Emmy-winning Carson Kressley joins the cast of off Broadway’s topical revue NEWSical The Musical for four weeks only, from February 6th – March 3rd. The popular (and highly fashionable) TV personality just gave me a queer eyeful–and earful–of what’s in store.
Hi, Carson. Congrats! Is this your first…?
It’s my first foray into off-Broadway.
Because you’ve done Broadway?
No, I’ve not done Broadway. I’ve lived on the actual street, but never worked on Broadway. I did Damn Yankees and The Drowsy Chaperone in Ogunquit, where I go for the summer. I said, “You guys! You know I can’t sing, act, or dance.” They said, “It doesn’t matter. We’ll take you anyway.” Theater is my version of doing sudoku. It clears the mind and lets you concentrate on something different.
What exactly will you be doing in NEWSical?
The writers and I have been collaborating. Maybe I’ll do an ode to Rachel Maddow. I don’t know if I’ll just sing about Rachel Maddow. I probably won’t be doing drag because I’m not that good at it, ironically. Also, I grew up in Allentown, and we might make reference to the fact that I was practically Amish. Now that Amish is the new black–it’s cool to be Amish–I’m really trying to exploit it as much as I can. [laughs]
I don’t think you’re really a typical Amish.
I don’t either, but they were the ones who came up with black and pastels together, it was not Miuccia Prada. They’re trendsetters!
What are some of the TV shows you’re working on these days?
GMA. My clothing collection on ShopNBC. I’m reviewing Oscar coverage for Live with Kelly and Michael. And I’m working on a new project I can’t talk about yet.
You’re helping gay aesthetics go everywhere. Speaking of which, President Obama talked about the need for equal rights in his inauguration speech. Isn’t this an amazing world, considering what we grew up with?
It is completely different. As a little gay kid growing up in Allentown, there were very few people you could turn to. “I want to run off and live with Skipper and Gilligan. They’d be cool with me.” But now our President has said everyone should be treated equal. The message is so powerful and hopeful. A message like that can touch so many lives and literally save lives, so I was so proud.
And Beyonce sang! [And so will Carson. Go see him in NEWSical.]