“I got to do my own hour at Jazz at Lincoln Center, which was so fun and weird that they let me do that,” Rannells confessed. “I do some musical theatre stuff, I do a lot of pop songs. My go-to audition song when I got to the city, I would always sing the same song—which was highly inappropriate but I did it anyway because I just liked to sing it.” That song is Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run”—which booked him Jersey Boys and Hairspray on Broadway.
Speaking of the Main Stem, Rannells is back on Broadway in the all-star cast of limited engagement The Boys in the Band, directed by Joe Mantello. “It's very gay. It's about nine guys at a birthday party and with a little too much booze and dope the wheels fall off this party,” he said.
But Rannells has fun onstage working with a cast that includes Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Carver, Robin De Jesús, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Tuc Watkins and Matt Bomer in their Broadway debuts. “I've known Matt for a very long time and I love him but he's very easy to crack up onstage,” said Rannells, “which is fun, so I just go for him nightly. I like to try and shock him as much as possible just because it's fun and he's so pretty so I have to give him a hard time about something.”
Watch the full video interview above.
Rannells was last seen on Broadway in Falsettos, for which he earned a Tony nomination. He has also starred in Hamilton as King George and as the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He earned his first Tony nomination as Elder Price in The Book of Mormon.