“Hey! I Know You From Somewhere!” – Before They Were Stars, Broadway Edition

I have been meaning to write up a post about this topic for a while. It pops up into my brain from time to time, but there’s usually not enough for me to actually write about (or my usual problem – TIME). So you know when you’re watching an old movie or TV show and then an actor pops up who you totally recognize now but obviously didn’t remember were in said movie/TV show? Like going back and watching Friends and realizing “Holy shit! That’s [insert actor’s name]!” I absolutely love it when that happens!

So anyways, I was putting some stuff away the other day and as I was putting away my program from seeing Cinderella the Musical, I decided to peruse the old programs and Playbills of shows I’ve seen over the years. Little did I realize some of the stars I had seen in person, before I knew who they actually were. Basically some discoveries were made (one big, several small discoveries) in a very short 5 minute time period.

WICKED (November 2006)

This was my first musical I had ever seen. I always liked the idea of musical theater (except as a kid when I was terrified of The Phantom of the Opera), but it’s not like I had much access to it. So much like concerts, I didn’t really enjoy the theater experience until my late teens. Moving the story forward, I went through the program for this touring production and saw that the name listed next to Glinda was…MEGAN HILTY! Obviously I knew Megan Hilty had a Broadway background prior to SMASH and indeed played Glinda on Broadway, but it never occurred to me that I actually saw her nearly 10 years ago in Toronto. Like, WHAT?! And this discovery made after I keep saying, “Man, I would kill to see Megan Hilty live!”? Kills me that I already have; I just didn’t know it!

Also, Adam Lambert was a part of this touring cast as part of the Ensemble/Fiyero Understudy! Again, I knew Wicked was in his background, pre-Idol, but I just never put the pieces together.

BURN THE FLOOR (April 2010)

Everyone knows I’m a huge dance fan, so when this show came to Toronto, I just HAD to go. Besides being just a dance fan in general, I was there for my SYTYCD’ers: Anya Garnis (!), Pasha Kovalev (!!), Artem Chigvintsev, Karen Hauer, and Ashleigh & Ryan Di Lello. But going through the program now and seeing the likes of Sharna Burgess, Emma Slater and Sasha Farber from DWTS in there? Go figure! I knew a lot of past and present DWTS pros have done BTF, so it’s not like I was completely surprised, but it was just cool.

AMERICAN IDIOT (December 2010)

I actually saw this show in New York. It wasn’t at the top of my list of shows to see on this trip, but it was the only one my sister and I could convince my bro-in-law to go see. I had heard great things about the show but I didn’t pay attention to who was actually in it because I knew that I didn’t know anyone at the time. Cut to five years later and realizing John Gallagher Jr. (from The Newsroom) was in the show, as well as Stark Sands (the recent Minority Report), and Tony Vincent (Season 2 of The Voice).


So here’s my story about Spring Awakening. Just like everybody else, I had heard that this was an amazing show and so I HAD to see it when the touring production came through Toronto. I was even more excited about the show because I knew Steffi D (a former Canadian Idol contestant) was part of the cast, as well as (most importantly), Kyle Riabko, a singer-songwriter/actor whom I absolutely love. Imagine my complete disappointment when I got there and got the paper slip in the program saying that Kyle wasn’t performing that day and that the role of Melchior was going to be played by Matt Doyle. [Sidenote: Matt Doyle, if you don’t know, played Jonathan, Eric’s boyfriend on Gossip Girl. It was subsequently funny watching GG and then continuously referring to him as Melchior]. Anyways, that disappointment aside, I didn’t realize that I actually got to see yet another future SMASH alum, Andy Mientus as Hanschen.

[Seriously though, SMASH for all its crazy and kind of terrible-ness, really featured an amazingly talented cast.]


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