All in the Volante family

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HIS six-inch red boots and perfect makeup are making a comeback on stage as singer Nyoy Volante reprises his role as the drag queen Lola for Kinky Boots’ limited encore run on March 2 to 18 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in Makati City.

Mr. Volante will be joined on stage by his wife, Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante, who would do his makeup when Kinky Boots had its successful and sold-out run in July 2017.

“When I was doing his makeup, I would get a chance to watch the show a lot. So I think, whether I had intended to learn the role or not, it was already engraved [in me],” she said.

Ms. Bradshaw, a theater actress, will play as Lauren, the shoe factory employee who falls in love with Lola. Ms. Bradshaw replaces Yannah Laurel who had prior commitments with Resorts World Manila’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which is also returning to the Newport Performing Arts Theater stage from Feb. 22 to March 25 after a successful run last year. It just so happens that the Volantes’ daughter, Sofie, is part of the ensemble of the musical about a family and their magical car.

It’s not the first time that the off-stage partners are working together on stage — they previously played a couple who got divorced in Atlantis Productions’ Jersey Boys.

“It’s nice to have an extra pair of eyes for feedback. We’re always critical of each other, but it’s not to say that we’re directing each other,” said Ms. Bradshaw of their partnership.




The Fil-Am actress said she corrects her husband’s intonations on set. “It’s my job to nitpick, to fine tune things,” she said of her husband who is 13 years her senior.

Asked if Mr. Volante is open to doing straight plays — after all he has a wife for a coach — he said he’d rather not because he is too lazy to memorize scripts.

While it is easier to rehearse a rerun, Mr. Volante — whose amazing performance as the drag queen Lola wowed the critics — said that he will make little changes in this version of his role.

“Reruns usually evolve in a good way, because you are left with a certain number of months to study the role more. ‘Dapat pala ganito ginawa ko, dapat ganyan (I should have done this, or that).’ So you apply it,” he said, adding that he’ll be fine-tuning the comedic parts of the show.

Is there any pressure on him to maintain the success of Kinky Boots? “I’m just gonna do the thing that’s assigned for me to do — which is to dance, sing, and act. As far as it is being a hit, it is not just me working eh, but it’s a collaboration with the rest of the crew. I’m not going to put pressure on myself, but I am sure to up my game,” said Mr. Volante.

He said he was initially scared to do the role of Lola because he might offend the LGBTQ community. “I thought na baka mabastos ko sila (I thought they might find me discourteous), but fortunately they liked it. From there, nagkaron ako ng (I gained) new knowledge and opening of my mind about them. I may be not one of them, but I am with them,” he said.

Directed by Bobby Garcia, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price (played by Laurence Mossman) who inherits a shoe factory, which he does not like and know nothing about. But the business needs to stay afloat. He meets — fortuitously — Lola, a transvestite cabaret performer who not only inspires him to produce kinky footwear, but encourages him to follow his dream and become who he wants to be. — Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman

Kinky Boots will run from March 2-18 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, corner Ayala and Gil Puyat Aves., Makati City. Tickets and schedules are available on Ticketworld (www.ticketworld.com.ph).

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