But Rannells and host Stephen Colbert began by talking about a shared connection: “I made the gay pilgrimage to go see Patti LuPone in Company in London,” Rannells said. “I forced a friendship with her over the years.”
Colbert starred alongside LuPone in the Lincoln Center concert version of Company in 2011. “You feel vaguely singed when you're next to her onstage because she's so powerful,” he shared.
Before Rannells had hit it big (and became friends with LuPone), “pre-famous” as he called it, he struggled for eight years in the New York City audition scene. “I feel like those are often the years that are skipped over. A lot of people think I was just hatched out of an egg during The Book of Mormon,” he said.
Those are specifically the years that Rannells covers in his book. “These are essays specifically from my childhood and then I moved to New York in 1997 and I was cast in my first Broadway show, which was Hairspray, in 2005, so I just deal with that period of time,” he explained.
In fact, the memoir is a bit of a “promise” realized: “I don't know if you recall, but the last time I was here I told you I was going to write a book,” said Rannells, “and I wrote it!”