Entrepreneur and inventor Joy Mangano gets emotional watching the musical “Joy” on stage at the George Street Playhouse

Not many people have a movie and musical written about them, and especially not while they’re alive, but that’s the case for businesswoman, inventor, and best-selling author Joy Mangano.

Happiness is a moving and powerful musical playing at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick through December 30 and is based on the life of Joy Mangano, the self-made millionaire whose journey embodies the true American Dream.

Mangano spoke with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle about the show and his rise to the top of the merchandise world.

Joy Mangano chats with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle about the musical “Joy”

The Brooklyn native says Erika Henningsen’s performance of the Broadway stars as Joy really captures the emotion and spirit within her.

“I’ve seen people smile from start to finish and walk away inspired. I think everyone can relate to some of the threads. I always say we’re similar, but our paths are defined a little differently and I think that’s what Happiness the musical yes. Many people tell me that they wish they had moved on, whether it’s opening a restaurant or creating a product. So, I think if (the musical) inspired someone to think twice about what they might have stopped doing or what they always wanted to do, then our job is done. And it really is done in such a beautiful way. But Erika, to bring that powerful voice. Not only are you mesmerized by her songs and skill, but you fall in love with her. “


Erika Henningsen plays inventor Joy Mangano in “Joy” at the George Street Playhouse

Mangano published his autobiography inventing joyin 2017. The 2015 film Happiness was loosely based on his life. Jennifer Lawrence won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Mangano.

The famed inventor says she feels the musical’s creative team working at the George Street Playhouse is special, including Ken Davenport (book) and Annmarie Milazzo (music and lyrics). Andy Einhorn is in charge of musical supervision and arrangements. The choreography is by Joshua Bergasse. Director of Happiness It’s Casey Hushion.

“I say I met the most amazing family in Hollywood with the movie and now I think I met the most theatrical family I could. They just love each other.”

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Joy Mangano is also a bestselling author.

Mangano’s story involves a triumphant rise from divorce to single motherhood to bankruptcy to a wildly successful dynamo that began with the invention of a self-squeezing mop, the Miracle Mop.

“So the Miracle Mop represented a lot of things. It represented one of the first inventions I ever followed through with, but it literally defined who I was, an inventor ultimately, a product creator and thousands of products later we sat here. It just blew up on me what that I had naturally.

Shortly after she began appearing on QVC in 1992, she began appearing regularly on HSN and is considered one of the network’s most successful product hosts.

Mangano says she’s most proud to be the founder and CEO of Clean Boss, a company that develops and sells cleaning products.

In 2021, he launched a reality competition show on the USA Network for aspiring entrepreneurs called America’s big business.

You can SEE the full interview with Joy Mangano here.

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