Grande and her co-star Ethan Slater, who is also estranged from his wife, recently started dating as they People, entertainment tonightand TMZ reported on July 20, 2023. Slater and Grande’s commonalities go beyond their work on Wicked, though: Both are Broadway alums (Great for their work in 13: The MusicalSlater for his in the SpongeBob musical).
Here’s what you need to know about Slater and his history with Grande.
Slater is a 31-year-old actor best known for playing SpongeBob on Broadway, for which he earned a Tony nomination.
Slater is a Gemini and celebrated her 31st birthday on June 2; she grew up in Washington, DC and attended Vassar College. Her most prominent role to date was that of SpongeBob in the Broadway play. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical. It was a project he was involved with for years, starting when he was just 19 years old.
“Working in sponge Bob It changed the way I approach everything because I started working on it when I was 19 years old, and it was seven years in the making, from the start of development to the close on Broadway,” he said. Pop-Culturalist.com in August 2021. It was like my complete education, which is amazing. We approached it from this perspective, which came from [director] Tub [Landau], that this is not a program that is speaking ill of children. This is a show that is funny; it’s funny, it’s visually stimulating, it’s physical humor. Children like it because it takes advantage of this optimism and heart; and adults like it because it takes advantage of the things they remember from their childhood. But it is not a show designed exclusively for children. It was meant to make us laugh while doing it.”
Slater is playing Boq in Wicked.
Boq has a noticeable crush on Grande’s character Glinda in Wicked. Slater and Grande have been filming the film adaptation in the UK from December. Slater’s casting Wicked it was announced in December 2022.
Slater recently separated from his partner of 10 years and wife of four years, Lilly Jay. They had a son together last year.
Both Slater and Grande are newly single after getting married. People reported that Slater and his wife Lilly Jay split after news broke that he was dating Grande on July 20. Jay and Slater began dating in 2012 and tied the knot in November 2018. They welcomed their first child, a son, in August 2022.
Slater celebrated Jay this Mother’s Day on her Instagram account. He wrote: “Happy first Mother’s Day to the most loving and wonderful mom/person in the world. – me and this little one.” Grande had liked the post.
He also posted a tribute to her in November 2022, writing: “My best friend. 4 years married, 10 years together. And this is easily the best (and *weirdest*) year yet.” Grande liked that post as well.
On Saturday, July 22, a source who knows Lilly told her Eastern Time that the new mom is “devastated” and that “this is not the future I had in mind.”
They added: “She is doing everything she can to get back on her feet. She is incredibly smart and driven…she is truly the best mom ever.”
He made his Instagram private shortly after news of his and Grande’s romance broke.
Slater had a public Instagram account when the reports of his relationship with Grande first broke. But shortly after the news broke, Slater went private on Instagram about him. He had already limited comments on some posts beforehand.
Slater and Grande began dating after separating from their spouses.
said a source People, “Ariana and Dalton broke up in January. She and Ethan recently started dating and he is separated from his wife.”
us weekly he received similar information from his source: “Ariana and Ethan are dating; however, things are quite new. Ariana and Dalton split in January and Ethan split from his wife. Ariana and Ethan have only recently started seeing each other, but they have a lot of fun together and enjoy each other’s company.”
entertainment tonightThe source also highlighted that this is very recent: “Ariana and Ethan recently started dating. They have a lot in common and have a lot of fun,” the source said. “They didn’t start dating until they both broke up with their loved ones. Ariana and Dalton are still friends.”
TMZFor his part, he reported that Slater and Grande had been dating “several months ago during production” of Wicked, according to their multiple sources. Insiders emphasized that Slater and Grande didn’t start dating until after they separated from their spouses. They were photographed sitting next to each other while celebrating Wicked co-star Michelle Yeoh’s Oscar win in March.
Slater lost his mother as a child and has spoken about how that tragedy marked him.
In an August 2021 interview with Pop-Culturalist.comSlater opened up about how he co-wrote the musical edge of the world based on that loss. “One of the great things is mining [of] my personal experience to write”, he said. “When I was 7 years old, my mother died, and that has been a very important and formative thing in my life. She had left this big imprint on me, even though she had very few memories. And that’s what happens to this character, Ben. He grows up not knowing his mother, raised by a single father, and yet the impact she has on her life and her journey is immeasurable. So those are the two inspiring elements that came together.”
Senior News and Strategy Editor
Alyssa Bailey is the Senior Editor for News and Strategy at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions in Fashion and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running through Central Park, having people take #ootd photos of her, and exploring New York City.