Backstage at the Delacorte Theater during a production of Shakespeare in the Park can be a sweaty, muddy place to be — hardly the type of environment where you'd expect romantic relationships to bloom. But when you are as good looking and talented as Anything Goes breakout Colin Donnell and Lysistrata Jones star Patti Murin, you don't let the elements get in your way.
With temperatures reaching almost 100 degrees, things literally heated up between the long-time friends last summer while performing in the outdoor production of Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman's millennial-friendly musical adaptation of the Bard's comedy, Love's Labour's Lost. Now, a year later, the couple — who look like they could be in talks to play Danny Zuko and Sandy Dumbrowski in an NBC live telecast of Grease — share an apartment on the Upper West Side with their chiweenie rescue dog, Milo.
Donnell is currently finishing up his run in the Tony-nominated musical Violet and filming a recurring role, alongside Joshua Jackson, in the new Showtime drama "The Affair" while Murin, who wrapped up Fly By Night at Playwrights Horizons earlier this summer, is prepping for her August 11 54 Below show titled "Literally Patti Murin." Over frozen yogurt loaded with toppings at Off the Wall in Times Square, Murin and Donnell chatted with Playbill contributor Whitney Spaner about bold first moves, road trips and dressing room rendevous for the inaugural installment of Playbill.com's column A Fine Showmance.
Colin Donnell: We've actually known each other for about eight years. We met through a mutual friend.
Patti Murin: Patrick Garrigan, who I went to college with many moons ago...
CD: ... and who I worked with in St. Louis. I actually introduced Patrick to his wife and well, we didn't know it at the time but...
PM: Yeah, we met at one of Patrick's birthday parties and became friends, because at that point we lived like six blocks away from each other and we just kind of kept in touch over the years. We weren't best of friends or anything, but it was always nice to see him when we would run into each other.
PM: Then a couple nights before rehearsal started [for Love's Labour's Lost] it was like alright…
CD: Patti had a party.
PM: Patti had a party and got a little bit drunk.
CD: She may have kissed me in the hallway.
PM: We were literally starting rehearsals two days later, and I was like, "What did I just do? I do not want a boyfriend right now," and I'd known him for so long. Everyone was always like, "Colin is so good looking, he's so hot... And I was like, "Really? I just don't see it." And then when I went back into my apartment that night my best friend was still there and I was like, "I see it now. I get it."
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