Broadway Spotting in Netflix's Uncoupled | Playbill

Film & TV Features Broadway Spotting in Netflix's Uncoupled

See what Main Stem personalities make appearances in the new Neil Patrick Harris-led streaming comedy.

Neil Patrick Harris in Uncoupled Netflix © 2022

When a television show is set and filmed in New York City, it's only natural that the casting director is going to scoop up a few Broadway names when filling up the audition appointments. The new Netflix comedy Uncoupled, led by Tony winner Neil Patrick Harris, found several familiar Broadway faces for its television frames. Created by Darren Star and Jeffrey Richman, the series dropped all eight episodes of its first season on the streamer July 29.

Harris plays Michael Lawson, a successful New York City real estate agent whose boyfriend of 17 years unexpectedly moves out. Overnight, Lawson has to confront losing the man he thought was his soulmate and finding himself a single gay man in his mid-40s in the city.

From series regulars to guest stars, check out some of the Broadway regulars lending their talents to the small screen.

Brooks Ashmanskas in Uncoupled Netflix © 2022

Brooks Ashmanskas
Perennial Main Stem favorite Brooks Ashmanskas plays Stanley, one of Michael's best friends. More than just the wise-cracking sidekick, the series allows Ashmanskas to explore his range with his own more serious story arc. The performer has 14 Broadway credits to his name (mostly musicals) and was last seen on stage in the 2018 production of The Prom, for which he garnered the second of his two Tony nominations. The first was for 2007's Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me.

Marcia Gay Harden in Uncoupled Netflix © 2022

Marcia Gay Harden
Though primarily known for her film and television work, Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden also has a Tony for her last Broadway outing, 2009's God of Carnage. She made her Broadway debut as Harper in the original productions of Tony Kushner's Angels in America, getting her first Tony nom for the first part, Millennium ApproachesIn Uncoupled, Harden plays a monied, apartment-shopping divorcée who bonds with Michael over their recent jiltings.

Tuc Watkins and Neil Patrick Harris in Uncoupled Netflix © 2022

Tuc Watkins
Micheal's ex Colin doesn't just love him and leave him in the series...he keeps popping up throughout the season. Colin is played by Tuc Watkins, who audiences might recognize from his seasons-long runs on One Life to Live and Desperate Housewives, but he did pop over to Broadway once, debuting in the 2018 revival of The Boys in the Band (and then for the 2020 film adaptation). He also met his partner Andrew Rannells in that production, so even if he doesn't return to the boards, he will remain at least Broadway adjacent. 

Nic Rouleau in Uncoupled Netflix © 2022

Nic Rouleau
Rival real estate agent Tyler Hawkins keeps showing up at the doors of the high-end Manhattan apartments that Michael is trying to broker. Actor Nic Rouleau is no stranger to going door-to-door—he made his Broadway debut ringing doorbells in The Book of Mormon as Elder Price, a role he has stepped into not only in New York, but also on tour and in the West End. 

André De Shields in Uncoupled Netflix © 2022

André De Shields
Icon André De Shields has been gracing Broadway stages since the 1970s, with credits that include Play On! and The Full Monty, both of which he was Tony-nominated for; The Wizand two productions of Ain't Misbehavin'. His turn as Hermes in 2019's Hadestown earned the actor his first Tony Award. He's since departed the production, but will be seen this fall in Death of a Salesman, playing Willy's brother Ben Loman. In Uncoupled, De Shields plays Michael's neighbor and former Broadway dresser for fellow icon Judith "loves the gays" Light. 

David Pittu in Uncoupled Netflix © 2022

David Pittu
Two-time Tony nominee David Pittu (LovemusikIs He Dead?) shows up as the analyst when Michael and Colin make an attempt at couple's therapy. He glams up for an appearance later in the season, but Michael still recognizes him during a night out...

Jai Rodriguez and Colin Hanlon in Uncoupled Netflix © 2022

Jai Rodriguez and Colin Hanlon
Musical theatre performers Jai Rodriguez and Colin Hanlon play "the Jonathans," Michael's engaged friends, both named Jonathan, who marry in the first season. Rodriguez appeared on Broadway in Rent and in The Producers, both during his five-season stint as the culture guide for the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Hanlon's Broadway credits include In Transit, Rent, and Falsettos. In addition to other regional theatre and television work, he served as producer and starred in all three seasons of Submissions Only, a comedy web series set in and around the Broadway audition room.  

David Burtka in Uncoupled Netflix © 2022

David Burtka
Last seen on Broadway in the musical It Shoulda Been You, David Burtka (who is married to Neil Patrick Harris) appears for a one-episode story opposite Ashmanskas, a fun reunion for theatre fans who may have seen them in the 2003 Bernadette Peters-led revival of Gypsy. Burtka played Tulsa, and Ashmanskas was Mr. Goldstone. 

Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman in Uncoupled

Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman
The songwriting duo of Shaiman and Wittman appear as themselves in the first episode of the series to perform at Colin's surprise birthday party, singing "Welcome to Your Fifties," a parody number of their own "Welcome to the Sixties" from their Tony-winning musical Hairspray. The two have also collaborated on the scores for Catch Me If You Can, Charlie and the Chocolate Factoryand the upcoming Some Like It Hot, set to open this fall at Broadway's Shubert Theatre. Shaiman and Wittman were also Emmy-nominated for the work they did on the Broadway-centered TV musical series Smash. They've even written a couple of numbers for Tony and Emmy Awards ceremonies, which were performed by host...Neil Patrick Harris. 

Tisha Campbell in Uncoupled

Even More Broadway Players
Former Fiyero Jonah Platt plays another wickedly antagonistic real estate agent; somewhat disapproving neighbor Diane is played by Cynthia Darlow, one of the Jans from the original long-running production of Grease; and Byron Jennings, whose most recent of 20 Broadway credits was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, plays Michael's father.

And although she doesn't have any Broadway credits, a special shout out for series co-star Tisha Campbell, who plays Michael's real estate partner and bestie—musical theatre fans will recognize her as Chiffon from the film version of Little Shop of Horrors.

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