Christian Dominique Borle (born October 1, 1973) is an American actor in theatre, television, and film. He is a two-time Tony Award winner for his roles as Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher and as William Shakespeare in Something Rotten!. Borle originated the role of Emmett in Legally Blonde on Broadway, starred as Tom Levitt on the NBC musical-drama television series Smash, and starred as Marvin in the 2016 Broadway revival of Falsettos.
Early lifeBorle was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Andre Bernard Borle (1930–2011), a professor of physiology at the University of Pittsburgh. His love for Star Wars and drawing made him dream of becoming a comic book artist when he grew up, but it was only when a friend convinced him to audition for a school play in his sophomore year that he began to develop an interest in acting. Borle attended the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University, graduating in 1995. After he graduated, he moved to New York City and landed his first acting job. He worked as an elf at Macy's Santaland.
CareerBorle made his Broadway debut in 1998, understudying the role of Willard J. Hewitt in the stage adaptation of the film Footloose. He was featured in the 2000 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, and was the dance captain and understudy for several characters for the short-lived 2002 musical Amour.
Borle appeared in a 2003 advertisement for California-based online auction company eBay. In the 30-second TV spot, Borle plays a store clerk who breaks into song and dance when asked about a product. The song, "That's on eBay" was a parody of the standard "That's Amore". Also in 2003, he replaced Gavin Creel in the role of Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie. He married his co-star, actress Sutton Foster, who had played Millie, in September 2006. On a radio interview in 2010 it was confirmed that Borle and Foster had separated.
Borle performed in Monty Python's Spamalot, in which he originated a number of roles, including Prince Herbert and the Historian. His performance earned him a 2005 Drama Desk Award nomination as Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a Broadway.com Audience Award as Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical. He is known on Broadway for originating the role of Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde, for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. The musical is based on MGM's 2001 film of the same name.
He was featured in the Encores! staged concert version of On the Town as Ozzie in November 2008. He appeared in a workshop production of a new play titled Peter and the Starcatcher in 2009. He played Bert in the Broadway production of Mary Poppins, replacing Adam Fiorentino in the role on October 12, 2009 and then left the cast July 15, 2010.
In 2010, he appeared in the film The Bounty Hunter, in which he played a golf caddy. In Fall 2010/Winter 2011, Borle played the role of Prior Walter in Signature Theatre Company's 20th anniversary production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America.
On February 25, 2011, it was announced that Borle had joined Steven Spielberg's new NBC pilot Smash with Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston, Katharine McPhee, Brian d'Arcy James, and Megan Hilty. The series follows a cross section of characters who come together to mount a Marilyn Monroe-themed musical (which is called Bombshell) on Broadway. In May 2011, it was reported that NBC had picked up the show as a series for the 2011–2012 season. In March 2012, NBC announced it would renew the series for a second season with 15 episodes. The show was officially cancelled by NBC in May 2013.
Borle was a member of the original cast in the Regional and Off-Broadway productions of Peter and the Starcatcher that ran until April 24, 2011. He reprised the role of Black Stache on Broadway in April 2012, where his performance earned him his second Tony Award nomination and first win as Best Featured Actor in a Play. He ended his run in the Broadway production of Peter and the Starcatcher on June 30, 2012, to take a break before taping for Smash began in August 2012.
Borle played Max Dettweiler in the live television production of The Sound of Music Live!, which aired on NBC on December 5, 2013. He also played Mr. Darling and Mr. Smee in the live TV production of Peter Pan Live!, which aired on NBC on December 4, 2014.
He won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for Something Rotten!, playing the role of famous playwright William Shakespeare, which opened on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on March 23, 2015 in previews and officially on April 22, 2015. Borle provided the voice of Mr. Bungee on the cast recording of Encores! A New Brain. Dan Fogler, who played the part onstage, was unable to record the album as he was busy filming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Borle played Marvin in the limited Broadway revival of Falsettos, directed by James Lapine, alongside Andrew Rannells and Stephanie J. Block who played Whizzer and Trina, respectively. Borle left the cast of Something Rotten! on July 16, 2016, to prepare for Falsettos, which opened in previews on September 29, 2016, and officially on October 27, 2016. Borle was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance. The show closed on January 8, 2017, after 30 previews and 84 performances.
On May 9, 2016, it was announced that Borle would play Willy Wonka in the Broadway production of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, which opened on March 23, 2017. A cast album was announced March 21, 2017. The show played its final performance January 14, 2018.
Borle also made an appearance with his former wife Sutton Foster, in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. His musical talents were used in Episode 3 for the Star's Hollow musical, which walked through the history of the quirky small town. The two had "found Gilmore Girls together and became fans of the show long before there were talks of a revival. For both actors, being a part of the Stars Hollow world was a special experience because they already loved the show before they became involved with it."
Borle made his directorial debut with Popcorn Falls, which premiered at the Riverbank Theatre in Marine City, Michigan. The show ran from August 18–27, 2017. It was such an unexpected success that the theatre had to add extra performances to keep up with demand.
In March 2018 it was announced that Borle would again reunite with Sutton Foster, this time for two episodes of her TV show Younger as a journalist named Don Ridley. He was also announced as the lead in the Encores! production of Me and My Girl, alongside former Mary Poppins co-star Laura Michelle Kelly.
In July 2019, it was announced that Borle would star as Orin Scrivello in the off-Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors, which began previews at the Westside Theatre on September 17, 2019 with an official opening of October 17.