Tiffany Engen and Adam Kaplan

Tiffany Engen and Adam Kaplan in the National Tour of Kinky Boots. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

“I can’t really believe that just three years ago I was watching this show on Broadway, and now here I am doing the national tour,” says rising musical comedy star Adam Kaplan of the journey he has traveled in the national tour of the Tony Award®-Winning Broadway Smash Kinky Boots by Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper. It’s back for a second encore run at the 5th Avenue Theatre, where it officially opens this Thursday.

Kaplan plays Charlie Price, the down-on-his-luck heir to a struggling Northampton, UK shoe factory which gets a boost in the soles from a fabulous drag queen named Lola (played in this tour by Harrison Ghee). Ironically, Kaplan’s Broadway career also included a stint in Disney’s Newsies which opened here at the Paramount yesterday. I chatted recently with Adam about his career road and cross-country tour.

Where were you born and raised?

I grew up in Westport, Connecticut, about 45 minutes from New York City. I’m the black sheep! But my family loves vicariously living through my crazy artistic life. They are so supportive.

When were you bitten by the show-biz bug?

When I was six or seven, my father took me to see West Side Story. I loved it. I then started performing in community theater. After high school, I attended Elon University in North Carolina. It has a fabulous theater program. I took voice lessons, ballet, jazz and tap classes. I loved my time in North Carolina.

How did you land the role of Charlie Price?

I was in North Carolina performing and I got an appointment to read for Kinky Boots. I flew up on my day off. It was a whirlwind, I flew back and then I got a call-back. I was glad it all worked out.

What is the hardest part of doing this show for you?

I think the hardest part is the stamina. Charlie is an intense character, both in vocal intensity and in personality. He rarely leaves the stage, and when he does I tend to dash to the bathroom. Doing this show eight times a week, along with the traveling, has been a huge lesson in pacing myself and staying healthy.

Which tour stop has been the best and the most weird?

I have a soft spot in my heart for Austin because it’s where I debuted. It’s also just such an amazing city–the food, the music, the weather in November!

The most weird? Hmm… Let me just be politically correct and say that each city has its “quirks.”

Who among Broadway composers or lyricists do you dream of creating a role for and who are your favorite theater songwriters

I’m a big fan of Jason Robert Brown. Parade is one of my favorite scores. I also think Pasek and Paul are amazing and their writing is very current and exciting. But how cool would it be to go back in time and work with Jerome Kern or Rogers and Hammerstein?

Who in the cast do you have the most fun with?

Tiffany Engen plays Lauren and is just the biggest goofball. But she also has the biggest heart. The two of us started this journey together and I wouldn’t trade that for anything!

If you were to pursue another career what would it be and what would you NEVER want to do.

I can speak to the “never”, having just finished tax season… Let’s go with being an accountant. Kudos to all the hard work they do, but numbers were never my strong suit!

Kinky Boots plays April 27-May 8, 2016 at The 5th Avenue Theatre (1308 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101). For single tickets (starting at $36) and information, please visit 5thavenue.org, call the Box Office at (206) 625-1900 or visit the Box Office at 1308 5th Ave in Downtown Seattle. Tickets may also be purchased at (888) 5TH-4TIX. Group ticket buyers (10 or more) may call (888) 625-1418.



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