Happy day-after-Valentine's day, y'all!! There's a lot of love in the Kinky Boots rehearsal room at New 42nd Street Studios these days... so one of our fabulous, so-on-top-of-it-nothing-gets-by-him Stage Managers Thomas Recktenwald (thomas84nyc on Instagram) did a photo-shoot. We love photo shoots, Twitter and Instagram almost as much as we love shoes at Kinky Boots. Here are some of my favourites (and yes, I decided to use the British spelling of the word "favourites" because our show takes place in the North of England and I am the proud owner of a British passport. Kate Middleton and I might as well be besties.)
Speaking of lurve... I have fallen head over heels for our youngest cast members... four little boys who play younger versions of Billy Porter and Stark Sands. They are crazy cute. Once I worked through my career jealousy issues, I decided to interview them and I have to admit, they come across as media-trained, seasoned Broadway veterans. Here are some excerpts, beginning with Marquis Neal, 11, who plays Young Lola
Tory Ross: So Marquis, how do you prepare to play a young Billy Porter?
MARQUIS NEAL: Well first, I warm up my voice then I start rehearsing with my walk.
TR: Does Billy have a specific walk?
MN: Yes he's got, like a sassy walk and I'm supposed to do that so as I grow older, I start to walk like him.
TR: Great! What's your five-year plan in the business?
MN: Um, to be full out and work the runway.
Well-played, Marquis. I turned then to Sebastian Hedges Thomas, 10, who plays Young Charlie. He's a seasoned pro.
TR: Tell me about the other Broadway show that you were in.
SEBASTIAN HEDGES: I was in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. It was really interesting.
TR: Who did you play?
SH: I played Benjy.
TR: So, was he also a young person? Do you think you have cornered the market for young on Broadway?
These kids are no joke. They are savvy businessmen with the faces of angels. I talked next to Jonah Halperin, 8, who is the standby for Young Charlie.
TR: Would you call this your big break?
JONAH HALPERIN: [shrugs]
TR: Are you excited to be here?
JH: Yes! A lot!
TR: On a scale of 1 to 10, how cute do you think you are?
TR: Wow. Confidence. That's going to do you well.
And finally, I interviewed Cole Bullock, 9, who is our Young Lola Standby. His favourite basketball team is The Knicks and his favourite musical is Kinky Boots. He stated this fact without hesitation.
TR: What did you do when you found out you got the standby?
COLE BULLOCK: I was very happy.
TR: Did you jump up and down? Did you freak out?
TR: Did you actually scream?
CB: Not really.
TR: Did you do a dance?
CB: Yeah... a victory dance.
TR: Could you show me that victory dance?
CB: [amazing dance that was better than anything I could ever do, even though I got a BFA in musical theater and had to take a whole year of ballet]
Music Director Brian Usifer, EuGene Barry-Hill, John Jeffrey Martin, yours truly, Ellyn Marie Marsh, Eric Leviton, Nathan Peck, Lucia Spina and Gypsy Robe shoo-in Charlie Sutton