On May 30, Andrew Samonsky took a break from having “an affair across America” as Robert Kincaid in the national tour of Bridges of Madison County to marry his fiancé of two months, Something Rotten! star Kate Reinders. (You may also recognize him from the recording of The Hunchback of Notre Dame as the original Captain Phoebus de Martin.) One of the first sweet nothings this smooth operator whispered in his new wife’s ear was: “This week ruined my life.”
Samonsky was actually talking about how hard it would be to be to go back to New York after such a magical week with Reinders in the Magic Kingdom where they wed, but that’s not exactly how it came out. “One of the best things about having a new husband,” says Reinders, “is catching him saying all the worst possible things he could ever say in the first week of marriage.” One of the best things about their relationship however, is that they keep laughing about it.
Friends had been trying to hook the two actors up for months, but Reinders was convinced that since Samonsky was so hot, he had to be boring. Samonsky had seen his now wife play Portia, the hilariously naive Puritan in Something Rotten! and knew she was beautiful and funny, but wasn’t sure if she could also be serious. Their snap judgements were exacerbated when Reinders went to see her best friend Sarah Litzsinger in the Ventura, CA production of Little Miss Scrooge, which also starred Samonsky. The three actors shared a flight back to New York and when Litzsinger forced her two friends to sit together, Reinders continued to order cocktails after a bottomless mimosa brunch while Samonsky promptly fell asleep. Now they realize they might have stumbled onto the formula for a successful relationship. As Reinders says, “I was drunk, and he was asleep, which will be the rest of our marriage.” Mazel tov!
Congratulations on getting married! Did you choose the date because it was during a three-week layoff of the Bridges tour?
Andrew Samonsky: Yes, and we actually already had this trip to Disney World planned as just a little fun vacation. After talking and talking about every possible wedding option road to go down, we said, “Why don’t we just get married when we’re down there?”
Kate Reinders: We kept calling it our pre-Honeymoon, so we finally said, “Why don’t we just make it our real honeymoon?”
What is a wedding at Disney World like?
KR: Disney makes it very easy and magical. They have elopement packages called “Wishes,” “Escape,” or “Memories.” We did “Wishes.”
AS: We did “Memories.”
KR: Oh, okay. Clearly I didn’t do a lot of the planning. I made Andrew do it, but he’s a really good planner, which I love! It’s so nice that I can just relax and show up. The Memories package included the two of you plus four people, so we had our parents fly down. Then they provide a bouquet, a violinist…
AS: A photographer, a venue…
KR: And then a magic in-room celebration where Tinker Bell leaves you a surprise. How can you not say yes to that!
That sounds very magical! Were you originally thinking that you would have a bigger wedding?
KR: We could not make a small list to save our lives. We kept trying to cut down, and our cut-down list was still 250 people. We’re a little bit older, so we’ve made lots of friends along the way, and I’m from Michigan, and he’s from California, and we live in New York, so we didn’t know where to do it or when to do it. We knew that most people would have to fly to wherever it would be, and it would end up costing people tons of money and costing us tons of money. Now we’re just going to have a few parties after we’re done with our shows like here in New York, at my parents backyard in Michigan….
AS: And at my parents house in Ventura, California.
KR: Basically, we figured that we’ll just come to you.
A bridal tour. I like it.
AS: After my [show] tour, I’ll go back out on tour to celebrate the marriage.
KR: Which is kind of nice after the affair he’s been having across America.
Right! Speaking of the Bridges tour. You guys have had a crazy year. You started dating ten months ago, got engaged in March and married in May, and Andrew’s been on tour for most of it! The juxtaposition between being away from each other, but making such big strides in your relationship is really interesting.
AS: Obviously going on tour wasn’t ideal for our relationship, but it kind of reveals things that either bring you closer together or drive you apart. We just really missed each other. We FaceTime every night and I don’t think we’ve gone longer than 13 days without seeing each other. Either she comes to visit me or I go and visit her. We’ve also been kind of blessed with a series of tour layoffs. We’ve had a one-week, a two-week and a three-week layoff, which helped break it up. We’ve seen more of each other than most people could hope to on a tour like this, but every day we just missed each other more, and in a way we really got to know each other even better by just talking every night on the phone. So as hard as it’s been at times, it’s really been quite a beautiful journey of us getting closer and realizing how right we were for each other.
You were only dating for about three months before Andrew had to go out on tour. What was your relationship like before he left?
KR: We were both a little bit tentative when we first started dating. We had both sort of decided that we were going to be single forever, and we were okay with it, and on our first couple dates—I only recently have admitted that they were dates. I was calling them interviews then—we had previously conceived notions of each other.
AS: Or you could call them low expectations.
KR: We had mutual friends who kept telling us that we would be great together, but I thought he was too handsome, so he must be boring.
AS: And I thought she was too cute, so she must not be very bright.
KR: And we both weren’t really interested in [starting a relationship], which is probably why it worked.
AS: We were totally surprised when we met each other.
KR: We had kept missing each other in life, like I was supposed to do Tales of the City in San Francisco—
AS: And play my wife.
KR: No. You would have played my husband.
KR: So we were supposed to be in that, but I ended up not doing it. Then we were supposed to be in [a new musical called] Little Miss Scrooge [at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, CA] together, but again I didn’t do it. Then I actually started the application process for an apartment, which was where we live now, but at the time I ended up subletting an apartment next door to my stage manager. The first time I came over to [Andrew’s] apartment I said, “Where are we going?” and he was like, “This is where I live,” and I said, “ I almost got an apartment here!” I [had applied] to live in 3EE and he lives in 3M! We would have been literally down the hall and around the corner from each other.
That is insane!
KR: I know and thank goodness I didn’t move in because I was just looking for reasons we couldn’t date and that would have been a good one.
AS: Yeah we might have freaked out a little bit if that had been the case.
Who are the friends that set you up?
KR: My best friend Sarah Litzsinger.
AS: She was the main matchmaker in this whole deal.
KR: She kept telling me how great he was and I was like, “Boring!” and she said, “No! I’m telling you, he’s one of us. He’s a weirdo.”
What was it about each other that finally made you realize that Sarah was right?
AS: Well, we joke about having low expectations, but we didn’t really know each other. I knew she was super cute and I knew she was funny. I had seen Something Rotten!, but after talking to her on one of our “interviews” I realized that she is just the sweetest, most generous, kindest person you’ll ever want to meet. That was an incredible revelation I had in getting to know her. Everyone tells me how special she is when they congratulate me, and believe me I know. I feel very lucky.
KR: It was sort of the same thing [for me]. On one of our “interviews” he started talking about space and the Kuiper belt and black matter.
AS: Dark matter, babe.
KR: Right. Dark matter. And he was getting really excited about it. Then he told some really dumb dad jokes, and those are my favorite.
AS: I sound like the biggest nerd.
KR: That’s the thing. Nobody knows that he is the biggest nerd and the sweetest and just so funny. We laugh so much. I say it was a slow burn, but I guess it happened pretty quickly. It felt like it was gradual and steady, and then it just was. It was the feeling of, “Yeah of course he’s my husband. He was always supposed to be my husband.”