"'Til There Was You": Broadway's Best Showmances
By Carey Purcell
Playbill.com offers a look at couples who met while working together onstage. Nice work if you can get it!
Love was in the air offstage at the the Booth Theatre, where the Tony-winning revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? played in 2012-13. Tracy Letts and Carrie Coon, who played George and Honey in Edward Albee's portrayal of marriage, confirmed in June that they were not only involved offstage, the co-stars were engaged.
"We had a little showmance," Coon told the Cap Times.
A showmance, otherwise known as a romance between people working on a show, is nothing new to the theatre community. What else can be expected when a group of creative, passionate people work together in one small space for months on end? Many real-life couples met while performing together, and in honor of all the stage-struck lovebirds out there, we rounded up a list of some off-stage couples who met on stage.
Click through to see the top Broadway showmances.
Patrick Page and Paige Davis
What's in a name? These two met while on tour with Beauty and the Beast, where Page (Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Spider-Man Turn off the Dark, Cyrano de Bergerac) played Lumiere the Candlestick and Davis (Chicago) played Babette the Broom. When they married, Davis, host of the TLC show "Trading Spaces," did not want to be known as Paige Page, so she chose to keep her maiden name.
Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley
Mazzie (Passion, Kiss Me, Kate, Carrie) met Danieley (Candide, The Full Monty, Curtains) when the two performed together in Trojan Women: A Love Story. The love story continued offstage, before returning to Broadway, where and the real-life husband and wife later played a married couple in Next to Normal.
Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs
Taye Diggs (Carousel, Chicago) and Idina Menzel (Wicked, If/Then) met when performing in the original cast of Rent, where Diggs played the corrupt landlord Benny and Menzel originated the role of the flamboyant performing artist Maureen, famously mooning Diggs in the Act One number "La Vie Boheme." The two, who founded the charity A Broader Way, later reunited onstage in The Wild Party and Wicked.
Norbert Leo Butz and Michelle Federer
Fiyero may be destined to end up with Elphaba onstage in Wicked, but when Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Catch Me If You Can, Big Fish) played the bad-boy turned activist, it was Elphaba's younger sister Nessarose, played by Michelle Federer (A Man of No Importance), with whom he lived happily ever after. Butz and Federer married in 2007.
Audra McDonald and Will Swenson
Things heated up onstage when Audra McDonald (Carousel, Ragtime, The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess) and Will Swenson (Hair, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) took the stage together in 110 in the Shade. Swenson, who was understudying the lead, said sparks flew when he stepped into the role of Bill Starbuck, who romances McDonald's Lizzie.
Matt Cavenaugh and Jenny Powers
Matt Cavenaugh (West Side Story, Grey Gardens) and Jenny Powers (Little Women, Grease) met when performing at a benefit of The Secret Garden for Rosie's Kids. The married couple have collaborated on the CD "Gonna Make You Love Me" and are now parents; they had their first child July 2012.
Hunter Foster and Jennifer Cody
Hunter Foster (Hands on a Hardbody, Million Dollar Quartet, Little Shop of Horrors) met Jennifer Cody (Shrek the Musical, The Pajama Game) on a tour of Cats. The two, who have been married since 1997, then appeared onstage together in Urinetown.
Kim Crosby and Robert Westenberg
In a real-life story of happily ever after, instead of "agony," Kim Crosby (Jerry's Girls, Guys and Dolls), who played Cinderella in the original cast of Into the Woods, married her onstage prince Robert Westenberg (1776, Company, The Secret Garden).
Kevin Massey and Kara Lindsay
Kevin Massey (Big River, Tarzan, Memphis) and Kara Lindsay (Newsies) met when playing Almanzo Wilder and Laura Ingalls in the musical Little House on the Prairie. Taking their historical onstage romance into real life, the two marred June 2.
Laura Osnes and Nathan Johnson
Broadway's Cinderella, Laura Osnes (Bonnie and Clyde, South Pacific, Grease) met her husband, photographer Nathan Johnson, when the two understudied for Jasmine and Aladdin in a stage adaptation of the Disney animated musical. The two filled in for the leading roles, who were injured during the magic carpet ride, but they survived the performance and married in 2007.
Stephanie J. Block and Sebastian Arcelus
Stephanie J. Block (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 9 to 5, The Pirate Queen) met her husband, Sebastian Arcelus (A Time to Kill, Elf, Jersey Boys) while on tour with Wicked. Block was leaving the show as he was coming in, and the two have been "dancing through life" ever since.
Orfeh and Andy Karl
Orfeh (Legally Blonde, Footloose) and Andy Karl (Legally Blonde, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 9 to 5, Jersey Boys) met when both performed in Saturday Night Fever. They joined forces onstage for Legally Blonde, playing love interests Paulette and Kyle, the sexy UPS guy.
Debra Messing and Will Chase
"Will and Grace" star Debra Messing, who will make her Broadway debut in Outside Mullingar, met real-life love Will Chase (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Full Monty, Rent) when the two played on-screen paramours Julia Houston and Michael Swift on the behind-the-scenes Broadway TV show "Smash."
Ashley Spencer and Jeremy Jordan
In a modern-day twist, Ashley Spencer (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Rock of Ages, Grease, Hairspray) first encountered Jeremy Jordan (Bonnie and Clyde, Newsies) in an online video when she was preparing to audition for Rock of Ages and he was a swing in the show. Impressed by his singing skills, Spencer began Facebook messaging Jordan, who gave her some tips for her audition. The advice must have worked, because Spencer was cast, and she and Jordan began dating. They were married September 2012.
Brian Stokes Mitchell and Allyson Tucker
Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Kiss Me Kate, Ragtime) met his wife, Allyson Tucker (Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, The Will Rogers Follies), when the two appeared in Oh, Kay! The two, who went on to share stage in both Ragtime and Man of La Mancha, married in 1994 and have one son together.
Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne
On a historical note, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne met when they co-starred in A Young Man's Fancy in 1919. The two married in 1922 and were Broadway's leading couple for 55 years. They now have a theatre named in their honor.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sarah Brightman
Sarah Brightman caught the eye of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber when auditioning for Cats in 1981. The two later began a relationship and Webber wrote the part of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera for his then wife, which she premiered in London and then on Broadway. Though the two divorced after six years of marriage, they have remained close friends, and Brightman performed in Webber's Song and Dance and Requiem as well as at the 25th anniversary production of The Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall.
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