James Corden's newest Carpool Karaoke is music to theater buffs' ears.
In a rare convergence of late-night comedy and Broadway, Corden gathered the industry's most celebrated stars, including Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and six-time Tony nominee Audra McDonald, for a sing-a-long worthy of its own Tony nod.
The hits kept coming as Miranda, McDonald, Corden, Jane Krakowski and Jesse Tyler Fergusonbelted out some of Broadway's most recognizable numbers, including Rent's "Seasons of Love," Jersey Boys' "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" and Les Misérables' "One Day More." Basically, it was an aural guide to theater's most memorized hits.
While the average viewer is familiar with at least one of these beloved tracks, the segment was wrought with hidden trivia that only the most knowledgable Broadway lovers may know. So, while your co-workers continue to watch the segment on repeat, impress them with this list of insider facts they may have missed:
1. McDonald is a classically trained vocalist.
Did you notice that high note the soprano nonchalantly belted out at the finale of "One Day More?" It was oh-so-casual because McDonald is a classically trained singer.
She graduated from Juilliard in 1993 and demonstrated her incredible vocal range particularly when she was cast in the lead as Bess in the 2011 Broadway revival of the opera Porgy and Bess. She did so well, in fact, that she ultimately won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.
2. Krakowski is no stranger to the ingénue role.
It's no surprise she picked up the part of romantic and young Éponine as the trio in the backseat performed Les Misérables' iconic love triangle for the "One Day More" finale. Throughout her theater career, the actress has garnered similar love-torn roles, including the flirtatious showgirl Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and the sexy and naive Carla in Nine.
3. McDonald and Rent have a special discreet connection.
As she belted out "525,600 minutes" during the segment, it was not obvious that McDonald once celebrated an early career moment with the show responsible for turning "Seasons of Love" into a household song.
In 1996, McDonald accepted her second Tony Award for her performance in the play Master Class during the same award ceremony that Rent's creator, Jonathan Larson, was posthumously awarded two Tony Awards—one for best book and one for best original score. Rent also won the Tony for Best Musical that year.
The evening had marked an incredibly emotional milestone since Larson had tragically died from an undetected syndrome the morning of Rent's first preview performance, and thus, never got to see his life's work debut on Broadway.
4. McDonald has broken major records.
Corden alluded to McDonald's impressive resumé during the segment, but for those unfamiliar with her career , the performer has six Tony Award wins to her name currently. Thus, she has won more statues than any other actor and is currently the only person to win in all four acting categories.