Peppermint is serving us Broadway star realness! Yes hunty, Miss Peppermint, of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9, is on Broadway. She is starring in the new Broadway musical, Head Over Heels, which combines some of your favorite music from the Go-Go’s with a political story line that sounds very much like our current political state. Check out the musical below.
We got to chat with Peppermint to learn all about her role in the musical and so much more. Check out the interview below.
Javay Frye: You’re on Broadway! What’s that like?
Peppermint: *Sings* It’s been everything. It’s been a dream. At times it’s been a scary dream. It’s been every feeling you could possibly feel. Happiness, sadness, exhaustion, exhilaration. Everything.
JF: Was this the original dream? When you were little did you want to be on Broadway?
P: Not really. I did go to musical theater college and I of course was in plays and theaters growing up, drama club and choir. I’ve been around it but in terms of it being my dream, I never really pictured it. I graduated from school and started auditioning and realized there weren’t any parts for me, people weren’t writing the stories for me. My experience in the audition room didn’t feel good. I know it can be nerve wracking for any actor and the acting world was tough. I was worried about the getting the part and worried that they would feel how uncomfortable I was in these male clothes and that I don’t feel at home in my body.
I didn’t feel there was a time and space for me as a trans woman, until I came across drag and drag allowed to become that. My attention got diverted as I made my name and I figured out who I was and my performance style and singing style and style overall and I was able to bring all that back to this role.
JF: Tell me about Head Over Heels.
P: It’s a comedy. It’s absolute hysteria. It’s about a royal family who basically are told they have to change or die by an oracle, played by me. The musical is all set to the music of the Go-Go’s. It’s about love and sex and gender and politics and everything you can imagine all rolled into a neat little hysterical package.
JF: Do you see parallels between the story and our current political climate?
P: Yes, parallels with political climate, parallels on every level from societal changes and the queer community and sex and gender and how they are viewed in the show. It’s a royal family with an overbearing, egotistical, maniacal king who rules the kingdom who is extremely conservative and traditional. He says some really bombastic, asinine stuff, remind you of anyone? This king has a lesson to learn.
JF: How is your musical theater style different than your usual genre of music?
P: It’s so much fun and live theater. It really is a difference performance every night, it’s a different audience and different energy every night, but it’s kind of within the same capsule — the same choreography and costumes. Drag performing is very different from that. I wear what I want. Broadway is not quite as free as a normal drag performance but a lot more rad.
JF: What would you say was harder: competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race or being in a Broadway musical?
P: Both pretty vicious, they both have killer hours. It’s one thing being on Broadway and if I had had the opportunity to make an appearance in a show I already knew, like Chicago, it would be very different from this one. Originating a show from nothing to Broadway is a lot of work. We are in that process right now. The hours are sometime 16 hours a day. Long hours, very tough. That’s how it’s similar to Drag Race. Luckily, hopefully no one is getting sent home at the end of the day from Head Over Heels.
JF: What is your favorite part of the musical?
P: My entrance, is of course my favorite part. Pythio, the oracle I am playing, the entrance is spectacular and mystical and a lot of fun. I’m jealous, my character has entrance and exit music. I wish I had an entrance theme song every time I walked in a room.
JF: How do you think your role on Broadway is going to impact LGBTQ youths?
P: Entertainment has always attracted queer folks. At a very early age one of my favorite shows was Rent and I resonated with the character Angel and that was the closest thing I had in terms of seeing someone like me. I am hoping we are getting closer to hitting the mark, showing trans kids and trans kids of color that this is possible, it is happening right now. Also my character is non-binary. It’s certainly rare, if not unique and historic. I have non binary folks come up to me every time. This is the first time they have seen themselves reflected on a Broadway stage.