The pair worked together on Fosse/Verdon, which earned Williams an Emmy Award for her portrayal of four-time Tony winner Gwen Verdon.
Kail has been a Broadway mainstay for some time, making his Broadway debut directing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first musical, In The Heights, for which Kail was nominated for a Tony Award. The director followed that up with Lombardi and Magic/Bird to Broadway, two meldings of the sports and theatre realms. It was his direction of Hamilton, however, that shot him into the stratosphere; Kail earned Drama Desk and Tony Awards (and an Olivier nomination) for his work on the blockbuster. He was also one of the four people—including Miranda, orchestrator and music director Alex Lacamoire, and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler—to win a Kennedy Center Honor for his work on the musical.
In between, he also racked up two Emmy Awards for Grease: Live. Notably, Grease was the first live television musical broadcast to welcome a live audience, which has now become practice of these specials.
This year, Kail has been on a roll—first, as executive producer and director of multiple episodes of Fosse/Verdon. The FX limited series about the lives of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon earned 17 Emmy Award nominations, including one for Kail’s direction. He produced Derren Brown: Secret, and he created, directed, and produced Freestyle Love Supreme on Broadway. He also helmed the new musical The Wrong Man at MCC Theater Off-Broadway, starring Joshua Henry and Ciara Rene.
Williams made her Broadway debut in the 2014 revival of Cabaret as Sally Bowles. She returned to the stage in 2016—this time in a play—for Blackbird with Jeff Daniels, earning a Tony nomination for her performance. But the role of Gwen Verdon, Williams told Playbill, was the most challenging of her life. She also served as an executive producer on the series.
The actor has been a star since she broke out as a teen on Dawson’s Creek. Since then, she has graced the silver screen in movies such as Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine, My Week With Marilyn, Manchester By the Sea—all four of which earned her Oscar nominations. She also won a Golden Globe for My Week With Marilyn as Marilyn Monroe.
Williams has a daughter, Matilda, from her previous relationship with the late actor Heath Ledger. The two began dating while filming Brokeback Mountain, though they never married. Williams was previously married to musician Phil Elverum. Kail was married to actor Angela Christian.