With our Applause Edition coming out Friday, we thought we’d prime the pump a little with some Broadway glamour. And you don’t get much more glamorous nowadays that the sexy leather thigh-highs of Kinky Boots, which will be on tour in North Texas twice in 2015 (as you can read about Friday in Applause!).
For his first solo album since becoming a Tony and Grammy award-winner, Billy Porter — Broadway’s kinkiest drag queen — is taking off the corset and stepping out of those iconic heels. With Billy’s Back on Broadway, the crooner continues to honor his passion for musical theater, taking on songs made popular by some of the most revered legends: Liza Minnelli (“But the World Goes ’Round”), Judy Garland (“Happy Days Are Here Again / Get Happy”) and Barbra Streisand (“Don’t Rain On My Parade”).
With the Tony Award nominations just out this week, we decided to chat with last year’s toast of B’way. Porter talks with our Chris Azzopardi about his fondness for strong women, how he aspires to be Cyndi Lauper (whom he calls “one of the godmothers of individuality”) and the personal catharsis he’s experienced while transforming into a woman for Kinky Boots.
Dallas Voice: Was winning the Tony for best actor in a musical last year one of those surreal moments where you give your speech, and then walk away and it all becomes a haze and you wonder what the hell you just said? Billy Porter: No — because I wrote it! I had to write it down. I have amazing people and friends, and my manager of 23 years, Bill Butler, and one of my dear friends Jordan Thaler, both said to me before it happened, “Look, you have a one in five chance of winning. Write something down. Write it down!” And they know I’m not the kind of person who wants to come across as being cocky or anything, so they both were like, “It’s not being cocky; it’s honoring the moment. It’s better to be prepared and to be able to look back at this time and, if it happens, have had said something intelligent.” I said what I wanted to say as opposed to getting up there and fooling around, so I’m glad that they made me write it.
You’re right, though: Some people think it comes off as cocky when people prepare a speech. And it’s actually really not. Lemme write something down so I don’t look like Boo Boo the Clown up there.