power couple

Broadway boyfriends Max Clayton and Matt Doyle are having a moment. Make that two.


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It’s been quite a week for Broadway power couple Matt Doyle and Max Clayton.

First, Doyle won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as the anxious gay groom in Company. Marianne Elliott’s gender-swapping revival won five Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.

“We have been to hell and back together and I love you all so much,” Doyle said in his acceptance speech, referencing the pandemic that temporarily shuttered the production. He thanked onstage husband Etai Benson, who plays fiancé Paul, then turned his attention to his boyfriend. “… and my real-life Paul, Max Clayton. I love you. I don’t know what I’d do without you. And you really do leave love notes all over the place, and  I cannot believe what you put up with.”

Related: Inside Matt Doyle’s unapologetically gay, Tony-winning performance in ‘Company’


Ariana DeBose hosted this year’s awards, bringing fresh flair to an evening that can occasionally feel stuffy. Of course, for real theater geeks, the best part is tuning in to performances from nominated musicals. 

The high-energy revival of The Music Man, starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, earned six nominations but finished the evening empty-handed — including one of its leads. The following day it was announced that Jackman had tested positive for COVID (again) and would be out of the show through June 21. His stand-by? Max Clayton!

Foster, ever the gracious co-star, acknowledged Clayton’s debut during the curtain call.

“So you’ve witnessed a Broadway miracle because our very own Max Clayton, who has been part of this company in this production for over three years — it was his very first night leading the band,” said Foster. She then turned to Clayton. “Thank you, we are so grateful to you. I’ll go to the footbridge with you anytime. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“The incredible generosity and versatility of this company humble me on a daily basis. I am so beyond grateful to you, but the most important people I’m grateful for are all of you,” Foster said to the audience. “Because without you, you’re the most important cast member we have. So thank you so much for being here, and have a great night.”

Clayton also had accolades to share, posting to Instagram, “What a week. I’ll see you at the Winter Garden thru June 22nd while our one of a kind leader @thehughjackman recovers from Covid. Hughy, you are a wonder, a class act, and I couldn’t do this without you.”

Max Clayton
Max Clayton takes a bow after his first performance in The Music Man. Photo by Avery Brunkus