Read about NYC's best theatre and dance productions and watch video interviews with innovative artists
In this strange new world of social distancing, social media has become a lifeline for all of us as we connect with our friends, family and the famous people we love on Twitter and Instagram. Traditionally, Broadway stars have used these platforms to promote their projects. But ever since the shutdown, many have been spreading joy through their feeds by showcasing their talents—or calling on their fans to share theirs. If you enjoy uplifting songs, over-the-top fashion or Shakespeare sonnets, here are five theatre luminaries you should follow right now.
Patrick Stewart may be best known for playing Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek and Professor X in the X-Men movies, but theatre lovers know all about his Shakespearean bona fides. On Broadway he's headlined Macbeth and The Tempest, and he appeared in a 1971 transfer of A Midsummer Night's Dream that originated at London's Royal Shakespeare Company, which is where he honed his craft. On his Twitter account, he's been reading a Shakespeare sonnet a day, and his soothing intonation is relaxing and comforting. So far he's gotten through ten and there are 154 in total. As much as we love listening, we hope he doesn't get to finish! Follow him at @SirPatStew and watch his past sonnet performances at #ASonnetADay.
Laura Benanti is beloved for her Broadway turns in She Loves Me, Gypsy and My Fair Lady. But when Broadway shut down on March 12, she wasn't just worried about her peers; she wanted musical-loving kids across the country to know she cared. She put out a call on her Twitter and Instagram, asking students in cancelled productions to share videos of them singing, and she got an incredible response (plus a lot of media coverage). Two weeks later she's still getting submissions! She shares some of her favorites on her accounts, but you can see all the cute kids crooning at #sunshinesongs on Instagram and Twitter.
Josh Gad won a Tony Award for his performance in the adults-only musical The Book of Mormon, but he's a little-kid icon thanks to voicing Olaf the goofy snowman in Disney's Frozen films. To help his youngest fans get through this difficult time (and to earn points with his fellow parents) he's reading bedtime stories every weeknight live on Twitter. You can watch an archive of all his nighttime tales at #GadBookClub.
Billy Porter is as famous for his Broadway performances as he is for his groundbreaking, gender-defying style. So it's no surprise that the Kinky Boots Tony winner has started a fashion challenge on his Instagram, asking fans to recreate some of his jaw-dropping red-carpet looks using items they find around the house. It's hard to believe these folks had all this glamour at their fingertips! Marvel at their creativity at #billyporterfashionchallenge.
Patti LuPone may not be doing anything as organized as the stars above, but she has been giving hilarious tours of her basement. While the Tony-winning diva doesn't post on her Twitter that often, when she does it's a doozy. Just watch this. You'll be glad you did.
Top image: Patrick Stewart in Macbeth at BAM in 2008. Photo by Manuel Harlan.