Special Reports

7 Broadway-Themed Super Bowl Moments to Get Even the Biggest Show Geeks to Watch the Game

And they said theater folk don’t like sports.

For some theater fans, the Tony Awards are the Super Bowl of the Broadway season — but for other stage nerds, the Super Bowl itself is the Super Bowl of the Broadway season. It’s for those well-rounded hobbyists (and the sports-curious) that we’ve put together this list of moments when Broadway put the black schmutz under their eyes (metaphorically) and jumped into the Super Bowl fray.

1. Broadway promos Super Bowl XLVIII

The last time the Denver Broncos made it to the championship game, they were in Broadway’s hometown, facing off against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII. With the big game right in their backyard, show folk couldn’t help but get in on the action. A promo for a football game has never seen more glitter.

2. Saturday Night Live imagines an all-Broadway halftime show

In 2014, Saturday Night Live jumped on the Super-Bowl-goes-Broadway wagon with this fantastical musical theater-themed halftime show. The crew (and Melissa McCarthy) imagined what might happen if the Great White Way’s brightest stars had to jump onto the AstroTurf at the last minute. This video proves what we always knew in our hearts: Ben Vereen and Peyton Manning sing a mean duet.

3. Helen Mirren tells us to drink Budweiser…and not drive afterward

Now that Helen Mirren has conquered Broadway with her award-winning performance in last season’s The Audience, she’s decided to move on to the next show-biz frontier: Super Bowl commercials. Dame Helen may be an unlikely spokesperson for Budweiser, but she’s an effective one. Watch as she rebukes the stupidity of drunk drivers with the biting eloquence of a British Queen over a meal of burgers and brew — which, after going back to the tape, we cannot confirm she ever ingested.

4. Idina Menzel lets it all go at Super Bowl XLIX

Riding the wave of Frozen-mania, Idina Menzel was invited to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the 2015 Super Bowl in Phoenix. After spending so much time in Arendelle, the warm weather seems to have served her and her vocal chords well. So well, in fact, that she celebrated her successful rendition of the tune with a cry of victory. If she’d been holding a football, she would have spiked it in the end zone.

5. Matthew Broderick plays hooky in a Honda CR-V

The only thing Matthew Broderick is better at than winning Tonys is playing hooky. He broke out his dormant Ferris Bueller for this Honda commercial in 2012, which sadly didn’t include his famous rendition of “Danke Schoen.” But we can give him a pass — he was saving his voice for his next Broadway gig in Nice Work If You Can Get It.

6. Tylenol helps Eddie George kick off his acting career

Eddie George, Chicago‘s latest Billy Flynn, is a newly minted Broadway star. But we were surprised to learn that his acting career had its kickoff at the very beginning of his pro football career. Still on the high of his Heisman Trophy win, he starred in this 1996 Super Bowl commercial, lending the Tylenol brand his signature “razzle dazzle.”

7. Gloria Estefan gets on her feet at Super Bowl XXVI

Super Bowl XXVI celebrated the best of winter, coming on the heels of the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. The seasonal festivities included ice skaters, giant snowflakes, ice skaters on giant snowflakes…and to top it all off, an enormous representation of Old Man Winter, who borrowed the Statue of Liberty’s diadem just for the occasion. But nothing says winter like future Broadway hitmaker Gloria Estefan — in a mini tutu. Skip ahead to 9:55, and be ready to get On Your Feet!