posted by • July 21st, 2015 • (0) Comments

Watch the behind the scenes video of Jonathan and his fellow castmates talk about A New Brain here.

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posted by • July 16th, 2015 • (0) Comments

Jonathan is featured in FourTwoNine Magazine. Check out his interview:

This summer Jonathan Groff has already starred in London at Royal Festival Hall as J. Pierrepont Finch in a concert version of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and as Gordon Michael Schwinn in the revival of the musical A New Brain as part of the Encores! series at New York City Center. In July he opens at the Richard Rodgers Theatre as King George in Hamilton in its eagerly awaited Broadway transfer after its sold-out, critically-acclaimed off-Broadway run at the Public Theater. A musical about our founding fathers written in the rhythmic vernacular of today by Lin-Manuel Miranda, choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, and directed by Thomas Kail, Hamilton is being hailed as the most groundbreaking American musical since A Chorus Line, which also got its start at the Public. All that, and there is still the HBO film of Looking to shoot, which will be the final chapter of the series, in which his central role of Patrick has served as the show’s conflicted conscience.

FourTwoNine’s editor in chief had lunch with Groff at Sosa Borella in Tribeca. This is some of what they talked about.

Kevin Sessums: I’ve known you for eight years now, Jon. We met when you were starring as Melchior in the musical Spring Awakening on Broadway. You’re a thirty-year-old man now. A lot has happened to you in those eight years. Looking back at that twenty-two-year-old boy, do you still recognize him?

Jonathan Groff: In a lot of ways, I feel exactly the same. I think I have the same personality. I’m interested in a lot of the same things. But the biggest thing is my being in the closet back then. The difference between being in the closet and out of the closet as a gay man is such a huge shift. I feel so connected still to that twenty-two-year-old, but the idea that I was not open with that part of my life—which I am now so open about—is sort of surreal.

KS: How old were you when you came out?

JG: I was twenty-three. It was a month after I left Spring Awakening. I went to Europe alone. It was the first I was ever out of the country. It was the first time I had ever vacationed alone. I was in Florence, and I was journaling. I’ve always kept a journal. All through Spring Awakening—all through high school and ever since—I’ve kept a journal every day. I’d sit in my dressing room at Spring Awakening each night after a performance, and I’d obsessively journal about each night’s performance. So I was sitting in Florence journaling, and I realized I had never once journaled about my boyfriend, and I had been in a relationship with him for three and half years. I wouldn’t even write about it in my journal because I was afraid somebody might read it. But then in Florence I started one day just journaling about him and realized I never had before, and I started wondering, “What is happening?” I knew in that moment I was going to come out of the closet. I came back home and came out to my family first. And then my friends. Then I broke up with that boyfriend and moved out of the apartment we were sharing as “roommates.”

KS: Was he in the closet?

JG: Yes. We were living in a double closet.

KS: It sounds like more like a walk-in one.

JG: Exactly. Then, when I was twenty-four, I was dating Gavin Creel, and he took me to the march on Washington, and it became more public, even though I was out to all my friends and in my personal life.

KS: You’ve done it all with a lot of grace and ease. It’s nice when those are not only the hallmarks of someone’s talent but also of their character as a person. That’s not always the case. There was also such grace and ease in your performance as Patrick in HBO’s Looking—and I’d even say bravery. I think it is braver in some ways for a gay actor to have gay sex scenes as you and Russell Tovey—who is also out—did in that series than it is for two straight actors to do them. In a professional sense, there might be an unimaginative impulse in the business to ghettoize you into those parts, and yet you two took them on with such commitment.

JG: It’s so funny to me, because doing a gay sex scene and doing a straight sex scene—except for the different equipment—is the same. Although Russell did fuck me in the show, so I guess that’s a little different.

KS: You fucked him too.

JG: And I fucked him too, yeah. But for me, sex scenes are more about intimacy than they are about sexuality. It’s all about the chemistry you have with the other person, whether that person is a man or a woman…

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posted by • July 8th, 2015 • (0) Comments

For those planning on seeing Hamilton on Broadway, this is important especially if you are planning on seeing both Jonathan and Lin in the show. Javier Munoz will take over for Lin during certain days of previews and part of Labour Day. He will continue on Sunday matinees for the rest of the run:

BroadwayWorld has confirmed that Javier Muñoz will star as Alexander Hamilton, “the ten-dollar Founding Father without a father,” once a week in the Broadway production of Hamilton. Hamilton will begin previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre (226 W. 46 St.) on July 13 prior to an official opening night on August 6.

