With his warm, infectious smile and cup-overfloweth personality, Jonathan Burke '08 embodies the “it” factor — and Broadway has noticed. Just 11 years out of college, he’s starring in the two-part Broadway show, "The Inheritance," which opened in November. The play, an exploration of gay history, is set in New York City a generation after the HIV/AIDS crisis of the ’80s and ’90s. The story follows a group of gay men as they struggle to connect to and maintain a sense of the past. It won the 2019 Laurence Olivier Award for best new play and just might be destined for the Tony Award equivalent.
Burke has already been to the Tonys — last June when he performed in a dance number from the acclaimed Broadway show "Choir Boy." The play is a coming-of-age drama about a gay choir leader at an elite boarding school for black men.
“One of the most thrilling moments of my life was that Tony performance night,” he said.
Burke was initially cast in the ensemble of the four-time Tony-nominated hit and was the understudy for the lead role of Pharus Jonathan Young. Burke eventually took over the lead role during the extended run of the production.
“It was two wonderful, life-changing weeks — a dream come true, a privilege, and an honor,” Burke said. “But it also felt right — like where I was supposed to be. The show means so much to me, and so for the New York Broadway audience to be introduced to Jonathan Burke via "Choir Boy" is the introduction I always thought of for myself,” he said proudly.