“I’d be a fabulous gay guy; I already have all the qualities of being gay,” was the candid statement of the very talented Nyoy Volante to the T-Zone and a small huddle of Entertainment editors one Friday afternoon.
Nyoy had just wrapped up a press conference for his latest project for Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group, pop icon Cyndi Lauper’s Tony- and Grammy Award-winning Best Musical “Kinky Boots,” when he sat down with the group. He teasingly hugged his co-actor, the half-Australian, half-Filipino Laurence Mossman from behind just before saying that, making everyone laugh at his antics.
I actually enjoy wearing women’s clothes,” added the happily married thespian and recording artist, repeating it for emphasis into a voice recorder. “That’s why I’m so looking forward to portraying Lola in Kinky Boots. I mean, what a way to be free and express your artistry, right?”
A winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Kinky Boots features a joyous, Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper and a hilarious, uplifting book by four-time Tony winner, Harvey Fierstein.
Its story begins with a chap named Charlie Price (Mossman) who has reluctantly inherited his father’s shoe factory in Northampton, England, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and saving his family business, Charlie realizes no one wants to buy old-fashioned men’s shoes anymore and finds inspiration in the form of Lola. Lola is a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos, and ends up helping Charlie turn the factory around. In the process, this unlikely pair finds they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible, while and discovering that changing one’s judgment can change their world.
“Besides being a great story, the music of Kinky Boots is just amazing,” Nyoy continued. “As a songwriter, too—and a fan—I could actually see that Cyndi Lauper stamp on the songs we sing.”
Bringing the house down most recently in his portrayal of the legendary Frankie Valli in “Jersey Boys” in October 2016—singing and speaking in falsetto throughout the entire musical—there is no doubt Nyoy can hit Lola’s high notes however up there the pop icon made them to be. And of course, as known to the wider public, his winning impersonations of Tina Turner, Katy Perry and Whitney Houston in the very first season of “Your Face Sounds Familiar’s” Philippine franchise on ABS-CBN has this role in the bag.
Humbled by praises for his singing stamina—whether as the world’s female music greats, Valli, “In the Height’s” rapping bodega owner Unsavi, “Shrek’s” non-stop talking Donkey, or as “Rock of Ages’” aspiring rock star Drew Bowley—Nyoy still maintains that he needs a lot of work to perfect the role of Lola.
“You really need to be that person for you to pull off a convincing performance in any musical so besides mastering the songs, speaking like Lola and moving like Lola, I need to ‘live’ her character. You start learning your role through rehearsals and by the time the musical comes, you do end up becoming that character during the run,” he explained.
“Oh! And one more thing,” Nyoy added before wrapping up the conversation, “I also plan to wear heels for two to three hours a day before we start rehearsals just to get used to it.”
Those are six-inch babies by the way. All the better to let this talented musician soar higher in the world of theater.
Completing the cast of Kinky Boots are Yanah Laurel, Tricia Canilao, Nel Gomez, Christine Flores, Sarah Facuri, Steven Cionde, Rhenwyn Gabalonzo, Ron Gohel, Jill Peña, Japs Treopaldo, and Juancho Escoto. Its Manila staging is directed by Bobby Garcia. The musical premieres on June 30 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of RCBC Plaza in Makati.
For details log on to www.ticketworld.com.