Ben Platt Is Bringing Queer Joy to the Newly Reopened Palace Theatre | Playbill

Playbill Pride Ben Platt Is Bringing Queer Joy to the Newly Reopened Palace Theatre

In an intimate conversation with Playbill, the Tony winner chats about his Broadway residency and his mission to live "completely authentic."

Ben Platt Heather Gershonowitz

There was Judy, then Bette, then Ms. Ross, then Liza, and now…Ben! Three years after the release of his sophomore album Reverie, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony-winning performer Ben Platt has kicked off his national tour for his new album Honeymind in the most stylish way. He is currently in the middle of a three-week residency at the newly renovated Palace Theatre, in the heart of Times Square. Ben Platt: Live at the Palace runs until June 15.

While Platt (of Dear Evan Hansen and Parade fame) is excited to reopen the legendary Broadway theatre, it is not lost on him the number of iconic performers that have performed there. While some might be intimidated by this, Platt says he is inspired.

“I think when I look at the list of people that have performed here,” he says and pauses as he looks out from the bare stage of the Palace Theatre into the newly renovated house. “None of them have anything in common.” Platt goes on to explain that what excites him about becoming one of the many legendary performers added to the history of the Palace is that each of them were uniquely different. “No one's giving a Diana Ross show except Diana Ross, no one's giving a Bette Midler show except Bette Midler.” This mindset has helped Platt worry less about living up to any self-created pressures and focus on concentrate on creating a show that best represents who he is right now. “My responsibility, and what I really want to try to do, is to do something that feels very particularly me and just be as completely myself as I can.”

Photos: Inside the Renovated, and 29 Feet Higher, Palace Theatre on Broadway

Though Platt does admit, that wanting to create something so personal does have its obstacles. “It's a scary goal to have because it's not the kind of thing that you can’t necessarily drill. [Like] when you're preparing to play a role, you can learn the patterns and get comfortable. This is the kind of thing that you just have to open up yourself to do.” Though Platt isn't completely alone on that stage—each show at the Palace has a special guest (recent guests included Rachel Zegler, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Kacey Musgraves). 

Ben Platt Heather Gershonowitz

Being open is something Platt has become well known for as a singer-songwriter. Having co-written all three of his original albums, Platt’s lyrics are often inspired by his own life and experiences as a queer man. Platt’s first single “Andrew,” from his newly released third album Honeymind, recounts the unrequited love for a fellow classmate as a young gay tween. And in the music video for his follow-up single “Cherry on Top,” Platt’s fiancé Noah Galvin co-stars as the two take a romantic and intimate drive around Los Angeles. The video would honestly make the coldest of hearts swoon. Platt has been very open about his relationship with Galvin (a Dear Evan Hansen alum himself), often sharing stories at his concerts and revealing how Galvin has inspired songs on his albums. In fact, during Platt’s Madison Square Garden concert, Galvin joined him on stage during the song “Dance with You.” 

That openness and sharing parts of his personal life to his audience is a facet of being a singer-songwriter that Platt find very fulfilling. “As much as I love performing in a traditional theatre space and as a character, I think the thing that makes it nerve-wracking, but even more rewarding of performing as myself, is the idea that there's no divide,” Platt explains. “That vulnerability and transparency can be scary. But also, the whole reason that I love getting to have this facet of my career is that I get to be completely authentic.” 

Platt’s authenticity is a trait he says he gladly shares with a number of artists who have come out about their sexuality early on in their careers. From performers like Janelle Monáe, Sam Smith, and Lil Nas X, to newer artists like Reneé Rapp, their willingness to show the industry their truth helps others to do the same.

Platt also notes that he’s excited that a large portion of his residency is taking place during Pride month in New York City, a celebration that he always looks forward to. “I think it's an opportunity to drop humility as a queer person for a moment and revel in how lucky we are to be queer. You get to take joy in your chosen family, and the ways in which being queer enhances who you are, informs your sense of humor, and the way you engage with art. It's important to celebrate the great things about being queer…and brag a little!”

Ben Platt Heather Gershonowitz

And as Platt’s Honeymind tour will play through the summer, he’s excited to celebrate across the country and interact with members of the queer communities of different generations. “I've been learning in the last couple years, as I’m becoming a so-called adult,” he says with a smile, “that for [my] generation as we were coming up, [straight] people’s positive reactions to queerness was a knee-jerk version of acceptance.” Platt explains that while the intention was meant to be kind and came from a thoughtful place, often he would hear things like, “It doesn't make a difference, it doesn't matter, you're just the same to me, or I don't care.” But something that Platt has discovered from the next generation of queer people has resonated deeply with him.

“ [Being queer] really does change things. My queerness informs my relationship and informs my worldview…it informs a lot about my life. And my hope is if everyone acknowledges that divergence, and not just being tolerant of it—and can see that [queerness] makes us special, beautiful, and interesting—then that is the next step in acceptance. Not just the, ‘It wouldn’t make a difference to me.’ While that's a wonderful sentiment, I think recognizing that it does make a difference and in a beautifully positive way…is the ultimate acceptance.”

Photos: Ben Platt at the Palace Theatre

Today’s Most Popular News:

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting with your ad blocker.
Thank you!