In a recent video posted to TikTok, performer Talia Suskauer could be seen telling her former singing teacher, Criag, that she’s been cast as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked in New York City.
“Telling my childhood voice teacher that I’m going to be starring as Elphaba on Broadway,” the text over the video reads.
While hearing Suskauer’s news, Craig threw his arms up in the air and gave her a hug.
“Talia, I told you when you were 12,” he said. “Oh my god, I’m so happy for you.”
After thanking him, Suskauer told her teacher that he had to come to New York to see her perform. In response, he said: “Oh I will now, for sure.”
She then praised her former coach in the caption and wrote: “We did it, Craig!”
As of 28 April, the video has more than 4.4m views, with viewers in the comments touched by Craig’s reaction and encouraging him to see Suskauer’s show.
“He better be there, first row. On opening night,” one wrote.
“The way he kept hugging you,” another added. “The pride in that man is out of this world!! He needs protecting at all costs. Congrats on the role!”
A third person wrote: “And now I’m SOBBING. This is such a beautiful moment.”
Other viewers were moved by Suskauer and Craig’s close bond as student and teacher.
“THE BOND BETWEEN MUSIC TEACHERS AND STUDENTS IS PRECIOUS,” one wrote.
“I’m crying,” another said. “As a musical theatre kid my teachers and coaches made me who I am and it’s so special to be able to share a moment like this with them.”
In the comments, Suskauer thanked her viewers, as they have helped pay for Craig’s trip to New York to see Wicked.
“I have no words,” she wrote. “Your incredible generosity has funded Craig’s trip to NYC. He doesn’t know yet— going to tell him in person tomorrow.”
As noted in Suskauer’s Instagram bio, she has starred as Elphaba on the National Tour of Wicked from 2019 to 2022. She’ll be taking on the same role in the Brodway musical at the Gershwin Theatre starting 24 May.
Speaking to The Independent, Suskauer noted how she worked with Craig “all throughout middle school” and that he “basically taught [her] how to sing”. After studying musical theatre in college, performing on another show on Broadway, and performing Wicked’s National Tour, she was “promoted to Elphaba on Broadway”.
When she was home in Florida, she decided to tell Craig her news in person. After posting the video on TikTok, she received multiple comments from people offering to help get Craig to New York.
“After seeing all those requests from people to help, I just linked my Venmo in the comments,” she explained. “I did not expect people to be as generous as they did, but we raised enough to get him to New York.”