5 Random Awesome Videos Involving Broadway Performers

Because musical theater tends to operate under a small microscope, theater performers tend to act and behave the same way whether a camera is on them or not. They have all the talents (and sometimes more) of A-list celebrities, but they also have the freedom to be their natural and awesome selves with no worry of a PR crisis or a media invasion.

I thought it would be fun to comb through YouTube’s archives (or as I call it, my 10:00pm routine), and highlight some random, makeshift videos of theater actors reminding me why I love them and will pay thousands of dollars each year to see them perform in person. Hit it, goofy, artsy folk!

I have a question. How does a fun rendition of “What is this Feeling?” turn into Norbert Leo Butz and Aaron Tveit talking about who wore the pants better (code for who has a nicer butt)? Another question: what prompted them to put on their tight-fitting Fiyero pants and shimmy around stage like a Chippendales audition?

Better not to ask questions, even for rhetorical effect. This is one of the best videos ever because the two of them are CLEARLY having so much fun being campy and ridiculous. Especially Tveit, who wiggles, lunges and booty-smacks enough times to instigate many an orgasm in women and gay men everywhere.

Without knowing in advance that Raul Esparza is a Tony-nominated performer, you could tell after watching this video. In what I can only describe as the comedic version of “Defying Gravity,” this is truly a makeshift performance because he looks like he had only heard the song twice or three times before. That does not stop him though from nailing it. Also, theatricality; he has it in spades. It is hard for me to listen to any rendition of “Defying Gravity” without performing with the dramatic hand gestures and annunciations.

Gavin Creel has a stunning voice; I could listen to him sing all day. Like the gift that he is to all of us theater lovers, we have an impromptu performance of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” with Hair co-star Will Swenson to be thankful for on every Thanksgiving for the rest of our lives. Remember when I said that theater actors tend to be themselves, even with a camera around? What I should have said is that they are even better, crazy caricatures of themselves.

Imagine what happened backstage when a camera wasn’t around? I’ll leave you with that thought.

The estrogen-brigade bait of John Gallagher Jr., Michael Esper and Stark Sands came out and caroled last winter for charity. Okay, sounds like fun (and a good cause). My observation? They all kind of seem set in their ways rocking out to Green Day/American Idiot tracks. This rendition of “Jingle Bells” is amazing because Stark’s apparent confusion and “deer in the headlights” facial expression is funny, as is Michael’s attempt to inject more life into the sing-a-long.

Not really makeshift as it is an edited and “put-together” video. Is it random? Oh yea. I have never heard of these performers prior to this video, but I already want to have dinner with them. The song is so disturbing and wrong and incredibly hilarious as it is. To pair it with those images and "direction" only heightens how funny and messed up it is. I would be lying if I did not admit that this song has been on loop as I am writing this blog entry.

Entry over; time to change up the music playlist. Switching to the rock band of John, Michael and Gerard Canonico, who killed it this week with some impressive jamming.

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