Billboard on Broadway Podcast: Panic! at the Disco's Brendon Urie on Joining the Cast of 'Kinky Boots'

Matthew Murphy
Kinky Boots

Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie knows a thing or two about stage presence and playing to the rafters -- and now he's taking his theatrical talents and soaring vocals to a different kind of stage, making his Broadway debut in the long-running musical Kinky Boots. Based on the 2005 film of the same name, the show follows the journey of Charlie Price (now played by Urie), the son of a failing shoe factory owner who, when his father dies, must take over the family business -- with a little help from an unlikely friend, the drag queen Lola, played now by J Harrison Ghee. 

On this week’s Billboard on Broadway podcast, Urie and Ghee talk about their paths to the show, which boasts music and lyrics by pop legend Cyndi Lauper. “A friend gave me the soundtrack and I was like, ‘Oh, okay, this is Cyndi just writing amazing stuff,’” Urie says. “For music fans especially, you’ll hear the influences. You have moments where you think, ‘Oh, that’s ‘Time After Time.’ It’s really fun to hear that stuff.”

Both Urie and Ghee chat about how they discovered the world of musical theater, their experiences in different kinds of performance -- Urie in his band, and Ghee in the drag world, where he’s known as Crystal Demure -- and the surprising emotional reactions among the diverse audiences who come to see Kinky Boots.  For more, listen to their chat with host Rebecca Milzoff.

Kinky Boots is playing at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre; Urie will star in the show through August 6.