Sunday, August 25, 2013

Vacation Post: Broadway's Best Gay Showmances

by Kevin Burrows, for HuffPost Gay Voices

Last Friday, while surfing through the major Broadway websites, I came across a feature entitled "''Til There Was You': Broadway's Best Showmances." It was a collection of stories of 18 Broadway couples who fell in love while performing in or working on the same show. As I scrolled through the slideshow with the love stories and images of these couples -- most of whom I know -- I started feeling uneasy. And by the time I got to the end of the article, I was astounded. Of the couples depicted, not one of them was a same-sex couple.

How could this be? I mean, I'm pretty sure most people are aware of this (and even if people aren't, this major Broadway website certainly must be), but there are quite a few gay individuals in the Broadway community. I know, shocker, right?

I can easily rattle off a long list of same-sex couples who met on shows in New York or while in touring productions, including me and my husband. And most of these couples have been together for years, jumping at the opportunity to wed when the state of New York was brave enough to vote on and pass marriage equality into law.

The irony of being excluded from this piece was not lost on me. After all, we're not included onstage, so how could we possibly be included offstage? While many of the depicted romances occurred between men and women who were portraying couples, not one of the same-sex couples (again, including my husband and me) were afforded that opportunity. Aside from a small handful of gay-related shows, there are very few same-sex love stories being depicted onstage. This pissed me off. In fact, as I ran down the list of the same-sex couples I knew, I realized that none of us had been romantic pairings onstage. Our love stories included a Shark and a Jet, a stage manager and a chorus dancer, a musical director and a showgirl, and, in my own case, a straight, male-chauvinist cartoon character and a fork. (Perhaps the editor of the piece was concerned that my own pairing was a little too close to that marriage equality "slippery slope" we keep hearing about?)

Are our relationships somehow less than because we didn't have that magical opportunity to fall in love while pretending to do so onstage? Or worse: Is there some reason that our committed and loving relationships should be hidden away from theater-going audiences?

I thought about that gay, theater-loving kid in some small town somewhere -- this website offering him some hope and a connection to a potentially bright future -- seeing this feature and not seeing himself represented in any way. Once again, something is making him feel different, other, alone.

I want that kid to know that we are out here. And not only are we out here, but we are out here in huge numbers. We have fantastic, successful careers, relationships, marriages, and kids! That's what I want the next generation to see:

Kevin Burrows And Christopher Sieber
Kevin and Christopher met doing Beauty and the Beast in 2000. They have been together ever since and will have been married two years this November. Christopher is a two-time Tony Award nominee for his roles in Monty Python's Spamalot and Shrek: The Musical. Most recently he starred in the revival of La Cage Aux Folles.

Alec Mapa And Jamison Hebert
Actor Alec Mapa and producer Jamison Hebert, co-founder of Thought Moment Media, met in 2002 when Mapa was doing his solo show Dramaat Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum; Hebert was the directing intern on the production. They've been together 11 years and are proud fathers to their 8-year-old son Zion. 

Andy Monroe And George DeMarco
George DeMarco met Andy Monroe (composer of the Outer Critics Circle Award-winning musicalThe Kid, based on the book by Dan Savage) when they collaborated on a musical production of The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun. As of Sept. 1 they will have been together for seven years.

Jenifer Foote And Tracy Geltman
Jenifer Foote (Broadway actor, The Mystery of Edwin DroodFolliesRock of AgesA Chorus Line) and Tracy Geltman (company manager, Broadway's If/ThenPeter and the Starcatcher,The Addams FamilyRock of Ages) met in 2010 while working on Rock of Ages. Tracy was the show's company manager, and Jenifer was the dance captain. In typical "showmance" form, they tried to keep their relationship a secret from the rest of the company (probably unsuccessfully) for as long as possible. Now they very happily live together on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. 

Charlie Sutton And Mark Myers
Charlie and Mark met in February 2004. Mark was the dance captain of Wicked, which had just opened. Charlie came in as the first vacation swing. They spent hours together as Mark taught Charlie all the tracks to the show. They went on their first date a month later and have now been together for nine and a half years. The couple live together and have a 4-year-old dog named Parker. 

Claybourne Elder And Eric Rosen
The couple met in Kansas City, Mo., in 2009, when Clay was cast by director Moisés Kaufman in Into the Woods at Kansas City Rep, where Eric is Artistic Director. Near the end of the run, the two had their first date, and thus began a multi-city romance that culminated in an engagement proposal by Clay in July 2011. The two were married on July 28, 2012, in a wedding officiated by Doug Wright and Moisés Kaufman. 
Subsequent celebrations were held in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Kansas City, Mo., in August 2012. They now split their time between the West Side of Kansas City, Mo., and the Upper West Side of New York, N.Y., continuing their multi-city romance as a married couple. 

Colin Bradbury And Brian Bogin
Brian and Colin met almost six years ago working on Irving Berlin's White Christmas in Boston in 2007. Brian is a stage manager, and Colin is a performer. They were married on March 20, 2013. The legal ceremony was held in New York, but the wedding was celebrated on the island of Curacao in the Caribbean. 

David Eggers And Eric Sciotto
David Eggers and Eric Sciotto met doing the 1999 Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun with Bernadette Peters. They started dating in the summer of 2001 and have been together ever since. They had a civil union ceremony in New Jersey, where they reside with their two kids, Sammy (4 and a half) and Olympia (1 and a half). 

