Trevor Ashley’s “Liza’s Back (Is Broken)” makes its American debut at Sony Hall on February 4.
ROB FROM NAUGHTY GOSSIP JUST BOUGHT HIS TICKETS – COME OVER AND SAY “HELLO” AT THE SHOW! WINK
1. How are Australian audiences different?
It’s my first time doing America, but I have performed on a bunch of gay cruises with a lot of Americans… I think Australians are more reserved, but less sensitive. It’s a weird dichotomy.
2. This is your New York debut – are you nervous?
Yes. I would be lying if I wasn’t. Performing as Liza in her home town… is daunting and scary and all the things you would think. But I have done her all over the world and I just hope that it translates as well as it did in London and Asia and Vienna. Hopefully better.
3. Liza’s Back! was a sell-out run at the Sydney Opera House. What is it about her and you?
There is a strange affinity I think. I loved her so much growing up and would watch the Radio City video until the tape wore out (and then bought it again on DVD). There is something uncannily similar for our performance styles. I also love singing these songs – belting out those Kander and Ebb hits just makes me happy.
4. Roles Liza might have sung like Maria in “The Sound of Music,” Norma Desmond in “Sunset Blvd,” or as Grizabella in “Cats” is a riot! Why didn’t she?
Look – I’d still kill to see her Norma or Griz… it’s amazing they never went to her at the time. I mean, she was doing films then, but wouldn’t it have been brilliant? I love the idea that she could have done these iconic parts. Maria in “The Sound of Music” would have been a bit more of a stretch, but it works in a kooky Liza way in my show… maybe it would have been a hit!
5. Do you know RuPaul?
Not personally. I admire everything she has done however… And of course, I watch the show.
6. Would you ever do Drag Race?
I don’t think so. Apart from the fact that I feel like I’ve moved on past “drag queen” and I’m a trained theatre performer who has played both male and female roles in major musicals, I think I’d alienate people. I’m way too opinionated and would hate the whiny crap that often goes on with contestants on that show. And also: I don’t lip sync.
7. You played London, and Australia, what took you so long to get to NYC?
It’s a real process to get a visa for the States and I kept getting cast in long-running musicals just when I thought I’d take the leap. I was booked at 54 Below and scored Thenardier in “Les Mis” just after and it wasn’t worth me coming over to go home and do Miz for two years. This time, I hope it will be the first of many trips to perform.
8. Will you be a tourist while in town? What shows will you see?
I love New York so much, so I am very keen to see some stuff while I’m in town. I’m looking forward to seeing “The Prom,” “Mean Girls” and Aussie born “King Kong.” Oh, and “The Cher Show”! I’m actually devastated that “Torch Song” has closed as I wanted so badly to see it. I’ve been a lover of that play for years and I adore both Harvey Fierstein and Michael Urie.
9. Do you think Drag gets the respect it deserves?
Not generally. But then I think that is changing now… it really has moved into the mainstream in a really full on way!
10. Are you dating? Do you date fans?
I am not dating. Mainly because I hate the apps, and refuse to use them. I would date fans if anyone was nice enough to ask me out after a show! That doesn’t happen ever. Liza scares them I think. 🙂
11. You were Thenardier in “Les Miserables”! Who would LIZA be?
She’d absolutely be Fantine. Only she’d look fabulous with the short haircut after “Lovely Ladies.” I see her entering in the final scene as a ghost in a white sequin Halston pantsuit. She’d finally give “Les Mis” what it’s missing. A bit of pizzazz.