BWW Interview: CLEOPATRA's Nya and Dusty Ray Bottoms On the Electric Cast Recording and Words to Live By
BroadwayWorld caught up with Nya and Dusty Ray Bottoms, who recently starred in CLEOPATRA at Chelsea Music Hall, about the cast recording; what the legendary Queen of the Nile has taught them about confidence; and their favorite show memories.
What were some favorite memories of CLEOPATRA and how would you describe the music?
Nya: It was such a fun experience and felt like such a party! Everyone is welcome in Cleopatra's world and the audiences were so immersed in the music, night after night.
The music is a mix of rap, pop, R&B, and club music, but also is musical theatre at the same time. Cleopatra was such a party girl herself and this music is truly a celebration of her power. Talk about a really powerful woman who led with her sexuality and used every single resource to get to the top. I really wish this would come to Broadway and was so proud that this production showcased diversity and presented Cleopatra in a new way. We need more powerful women of all backgrounds on Broadway!
Dusty: It was really neat to come off of the high of RuPaul's Drag Race and be back in NYC to perform in CLEOPATRA. It was an awesome experience to lean on this cast and be part of such an electric pop show. The stage was set up in the middle of the audience and getting to hear Nya sing is such a treat - she's a powerhouse!
I love the music because it reminds us as human beings that we are surviving out there in the world every day and that all we can do is put on our best face.
Who are some of your personal musical influences?
Nya: I've always been a fan of R&B and also love classical music. Artists like Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, and Rihanna have been favorites.
Dusty: There are so many! I love Kate Nash, who is out of the UK and has inspired me since high school. I also love Stevie Nicks and Joan Jett.
Speaking of incredible artists, Nya, you are currently part of the North American tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Tell us about some of the highlights.
Nya: It's awesome to be part of Beautiful' s North American tour. Carole has such a great story and is an example of a strong women who worked hard to achieve success. I constantly love learning about how many great hits she had and was responsible for!
If Cleopatra could give advice to our generation about owning our power, what do you think she would say?
Nya: If you lead with your heart and soul and do what makes you passionate, you'll get to where you want to be! The secret is being true to yourself.
Dusty: It's all about sharing your soul and showing who you are to the world and being proud of your journey. We're here to build others up and feel good!
To check out the recording, visit: https://www.broadwayrecords.com/cds/cleopatra-the-musical-experience-world-premiere-recording
Dusty Ray Bottoms as the Mistress of Ceremonies in Cleopatra
Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson