Husband and wife talk about working on ‘Kinky Boots’ encore, and encouraging and raising a thespian daughter
Following a successful and sold out run last year, singer and theater actor Nyoy Volante will reprise the role of a fabulous drag queen for a limited return of Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical “Kinky Boots.”
The show reopens on March 2 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of RCBC Plaza, Makati City with Atlantis Production’s founder and director Bobby Garcia at the helm anew.
While the musical will feature the same talented cast led by Volante as the shoe-loving Lola who helps Laurence Mossman’s Charlie price save the latter’s inherited footwear factory, a lovely and familiar face is set to join the rerun. And Volante cannot be happier.
Taking over the role of Yannah Laurel as love struck factory employer Lauren is no less than Mikkie Bradshaw, who for those unaware, is Volante’s wife.
“Unfortunately, Yannah didn’t see this restaging coming and had already committed to work on ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ [for another theater company], which is running at the same time. On the other hand, Mikkie gets to join us this time,” he explained.
Asked how it feels to have his wife on the same stage again, the very versatile actor said, laughing, “She’s always been with Kinky Boots because she was the one that did my makeup!”
More lovingly, and gratefully, he added, “She took time from work to help me and was there for me everyday. And to be honest—not because she’s my wife—she’s a really good actor and it’s great to have her in the cast because I’ve seen her do comedy and she’s a perfect fit for Lauren as well.”
Touched by her husband’s words, Bradshaw recalled, “We’ve been working together even when were just dating so this is not new to us. If I can remember, our first production as a married couple was ‘Jersey Boys’ in 2016.”
She also thanked fate for preparing her for Kinky Boots without even knowing it: “I was watching the run a lot while I was doing Nyoy’s makeup so I think, whether I intended to get to know the role or not, it was already engraved in my consciousness.”
A regular in Atlantis just like Volante, Bradshaw further recalled how casually her casting happened.
“I think we were having lunch in between shows and Bobby was like, ‘Oh what are you doing next year? Do this [Lauren] na ha.’ And I said OK. That’s how it went,” she chuckled, what with Atlantis already family to her and Nyoy.
Revealing a little more about their relationship as partners on the stage, the pair agreed what they love about working onstage together is that they are one another’s best and worst critic, which helps them do better in their roles.
“I love working with him because it’s nice to have an extra set of eyes and ears. It’s great to be able to ask him for feedback because we’re very critical of each other in a good way. We also know each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Bradshaw began.
“We always tell each other when we see something that needs to be better because our relationship is very open. We don’t really take offense with what the other has to say because we’ve established trust in one another whether as professionals and of course a couple,” Volante added.
Together now for almost six years [three while they dated with two wedding anniversaries in already in the bag], the Volantes acknowledged that just like any other married couple, they have their share of arguments, but quickly bounce back from them, especially since they have a daughter to look out for, Sophie, from Bradshaw’s past relationship.
The couple is also thrilled at how their eight-year-old is enjoying herself in theater this early, what with Sophie landing a role in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” already.
“Initially I was hoping she would become a doctor or lawyer—something that makes more money,” Bradshaw laughed. “But we can’t help it. Maybe it’s in the blood but we weren’t expecting it because she was very shy. And then she took her first theater workshop it all just emerged. If she ventures into other things, good for her, but Nyoy and I agreed to support her in whatever she wants to do.”
“As long as we raise her to have a strong backbone and conviction in her own beliefs, she’ll be okay no matter where she goes. And from what we can see right now, there’s nothing you can do to sway her—she’s set. She knows what she wants and what she doesn’t want and we trust her to make good decisions because even at eight, she’s smart and very responsible and funny,” the proud mother added.
As for Volante, he conveyed, “I’m very open. I’m supportive as long as it’s not something that’s destructive. But you know, it’s easier to let her make her own decisions because she’s a good girl. Hindi siya abusado whenever we let her do what she wants.”
Finally, when asked if they are planning to give Sophie a sibling, Bradshaw looked at Nyoy and said, “We’ll see what happens. I think we’ve just settled into our family dynamics. I think adding another element for now would really change it up. We’re enjoying where we are for now.”
“Actually, Sophie wants to adopt an older gay brother!” Volante quickly volunteered. “She wants a young Lola. Very specific. She’s gotten very close to a lot of the boys in theater lately and then she found some fabulous friends so that’s basically what she wants as a sibling at this point. She wants a brother who can walk around the house in high heels.”
“She loved it when she saw Nyoy in drag. On opening night, naka-drag din siya. I think we’ve raised her to be very open-minded. And often times she asks Nyoy to put on makeup, wear heels around the house. He gives in and it’s a lot of fun,” Bradshaw ended.