's elite a cappella group, the Madrigals, and in the student-managed coeducational a cappella group, Matthew's Minstrels.

After Vassar, Amato moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career and quickly was cast as a guest star on popular TV series Quantum Leap, garnering her a SAG card. In the mid-1990s, she and Jeff Stacy founded Velvet Chain, an indie band with a large cult following, most famous for appearances on TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the subsequent soundtrack album on TVT Records. The band has also self-released several albums on its own label, Freak Productions, and members continue to write and record material.[3]

Amato is still acting and has relocated to New York City, where she has been in numerous productions, including the Off-Broadway musicals The Sphinx Winx[4] and Signs of Life.[5] She has also appeared in several films over the years, including the lead in indie film A Couple of Days and Nights[6] and in musicals throughout North America, including the First National Tour of Flashdance the Musical,[7] Into the Woods (Ocean State Theatre Company - Broadway World Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical),[8] Sleeping Beauty Wakes (Center Theatre Group - Ovation Award Nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical),[9] Paint Your Wagon (Geffen Playhouse), Nine (Chance Theater - OC Weekly Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical),[10] 42nd Street (Welk Resort Theatre), and Anything Goes (Candlelight Pavilion - Inland Theatre League Awards Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical[11]).

She also does voice work for TV shows and films, most recently for the PBS-TV animated series Danger Rangers and Disney feature film Enchanted.[12]

Amato appeared on the TV competition Win Ben Stein's Money, and won.[13]


  1. ^ Erika Amato - Biography, Velvet Chain. Accessed September 12, 2013. "Erika was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, and grew up in the small, rather upscale town of Summit (she actually lived in Mountainside, one of the smaller, adjoining towns), about 25 minutes from Manhattan."
  2. ^ Haas, Pia. "Meet Erika Amato as Lela Rogers in Backwards In High Heels.", Westchester Broadway Theatre, August 18, 2015. Accessed September 21, 2015. "I grew up in Mountainside, NJ and went to the all-girls Kent Place School, in Summit."
  3. ^ Maestro Arts and Reviews - Interview - Erika Amato
  4. ^ Blank, Matthew (2011-05-17). The-Sphinx-Winx-With-Bruce-Sabath-Bret-Shuford-and-Erika-Amato-Off-Broadway "PHOTO CALL: New Musical The Sphinx Winx, With Bruce Sabath, Bret Shuford and Erika Amato, Off-Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved 2012-01-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Signs-of-Life-with-Amato-Bridges-Collins-Zagnit-Opens-in-NYC-Feb-25 Playbill - New Musical Signs of Life, with Amato, Bridges, Collins, Zagnit, Opens in NYC Feb. 25
  6. ^ - IMDB - A Couple Of Days And Nights
  7. ^ [1], Feeline Media. Accessed April 10, 2016. "DeQuina Moore, as Alex’s smart-mouthed friend Kiki, and Erika Amato, as the prim and stuffy head of the dance academy Miss Wilde, who isn’t above a little financial persuasion for an audition, are glorious scene-stealers."
  8. ^ [2], 2015 BroadwayWorld Rhode Island Awards - Last Week to Vote!. Accessed April 10, 2016. "Best Actress (Musical), Lead - Professional: Erika Amato - Into the Woods - Ocean State Theatre Company 20%."
  9. ^ Playbill - Can-Can, Kaye, Felder, Lewis and Jersey Boys Win 2007 L.A. Ovation Awards Archived 2010-05-16 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ - The Chance Theater - Awards and Honors Archived 2012-01-26 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ - 2006 Inland Theatre League Awards
  12. ^ Enchanted-original-soundtrack/release/1303583 Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz - "Enchanted" (original soundtrack)
  13. ^ - Erika Amato

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