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Q&A Quickie: Carson Kressley, Giving NYC Theater a Fabulous Makeover

By Brandon Voss

Best known for his closet overhauls as fashion expert on Bravo's Queer Eye, How to Look Good Naked host Carson Kressley makes his New York stage debut in NEWSical the Musical, a popular Off-Broadway revue that satirizes pop culture, celebrities, and current events. In addition to the theatricality he's brought to reality television — including a spin on Dancing with the Stars — his previous stage work includes recent summer stints in Damn Yankees and The Drowsy Chaperone at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Shortly before his NEWSical opening night, Kressley gave us a special report on the fresh and funny topics he's tackling.

Gay.net: Perez Hilton recently made a splash in NEWSical, and I know that you attended his opening night. Did his performance inspire you to take this gig?
Carson Kressley: That's exactly what happened! Are you psychic? I came to see my pal Perez for his opening night and I was impressed by the wit, musicality, and pace of the show. It has an intelligence about it that I liked. When the producer, Tom D'Angora, approached me after the show that night and asked if I would be interested, I said yes. The rest is history.

The creative team tends to add material catered specifically for new talent. What subjects will you be taking on in sketch and song?
Well I'll be talking — or should I be singing — about growing up gay in a small town, Allentown, Pa., and some of my role models or lack thereof! Back then I couldn't dream of running away and moving in with the cast of Modern Family. All I had was the Skipper and Gilligan, the only gays I knew about. They were gay, right? I'll also sing an homage to Ellen DeGeneres and maybe a lil' diddy about hot conservatives. I knows it sounds like an oxymoron, but that's funny. I hope!

Will you be showing off any dance moves you picked up as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars? By the way, we're still bitter you didn't make Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars.
Well, thank you! I couldn't believe I wasn't an all-star either. I would have totally kicked that what's-her-name-Bachelorette's ass! Oh well, that's sequins under the bridge. There are definitely some moves like Jagger in the the show... and maybe some moves like Nancy Grace too!

One might guess that you're a lot pickier than the average actor about your costumes. Is that true, or will you wear anything for the sake of a gag?
Oh, I've worn some pretty comical getups in the name of fashion over the years. Why stop now?

NEWSical is all about the hottest newsmakers and pop culture. What are your current obsessions?
Of course I'm a huge fashion junky, so I love blogs like the Sartorialist, and I'm obsessed with interiors and have been spending a lot of time on Pinterest. I'm also in love with Downton Abbey — especially the diabolical gay footman Thomas and Maggie Smith In all her Britishly wry glory.

Carson Kressley stars in NEWSical the Musical through Mar. 3 at NYC's Kirk Theatre.

Photo: courtesy Project Publicity

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