During previews, Muñoz steps into the title role Saturday, July 18th at 2pm; Saturday, July 25th at 2pm; and Wednesday, July 29th at 2pm. After opening on August 6, he will play Saturday matinees through Labor Day, September 7. Thereafter, he will continue to perform Sunday matinees during the run of the show.

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posted by • July 5th, 2015 • (0) Comments

Jonathan was part of Seth Rudetsky’s book launch of The Rise and Fall of Theatre Geek at Barnes & Nobles where he read chapter one with Santino Fontona. He also performed Do You Want To Build A Snowman with Santino as well as sung Sailing from A New Brain.

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posted by • July 5th, 2015 • (0) Comments

Check out the radio commercial for Hamilton:

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posted by • June 24th, 2015 • (0) Comments

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posted by • June 22nd, 2015 • (0) Comments

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posted by • June 22nd, 2015 • (0) Comments

I heard that you had the idea of being in this show before it was even announced?

Yes! A friend put the song “And They’re Off” on a musical theatre mixtape for me when I was in high school, and I bought the album of A NEW BRAIN when I was 15 or something. I was obsessed with it in high school, and I sang, “I’d Rather Be Sailing” for many an audition. Then last year I went to see TICK, TICK…BOOM! with Lin-Manuel Miranda. I left and was on the train going home and I was like, “Oh my god, I would love to do one of these Off-Center things.” I was dying to do a musical again.

So I was listening to A NEW BRAIN the next day- I sang through the whole score in my apartment. I was obviously still obsessed with it, and then I was like, “Ok, I will wait a week and if I still feel like I really want to do this I will email Jeanine [Tesori] and ask her if they have a schedule for next year, and if not, if they would want to do A NEW BRAIN. This is where it will sound like a total untruth… five days later, without me asking her, she emailed me asking me to do the show. Isn’t that so weird?! So I was like, “Uhhhhh, YEAH!” So we decided that we’d have to meet for lunch, and a couple weeks later we got together and I was like, “This is so crazy, because I was going to ask you to do this exact role in this exact show next summer!” It’s a weird, crazy coincidence. And she said, “Well, it’s meant to be.” And so then, at that time this was sort of an idea in her head and so she had to get Bill to sort of sign off on it. So she contacted him and then we were kind of rolling.

Wow, that’s insane!

So crazy. It’s SO crazy and the way it had all sort of fell, coming together and the cast is so phenomenal and everybody is having a great time and I was excited to do it obviously because I’m a fan of the show, but I didn’t know, really, until the first day of rehearsal. I had lunch with James Lapine two months or so before we started rehearsal and he mentioned that he and Bill [Finn] were sort of interested in looking at the piece again and he didn’t get a lot of chances to work on it when it first happened and there were things that they wanted to do differently and I was like ‘Okay, cool.’ And I had shown up at rehearsal and they had these very clear ideas of it. They had some ideas on how they wanted to change it and in little ways, in small but in big ways. So, I had not anticipated when we started that we were going to be creating a new version of this show, which makes it even more exciting.

Well, let’s talk a little more about James Lapine. Is it intindating working with him?

I’ve heard that. I’ve heard that he’s like an intimidating guy and I think for me, it’s his resume I find intimidating, but from the moment that I’ve met him he emailed me back in January and was like “Hey, we’re going to work together. Why don’t we get lunch?” And he was very low-key and really cool and just excited and you know, he’s been nothing but lovely. They came in two-weeks before we started rehearsal and blocked out the whole show with a group of students to sort of get a leg up on our rehearsal process so they would have a general sense of where we’re walking and who was coming in where and all of that stuff.

So, I just so respect and admire that sort of forethought and that pre-planning and I just feel… I’ve done a couple of one-night only moments before where you rehearse for a week and do it on one-night. Obviously, Encores! has done it a million times and so they have it down but, James coming in with Josh [Prince], our choreographer, two weeks before and sort of planning it all out it just makes us feel so much more secure and safe. It’s like there is a big safety net of them sort of knowing where we are going and where we will advance too. It’s amazing.

Yeah, Encores! is known for the quick process, but you’ve been jumping into all kinds of projects very quickly recently- HAMILTON, HOW TO SUCCEED… Do those experiences make this seem a little less daunting?

