Lists11 Real-Life Broadway Power CouplesCelebrate Valentine’s Day a little early with Broadway’s most romantic and accomplished offstage pairings.
February 09, 2018
Broadway is certainly no stranger to a good love story, and that’s true offstage and on. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we take a look at nine power couples who (individually and together) make an impact on the theatre world.
Each a major Broadway star in their own right, these two met working on the 2007 Broadway revival production of 110 in the Shade. Swenson understudied Starbuck, the love interest to McDonald’s Lizzie, and their onstage chemistry proved to work offstage as well. The pair married in October 2012, and four years later (nearly to the day) McDonald and Swenson welcomed their daughter Sally James McDonald-Swenson into the world. McDonald holds the record for the most Tony Awards won by an individual (six) and Swenson earned a Tony nomination in 2009 for Hair.
Terrence Mann and Charlotte d’Amboise
The duo stands strong as one of Broadway’s most influential (and award-worthy) couples. D’Amboise is a two-time Tony nominee for Jerome Robbins’ Broadway and the 2007 revival of A Chorus Line. With 11 Broadway credits to her name, d’Amboise also concurrently rehearsed for two roles: the cover for Charity Hope Valentine in Sweet Charity and Roxie Hart in Chicago. When Charity star Christina Applegate broke her ankle, d’Amboise became the full time Charity and had to leave her plans for Chicago behind—though she has played the role many times since. Mann is a three-time Tony nominee for Beauty and the Beast, Les Misérables, and Pippin, when he shared the stage with his wife. Mann also created the role of Rum Tum Tugger in Cats. D’Amboise father, famed choreographer Jacques d’Amboise, founded the National Dance Institute to promote dance for young children. D’Amboise serves on the Board of Directors and Mann has also lent his talents to support NDI through its fundraising events.
Phillipa Soo and Steven Pasquale
The couple wed in 2017 and have been dominating the boards since. Pasquale just wrapped leading the new play Junk by Ayad Akhtar at Lincoln Center Theater, while Soo stars alongside Uma Thurman in Broadway’s political thriller The Parisian Woman. Speaking of politics, both Soo and Pasquale are very vocal (and influential) when it comes to current events. And at last month’s BroadwayCon, Soo appeared on a panel to discuss Women in Theatre. Soo is best known for originating the role of Natasha in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 Off-Broadway as well as Eliza Hamilton in the original Broadway cast of Hamilton, for which she earned a Tony nomination. She originated the title role in the new musical Amélie. Pasquale starred in The Bridges of Madison County on Broadway, The Robber Bridegroom Off-Broadway, and it was just announced that he will appear in Theresa Rebeck’s Seared at the Williamstown Theatre Festival this summer.
Alysha Umphress and Cody Williams
Umphress and Williams also appeared onstage together in the 2014 Broadway revival of On the Town, but their romance actually began before the show hit Broadway, during a preparatory dance lab workshop. Both ended up transferring to the Broadway production, and their romance to the next level; they were married last November. For the moment, Williams has traded in his Broadway dance shoes to become a producer for NY1’s On Stage. Together with actor Jeanna de Waal and music director Isaac Alter, they founded Broadway Weekends, the musical theatre camp for adults.
This couple has not appeared on the same Broadway stage, but their respective careers have made them both Main Stem mainstays. Doyle made his Broadway debut in Spring Awakening, and went on to appear in Bye Bye Birdie, War Horse, and The Book of Mormon. Clayton has quickly become one of Broadway’s leading ensemble men after making his Broadway debut in 2015’s Gigi and moving on to On the Town, Something Rotten!, Bandstand, and Hello, Dolly!
Jason Danieley and Marin Mazzie
She’s a three-time Tony nominee with roles like Mother in Ragtime and Clara in Passion on her resume, and he is one of Broadway’s favorite high tenors, having created roles in The Full Monty, Curtains, and The Visit. (He’ll also be back on Broadway soon in Pretty Woman.) Danieley and Mazzie have also joined forces on the Great White Way; they appeared alongside each other on Broadway as Dan and Diana in Next to Normal (replacing J. Robert Spencer and Alice Ripley, respectively) and they have a duo cabaret act, which they’ve brought to Playbill Travel’s Broadway on the High Seas cruises.
This pair also met while working on a show together, a 2012 production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf that played Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre before hitting Broadway. The two married a year later and welcomed their first child just a few weeks ago. A Pulitzer-winning playwright, Letts won the Prize (and the Tony for Best Play) for August: Osage County, which also marked his Broadway debut and was later adapted into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. His second Broadway outing as a writer, Superior Donuts, has been adapted into a network TV series. Letts is also a seminal performer, having won two Tonys for performing from his work in Virginia Woolf and The Realistic Joneses, and can be seen in the Oscar-nominated Lady Bird as the McPhereson patriarch. Coon earned a Tony nod for Virginia Woolf, but moved over mainly to the screen, where she earned an Emmy nomination for Fargo. You can catch them working together again on the big screen, in the Academy Award-nominated The Post.
Andy Karl and Orfeh
When Andy Karl made his Broadway debut joining the cast of Saturday Night Fever, he thought he was just reaching a career milestone. Little did he know, he’d also meet the love of his life, Orfeh, who starred as Annette. Karl and Orfeh married just six months later and have been together ever since. The two played opposite each other again in 2007’s Legally Blonde the Musical, with Orfeh creating the role of Paulette and Karl taking on UPS man she falls in love with. They also recently debuted their duo cabaret show Legally Bound, which was released as an album last August. Karl is a two-time Tony nominee for Rocky and Groundhog Day and Orfeh returns to Broadway later this year in Pretty Woman: The Musical as Kit.
These days, Kyle Dean Massey is best known as Kevin Bicks on TV’s Nashville while Taylor Frey has had stints on Days of Our Lives, The Carrie Diaries, and appeared in the films G.B.F. and Summertime. Both actors have Broadway roots: Massey appeared in Xanadu, Next to Normal, Wicked, and Pippin, while Frey was in Finian’s Rainbow, South Pacific, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The couple was married in Palm Springs in October 2016.
Both halves of this pair has a long and storied Broadway career with 25 shows and nine Tony Award nominations between them. When they met in 1996, both had already established careers on Broadway, and yet it was a show at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre that first brought them together. They were married in 2000. The two haven’t done any more shows together, yet, but they did play husband and wife on a 2015 episode of Law and Order: SVU.
When it comes to Broadway power couples, these two may be the most powerful of all. Roth is the President and majority owner of Jujamcyn Theaters, which owns five Broadway theatres in addition to its producing interests, while Jackson is the film and stage producer behind Nurse Jackie and Broadway’s A Catered Affair. The couple was married in 2012 and are raising two children together.