Most Romantic Theater

Phantom of the Opera

Many pick “Once” or “Phantom of the Opera” as their most romantic theatrical experience, but Lourdes Pagan picks Pippin and, after hearing her story, most would surely agree. She went to the original Broadway production with a co-worker. He reached for her hand, “and held it for the whole show.
“That was just the beginning,” she recalls. “It was a little like Romeo and Juliet. My father didn’t like him; his mom didn’t like me.
“We have been married for 35 years. We had two sons and are now grandparents And our parents said it wouldn’t last.”
Pagan’s is just one of the lovely entries in the contest to see “Romeo and Juliet” on Broadway. While the winner was chosen at random (using, the people who have found romance in the theater – on stage or in the audience – are all winners. Here are some of the other stories:

First Dates:
Annabelle Kline saw Les Mis in 1989 in Los Angeles, the first date with the man who became her husband. “I fell in love twice that night.”

“On my first date with my now-husband, we saw M Butterfly. Twenty-five years later and we spend many, many ‘date nights’ in much smaller theaters watching all three of our kids who have been bitten by the theater bug!” — Lauri


“I was already falling for this guy when I took him to see a production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Afterward, I didn’t want to go home, and lo and behold, his truck broke down, so we ended up chatting for hours. That was the start of a 3 1/2 year long relationship” – jerebles

First Shows

My most romantic experience at the theatre was taking my boyfriend now my husband to see Pirates of Penzance – his first Broadway play – and his happiness of enjoying the play and of us sharing this moment together – Jean Lohrius

Marriage Proposals
ProposalAt the non-Equity national tour of “West Side Story” this year, I took out a half-page ad in the program and proposed to my girlfriend. She was so surprised to find our picture and “Will you marry me?” in the program that she couldn’t answer for over a minute. For the run of the show in town everyone talked about the ad and told us how romantic of a proposal it was. That was almost four months ago, and we’re still getting comments about it – Russell Warne

Wicked has the behind the scenes tour (Behind the Emerald Curtain) that they do on some weekends. When I attended they had a trivia contest or something at the end. Except it wasn’t a real contest, the contestant was pre-planned, and the last bit of the contest had him propose to his girlfriend right on the stage of the Gershwin Theater – Robb J.

Sons of the Prophet
Sons of the Prophet

There was a proposal on the stage at Priscilla Queen of the Desert, shortly after New York State approved marriage equality. There was not a dry eye in the house. – Hollis

The Hudson Shakespeare production of Othello I was in a year ago. My Bianca and I had some chemistry. So much so that we recently celebrated one year together! Reynaldo Piniella

I was dating an actor in a production of Guys and Dolls years ago. It was a rather painful situation. I’d seen the show a few times, to be supportive, even though he was acting quite badly (it was your typically nightmarish triangle situation). He never saw me in the audience, much less knew I was there. But one night, as he was singing “I’ve Never Been In Love Before”, a number he normally swept through with fully romanto-dramatic bravura, he happened to spot me… tears filled his eyes. It was very moving. The bravura was gone. It was just this poor lost man, feeling scary things -& in public at that (hello, acting!). I got a text post-show, &… it was a very intense few months of bliss after that. It didn’t last, but it’s still a favorite romantic/theater memory ~ Catherine Kustanczy

Pippin original Broadway production
Pippin original Broadway production

Connecting At A Show
My husband and I attended Porgy and Bess on Broadway. We held hands through Porgy I’s Your Woman, and loved the show. Afterwards we just walked around New York, talking about the show and their relationship and musical theater in general. It was lovely to connect mentally and emotionally thru this show. Sierra Rain

Connecting With A Show
Recently, a friend played the title role in “Aida.” My boyfriend, (who is white; I am black), and I were moved beyond belief. It was an amazing reminder that love can triumph no matter your situation. o watch Radames & Aida’s journey being played out in front of our eyes solidified that what we have is right, no matter our skin color`Starleisha Gingrich

At The Trip To Bountiful, I was sitting there feeling the lost love on stage while sharing the newfound love with the woman I have always wanted~Marcus D. Harvey

Phantom of the Opera
I absolutely love when the Phantom and Christine sing “Past the Point of No Return”. Brings tears to my eyes as I find it to be so romantic – Micky Pizarro
The love between The Phantom and Christine felt very real and the show is very touching – Kyle Morales

Phantom of the Opera was the most romantic because of the love story and passionate, beautiful music – Monica

The love story unfolding onstage before me made me believe in love. I was moved to tears by Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti. The show truly enforced my love of theater – Jackie Cookfair
My boyfriend surprised me with tickets to “Once” on Valentine’s Day. He got up at 5am to wait in line for rush tickets to make sure we had a special evening. It was a wonderfully romantic way to spend the day.Chris
Probably going to see Once with a bunch of other lonely friends, I sobbed from my box seat, tears falling on the poor orchestra seated people – Travis
I took my boyfriend to his first ever Broadway show-Once. I normally see shows with my friends, never as a date, this was my first time doing that. It’s a whole different experience, especially if you pick the right show. Holding hands the entire time and experiencing the show for the first time together was really nice — Alexandra

Most Romantic Shows
Brief Encounter was so beautiful and romantic and heartbreaking – Alana

What can I say, old-fashioned fairy tale love gets me every time – Ashley Rae

Dogfight – The concept of finding love in the most unexpected situation just really spoke to me.
 Aaron Deitsch

The Fantasticks
Watching the young lovers on that small stage always makes me cry. So romantic.

Hamlet with Jude Law –

Light in the Piazza
“I can’t leave you.” “Yes, you can.” With that, (in THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA) Margaret sings “Fable”, all about Love may be a fake but if you find someone to love you LOVE IF YOU CAN as she sends her special beloved daughter off to become an adult and marry her love. Such a letting go and encouraging of love makes me weep nearly uncontrollably–I’m finding it hard to even type this!~Bobster

Love, Loss, and What I Wore, the unexpected moment when the two brides, each having a monologue about finding their wedding dress, turn out to be getting married to each other~Sunderwood

Newsies — “Something to Believe In.” The kiss that Jack and Katherine shared was so powerful, yet also so innocent, I could even feel the positive energy from my SRO spot. It was a touching scene and it reinforced my belief that true love does exist – Brett Sanders

Sons of the Prophet
The most romantic plot I’ve seen was the relationship between Joseph and the reporter in “Sons of the Prophet.” The gimmick-less, agenda-less portrayal of a gay relationship was astonishingly refreshing~art wine whimsy

Elphaba and Fiyero sing “As Long As You’re Mine” in Wicked is the most romantic experience I’ve had at theater so far. I recently got to relive this moment by attending Broadway in Bryant Park last week, where that number was performed! – Edoardo

The Producers — when Leo comes back for Bialystock and they sing their love song “Til him” together. That was beautiful – Andrea Michelle Wilhelm

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

2 thoughts on “Most Romantic Theater

  1. I realize you probably rushed to put this together, but the headers are called out in multiple different ways and that makes it really hard to read through this.

    Also, small typo in my middle name.

    Otherwise, I think this is a really moving thing you’re doing. Theater really is romantic, either because of who you’re with or what you’re seeing. It’d be interesting if this went on for longer if we could see what other conversations and inspirations it might spark.

    Thanks for this awesomeness, Jonathan!

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