Brad Oscar And Diego Prieto
Tony Award nominee Brad Oscar (The Producers) met husband Diego Prieto in 2005 on the first day of rehearsals for Damn Yankees at Arena Stage. It was Diego's second show at Arena and Brad's first, and they have been together ever since! They were recently married at Arena Stage by the theater's artistic director, Molly Smith. They currently live in Manhattan, and Brad is about to open in Big Fish on Broadway come the fall. 

Jeanne Smith And Pam Young
Jeanne and Pam met in the San Francisco company of Les Misérables in 1989; Jeanne was in the cast, and Pam was the production stage manager. They flirted for weeks, laughed a lot and became a couple within three months. The happy couple has been together for nearly 24 years and are more in love than ever! 

Gary Beach And Jeff Barnett
Tony Award-winner Gary Beach (The Producers) and husband Jeff Barnett met in San Francisco in 1989, when they were doing the first production ofLes Misérables there. Gary was playing Thenardier, and Jeff was a swing. They ran in the show for a year and half, fell in love with each other at the beginning of the run and have been together ever since, 24 years! The couple wed on June 14, 2013, in New York City. They now live in Palm Beach Gardens in Florida, and both still perform.

Gavin Lodge And Todd Ellison
Broadway conductor Ellison and actor Lodge have been together for the last nine years, since they worked together on 42nd Street. They now have two little boys via surrogacy, Ellison and 3-month-old Colton. They are both currently on Broadway in Annie (and incredibly sleep-deprived thanks to wonderful Colton!). 

Josh Rhodes And Lee Wilkins
The couple met 18 years ago while both were on tour in Costa Mesa, Calif.; a friend set them up on a date, and the rest has been a long, wonderful life together. Josh left his Broadway dancer life behind to become a choreographer around five years ago, and Lee has been working by his side ever since. Together they created the choreography for the Broadway production ofCinderella and the brand-new Broadway musicalFirst Date. The couple were married in front of family and friends in 2006 and made it legal once marriage equality was voted into law in New York. 

J.P. Christensen And David Rosales
The couple has been together for 19 years, having met doing a show at Tokyo Disneyland in 1994. They soon moved to New York, where they performed in multiple Broadway shows, includingCatsFosseA Christmas Carol, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. They also went on tour with Catsand have traveled all over the world performing together. The couple hopes to be married on their 20th anniversary next September. While they have no human kids, they count five dogs as part of their family.

Benjamin Taylor And Nathan Till
The two met in the West End while working onTaboo in 2002. Nathan was playing Steve Strange, and Benjamin was the resident director. They've been together ever since. 

Rich Roland And Raymond Sage
Raymond Sage and Rich Roland met while in the cast of the first national tour of Titanic: A New Musical in 1998. They started dating shortly thereafter, in March 1999, and have been together ever since. They married legally in Pasadena, Calif., in August 2008. Rich is now a full-time director, and Raymond is an Associate Professor of Voice for Musical Theatre at Penn State. However, Raymond still performs, and Rich has directed him in two productions recently: Urinetown and Ragtime. They split their time between their apartment in Manhattan and their farmhouse just outside State College, Pa., with their two Labrador Retrievers, Diggory and Finn. 

Sean McDaniel And Ben Cohn
Sean McDaniel and Ben Cohn are both Broadway musicians. Ben is currently the assistant conductor at Wicked, and Sean is the drummer atThe Book of Mormon. The couple has been together for 14 years and have a 1-year-old son named Allister. They have worked together two other times, on 9 to 5 and The Book of Mormon.

Stephen Oremus And Justin Bohon
Tony Award-winner Stephen Oremus (Kinky Boots) and husband Justin Bohon met doing All Shook Up in Chicago in 2005, then went on to do9 to 5 and The Book of Mormon together. The couple has been together for eight and a half years and married for two.

Michael Caprio And Randy Slovacek
Randy and Michael met at the recording session for the 1994 cast recording of the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing; Michael was VP of Publicity at Varese Sarabande Records, and Randy was in the cast of the show. In October they will celebrate 19 years together. In addition, they have been married twice: once in Canada and again in Palm Springs in 2008 before Prop 8 passed in California. Michael currently runs his own PR film, Caprio Media Design, while Randy directs and choreographs in the theater  world. You can read his blog, The Randy Report, which covers LGBT issues, entertainment and politics, at

Chad Lewis And Tom Bartlett
Chad Lewis and Tom Bartlett met several years ago on the Broadway musical adaptation of Monty Python's Spamalot. Chad was a stage manager of the Broadway production, and Tom was the stage manager of the Las Vegas version. They remained friends for many years before teaming up on the touring show of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, where their friendship turned into partnership. They add: 
It has been amazing to tour the country with each other, experiencing the amazing journey together. We feel very blessed to be able to share not only the wonderful work that we do in the theater together but also the beautiful gift of traveling. 
This photo of us was taken in a cabin way on top of a mountain in Mt. Charlston, just outside of Las Vegas. It was taken the morning of Tom's birthday, and it's our very favorite picture together.


the dogs' mother said...

I think we saw Kevin Burrows And Christopher Sieber in Beauty and the Beast!

anne marie in philly said...

I saw brad oscar and gary beach on broadway in "the producers"!

hey NOM, look at all the wonderful families in these pix. then look me in the eyes and tell me that these families should not exist. I will spit in your face!

Surrogacy In India said...

I congratulate Gavin Lodge And Todd Ellison for sharing love for nine years. Good luck for the future.

Kunik Goel

Anonymous said...

What a terrific cast list.