Tony Awards: What the Hell Happened to Sutton Foster and Christian Borle?

[Update: This post is old. For the latest Broadway news click here. And here to read about Sutton Foster on Bunheads.]

Sometimes, red carpets yield surprises, but not necessarily the nice kind. And now I’m kind of sad, and the awards haven’t even started yet!

Maybe I should back up a little. Here’s what happened: There I was, watching the Tony Awards red carpet webcast with Natalie and my roommate. Norbert Leo Butz, who had been nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Catch Me If You Can, was being interviewed alongside his wife, actress Michelle Federer. Butz and Federer were discussing “showbiz romances,” of which theirs is one (they met when they were members of the original company of Wicked). And then Natalie, sitting beside me, mentioned something about Sutton Foster and Bobby Cannavale being the current big showbiz couple.

I choked on my sangria. “But… but… what happened to Sutton Foster and Christian Borle?” I spluttered.

Hollywood romances are known even by those who don’t follow them, but Broadway romances fly a little further under the radar. Sutton Foster has been a Broadway baby for years; after achieving great acclaim as the title character in Thoroughly Modern Mille, she went on to star in such hits as The Drowsy Chaperone, Young Frankenstein, and Shrek; she’s currently up for a Tony for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for Anything Goes. Christian Borle is another Broadway favorite, having scored major points as Prince Herbert in Spamalot and Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde. The two married a few years ago, and it’s one of those matches that made me go “Awwwww!”

But I did some digging just now, and alas, my bubble has been burst: Borle allegedly carried out an affair with Laura “Elle Woods” Bell Bundy during the run of Legally Blonde, after which Foster divorced him. I don’t blame her; but man, is that depressing news! Just think how overwhelmingly talented their children were going to be: Broadway Superbabies! It would have been brilliant!

Now, it’s possible that the reasoning behind the divorce may just be rumor; and hey, I’m all for unexpected couples, so I guess I can kind of get behind the Sutton Foster/Bobby Cannavale pairing. It just goes to show that it must be so hard to carry out relationships in showbiz, especially as actors. When you spend day in, day out with the same people, usually baring your soul all the while, it can get hard to separate real life from work. Furthermore, they seem to have handled the split quite well, given that there was expressly NOT a big deal made out of it.

I’m still a little bit in mourning, though. Just a little bit.

But we’ll have happier Broadway news as the Tonys move along, so stay tuned!

You can reach this post's author, Lucia Peters, on twitter.
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