Jonathan Groff opens up about his early days in New York City and his first same-sex kiss.
The future Frozen and Hamilton star was just 19 when he was a waiter at Chelsea Grill in Hell’s Kitchen. There he met Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA).
“He spoke to me about the organization and the good they have done for the community and he also spoke to me about how they have volunteers with red buckets who are raising money [at Broadway theaters]’ Groff tells Jan Svendsen in a new episode of the podcast Broadway Gives Back.
He added: “You could see the second act of Broadway shows by signing up to be a volunteer. So the volunteer aspect of the organization and the fact that I could see theater really interested me.”
Viola invited Groff to the Broadway Cares offices to learn more about her work. Earlier that day, however, Groff’s life changed in ways he could never have imagined.
“I had my first kiss with this hometown guy I had a crush on, who ended up becoming my, unquote, roommate because I wasn’t out of the closet for three and a half years,” recalled Groff, a two-time Tony nominee for his work on Spring Awakening and Hamilton. “But that day I had my first kiss … He came over to the apartment I was living in and that happened. And then I thought, ‘I have to go. I need to meet Tom Viola.’ I remember walking in and meeting him and feeling my whole body burn. I felt like I was floating through the BC/EFA offices.”
In addition to Groff, Season 2 of Broadway Gives Back includes episodes featuring interviews with Hugh Jackman, Sergio Trujillo and Jack Noseworthy, TDF’s Victoria Bailey, and Dori Bernstein and Sammi Cannold.
Groff’s interview follows BCEFA, which raised more than $1.8 million at its annual burlesque show, Broadway Bares, at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on June 26.
https://variety.com/2022/theater/news/jonathan-groff-gay-kiss-1235305242/ Jonathan Groff remembers first gay kiss