I know, it’s so funny to have the last three months be filled with musicals being done in like a week and just perform them. Yeah, because with HAMILTON I had two-days of rehearsal and then HOW TO SUCCEED with a week of rehearsal and now this. I just love musicals and I feel like perhaps my deep hunger and desire of having not done one for a long-time has made it easier for me to digest and jump back in, because I am jumping back in with having been gone for so long. I have a very deep, deep passionate desire to go into it, so there is kind of like a big want to do them. That probably makes them easier to do it so fast.

I try to learn all of my stuff before the first day of rehearsal, which is also super helpful. Just sort of knowing the music and knowing the basic lines, you know, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but just sort of going in and knowing ahead of time. That’s sort of my little trick. Because essentially you don’t have time to rehearse acting moments and stuff, so the more you can come in off book, the better chance you have of finding some of the acting moments. There is less of, “Is my mark here?” and more of “What are we doing here? What am I doing here?”

Read more at BroadwayWorld

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posted by • June 20th, 2015 • (0) Comments

It’s good to be the king.

So says Jonathan Groff, who confirms that he is reprising the plum part of King George III on Broadway in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop biomusical “Hamilton,” starting performances July 13 at the Richard Rodgers.

In an interview for The Joe D Show podcast with Aaron Lazar about their roles as boyfriends in the Encores! Off-Center production of William Finn’s musical “A New Brain” at City Center, Groff explains how he came to the royal role of King George — and why he wanted more.

“They asked me before I’d heard any of the music for ‘Hamilton,’” says Groff in his first interview about moving with the show to Broadway. “It hadn’t opened yet. But they knew in advance that Brian had to leave. They called me,” and were like ‘Do you want to do it?’ And I was like ‘Yeah, for two months. I don’t even know what it is. But they’re like ‘You just have one song’ and I was like, great. Whatever.”

Then he saw “Hamilton,” about founding father Alexander Hamilton at the Public Theater.

“I was like ‘Oh my God.’ I couldn’t believe it,” says Groff. “Lin was making fun of me because I couldn’t stop crying through the whole thing. I felt like I won the lottery by accident. Yeah, I want to do this for long. It’s so fun. I’m not in the show that much so I’d just watch the show because I was like, ‘What the f— is happening right now.’ It’s just so good.”

“A New Brain” runs June 24-27 at New York City Center.

The Joe D Show (on iTunes) with Groff, who shows off his new piano playing skills, and Lazar, who performs a snippet of the song “I’d Rather Be Sailing,” airs June 19.

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posted by • June 16th, 2015 • (0) Comments

Jonathan will be returning as King George on Hamilton which opens on Broadway next month! Check out the full Broadway cast for the show:

This Just In! Jonathan Groff will reprise his Off-Broadway performance in HAMILTON as King George, opposite Lin-Manuel Miranda, Christopher Jackson, Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo, Anthony Ramos, Daveed Digs and Renee Elise Goldsberry who will follow the show to Broadway. Plus, the cast is getting a little bit bigger with some new additions to the ensemble.

The ensemble will include Jasmine Cephas Jones, Okieriete Onaodowan, Carleigh Bettiol, Andrew Chappelle, Ariana DeBose, Alysha Deslorieux, Sydney James Harcourt, Neil Haskell, Sasha Hutchings, Thayne Jasperson, Stephanie Klemons, Morgan Marcell, Emmy Raver-Lampan, Javier Munoz, Jon Rua, Austin Smith, Seth Stewart, Betsy Struxness, Ephraim Sykes and Voltaire Wade-Greene.

The world premiere production of Hamilton, inspired by the book “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow, with book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and directed by Thomas Kail, will start performances on Broadway on July 13 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

From the creative team behind the Tony Award-winning In The Heights comes a wildly inventive new musical about the scrappy young immigrant who forever changed America: Alexander Hamilton. Tony and Grammy Award winnerLin-Manuel Miranda wields his pen and takes the stage as the unlikely founding father determined to make his mark on a new nation as hungry and ambitious as he is. From bastard orphan to Washington’s right hand man, rebel to war hero, loving husband caught in the country’s first sex scandal to Treasury head who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy, Hamilton is an exploration of a political mastermind. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Eliza Hamilton, and lifelong Hamilton friend and foe, Aaron Burr, all attend this revolutionary tale of America’s fiery past told through the sounds of the ever-changing nation we’ve become. Tony Award nomineeThomas Kail directs this new musical about taking your shot, speaking your mind, and turning the world upside down.

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