Brendon Urie

Brendon Urie Talks ‘Making High Heels Work’ With ‘Kinky Boots’ Broadway Debut

Panic! at the Disco vocalist Brendon Urie is preparing for his Broadway debut, and he’s ready to fully express his theatrical side.

Urie is making his Broadway debut as Charlie Price in Kinky Boots Friday night, the lead role of the production. The musical centers on Price inheriting his family’s shoe factory and teaming up with a drag queen named Lola (J. Harrison Ghee) to create a line of high-heeled boots. The production features Price donning shiny red high heels, and Urie has already shown off his ability to wear them with style.

Taking on his first Broadway role is a big deal for Urie, who told Playbill that he has been a fan of musicals since he was a child.

“I grew up loving musicals, worshipping musicals, wanting to be a part of that world. The Sound of Music is my favorite musical of all time. It’s something that was celebrated in my family. My mom had all of these VHS tapes of musicals from Oklahoma! to West Side Story to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers… It was very prevalent in my childhood and I latched onto it… When they invited me to watch the show it was like, ‘I just got invited by some amazing people,’ and then after the show when they asked me to be a part of it I said, ‘Whatever I can do. I’ll polish the boots! I’ll do whatever it takes. I would love to be a part of this, please.'”

Urie’s performance style in Panic! at the Disco has been theatrical over the years, experimenting with different looks and showing off his dynamic vocal range. He has also worn high heels before, as he referenced in Panic! at the Disco’s song, “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time.” The singer clearly knows how to “make these high heels work,” as he says in the song, to the point that he now has to pretend to be awkward wearing them to play Charlie.

❤️✨???? IT'S TODAY! ????✨❤️

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“I have a deeper appreciation for not just people wearing heels, but for the actor persona where I’ve got to play this character,” Urie said. “There’s no way I can break. I have to [think], ‘I’m not comfortable with this, but ok, now I will be.’ There’s a transition period. I love that. That’s part of what makes this beautiful. You have to challenge yourself with and I really hope that comes across.”

Urie is scheduled to perform in Kinky Boots eight times per week starting tonight (May 26), with a 10-week run slated to end on Sunday, August 6. Despite the grueling schedule that comes with being a Broadway performer (every night plus a second matinee show on Saturday), Urie is admittedly used to it after touring with Panic! at the Disco for years.

“I don’t know if it’s going to be more difficult or less difficult than touring,” he told Variety, of the Broadway schedule. “When we tour, at the most we do four shows in a row, and then a day off, but on tour I’m singing 98% of the show and it’s a 90-minute show. This one, I’m singing eight songs. And because I’m accustomed to touring, I’ve got my regimen.”

Urie does have nerves about performing on stage without the support of a roaring crowd like at his concerts, but he is looking forward to the challenge.

Going through pictures from LA and found a few of some friends that came out to the show. #deathofabachelortour

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“With this show, I’m naked vocally onstage,” he admitted to Playbill. “You have to support yourself. You’re out there and you need to dictate this message. It’s all you. I like that. It’s very challenging, but it’s so much fun.”

Kinky Boots is an award-winning musical, having taken home six Tonys in 2013 including Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Billy Porter’s performance of Lola, and Best Original Score for Cyndi Lauper. The book of the musical was written by noted playwright and Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein.

[Featured Image by Rich Fury/Invision/AP Images]

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