In a new episode of the podcast “Broadway Gives Back,” Jonathan Groff opens up to Jan Svendsen about meeting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) executive director Tom Viola, and his first same-sex kiss.
At the age of about 19 years old, he met Viola at Chelsea Grill in Hell’s Kitchen where he used to work as a waiter. He shares:
“He talked to me about the organization and the good that they did for the community and he also talked to me about how they have volunteers standing with red buckets collection money [at Broadway theaters].”
The American actor and singer further stated:
“You could watch the second act of Broadway shows by signing up as a volunteer. So the volunteering aspect of the organization, plus the fact that I could see theater got me super interested.”
Groff was then invited to the Broadway Cares offices to learn more about their work, and it was that same day when he had his first gay kiss.
“I had my first kiss with this guy that I had a crush on from my hometown, who ended up being my, quote-unquote, roommate, because I wasn’t out of the closet for three and a half years. But I had my first kiss on this day…He had come over to the apartment I was living in, and that happened. And then I was like, ‘I have to go. I have to go meet Tom Viola.’ I remember walking in and meeting him and feeling like my entire body was on fire. I was like levitating thru the offices of BC/EFA.” the actor recalled.
And that happened all in one day! Groff’s first gay kiss was indeed a story worth telling.