Jonathan Groff: Musical Theater's 'Life-Changing Effect' Makes Me Lucky

Groff reflects on his transformative Broadway experiences

by Zain ul Abedin
Jonathan Groff: Musical Theater's 'Life-Changing Effect' Makes Me Lucky
© Theo Wargo/Getty Images

With his first Tony award for "Merrily We Roll Along," Jonathan Groff took time to recount his experience in musical theater and how it has changed him. In a live interview with the media, hours after the prestigious Tony Awards, Groff spoke as a Tony winner almost in disbelief.

"That still hasn't sunk in," he said during an interview with Paul Wontorek for The Broadway Show during the performance of at the Café Carlyle with the crowd at the Caryle Hotel after the show. The 39-year-old actor, who did not want all attention be on him all the time, happily allowed those who came to the party to hold and take pictures with his Tony.

"My favorite thing tonight has been to give it to people to take pictures with... happily," Groff said with enthusiasm. This action not only pointed to his modesty but also to the communal atmosphere that prevails within the Broadway production.

The afterparty, with John Gore, Rick Miramontez, and Jamie DuMont as official hosts, gathered the cream of Broadway with Sarah Paulson, Leslie Odom Jr., and Daniel Radcliffe in attendance, among others. This was a night of fun and merriment, which is something Groff loves about the community the novel portrays.

Groff's Theatrical Journey

Groff’s performance history, rich in passion and intensity, includes roles in Spring Awakening and Hamilton, for which he was nominated for the Tony Awards. His win for "Merrily We Roll Along" seemed like an achievement of years devoted to the theatre.

During his acceptance speech, Groff said that he was grateful for the theatre and the chance to be part of it. "All I wanted was to be a part of this community," he said, stressing the importance of his participation, not only as a performer but also behind the scenes.

For Groff, musical theater has been not only a career but a life-changing experience. It took him from the countryside of Pennsylvania to the lights of New York and to Hollywood, where he starred in 'Frozen,' 'Looking,' 'Mindhunter,' and recently 'The Matrix Resurrections'

It also gave him visibility that helped him to come out. For Groff, the sentimentality of the 2024 Tony Awards was touching, especially since he went with his family. Although he was anticipating a lively occasion, he was able to derive profound significance from it.

Recalling the performance, he shared: "I had my mom and my dad and my brother next to me and it felt profound and big,"
capturing the essence of the night.