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BWW Interview: Alexis Michelle of BROADWAY DIVAS! at The Green Room 42

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A HOLIDAY CONCERT FIT FOR A QUEEN plays The Green Room 42 December 13th

BWW Interview: Alexis Michelle of BROADWAY DIVAS! at The Green Room 42 The uber-glamorous Alexis Michelle has been hard at work in the cabaret industry since the lockdown was lifted, making appearances in clubs around town, significantly at Feinstein's/54 Below, where she packs them in with her musical theater-informed club acts. This month, the statuesque singing and acting artist will be hosting BROADWAY DIVAS! A HOLIDAY CONCERT FIT FOR A QUEEN at The Green Room 42. The holiday special designed as a fundraiser for the Actor's Fund of America will play the Midtown Manhattan cabaret room on December 13th (ticket link HERE) and will feature a bevy of beauties from the live entertainment stages of New York City, with Miss Alexis acting as emcee, songbird, and Glamazon.

Before the lights go up on the stage of the Forty-second street club, Alexis Michelle and I exchanged some emails in a digital interview to discuss the proposed evening of entertainment, holiday traditions, and her glamor influences.

This interview was conducted digitally and has been edited only for punctuation and spelling.

Alexis Michelle, welcome to Broadway World, and Happy Holidays!

Same to you!

To get into some seasonal cheer, you are hosting a show at The Green Room 42 called Broadway Divas!: A Holiday Concert Fit For a Queen. That's a lot to unpack - put a picture in my head of Broadway, Divas, and Christmas.

BWW Interview: Alexis Michelle of BROADWAY DIVAS! at The Green Room 42 I hardly know how to separate the lights of Broadway with the flash and sequin of drag. And the holidays are always the most festive time of year so bringing Broadway, and drag together for the holidays sounds like the kind of celebration we're so hungry for right now. We're definitely celebrating life this holiday season...wait until you see the opening number!

You are the hostess of the show but you are, yourself, a power beltress. Will you be stepping up to the microphone during the concert?

I don't like to show up and not sing for my supper, I'm like Annie, ready to do the windows.

As the hostess of Broadway Divas, have you been able to put your unmistakable Alexis Michelle stamp on the show during the planning stages by working with director and producer Henry Ravelo?

Yes, Henry and I have been working together for a few years now, and it's great to find people who get you and vice versa. We are both empaths with a deep love of the arts. One thing I knew I wanted to do as we zeroed in on selections was that I wanted to perform all Sondheim for my selections. I likely would've performed some Sondheim as I often do, but upon losing my greatest inspiration in the theatre, I simply had to take this opportunity to celebrate his work.

Your musical director for the evening is your longtime esteemed collaborator Brandon James Gwinn, who has had quite a year, what with a new CD and lots of exciting projects. What is it about collaborating with Brandon James that you feel has, most, informed your success as a cabaret star?

Thank you for 'cabaret star', I'll take it! BJG and I knew of one another when I first approached him to start building a show, my first at 54 Below, and I think it quickly became clear to us that we were cut from the same cloth. We just speak the same language. He is chosen family to me. He lets me be me and helps lift me up allowing me to shine. He's also brilliant on the keys and as a partner for duets and banter so he's really the cat's pajamas.

You have done a lot of work as an actor, working on film and television, and you travel the world as one of the Drag Race celebrities, but you always come back to grace the New York cabaret stages with your one-woman club acts. What is it about the cabaret art form that draws you to the small venue stages?

Live theatre is my first love. Cabaret is deeply personal. From selecting material to playing with the audience that's in front of you on a given performance, it's so alive and it's so fulfilling. Being so close and connected to audiences keeps it fresh.

Broadway Divas will be featuring Pissi Myles, Sasha Pierce Davenport, and Jasmine Rice Labeija as guest artists. Will the ladies be performing solo sets or will you ladies get to do any sister act action?

Well, you'll have to come see. I don't like to spoil a surprise. But to have the diverse talents of Jasmine, who is a Juilliard trained opera singer, and Pissi one of the most clever and funny queens out there, and Sasha whose vocals always knock my socks off, it's gonna be a killer show.

You also have the dreamy Brian Charles Rooney appearing in the show - do you folks have a duet planned?

BWW Interview: Alexis Michelle of BROADWAY DIVAS! at The Green Room 42 Didn't I tell you to come see the show haha? Brian is such a star, I'm such a fan. He's bringing something really special to the evening...you don't want to miss this...trust me

There is a charity tie-in to the concert. Can you say something about the nature of the work that The Actors Fund of America does that makes it rewarding to contribute to their cause?

The Actor's Fund of America looks out for artists and communities in so many ways so Henry and I knew we wanted to help them and we're so grateful to this group of artists for generously bringing their talents to the show.

You are a proud graduate of the Musical Theatre program of University of Michigan and often speak of your alma mater. Why is it important to encourage young musical theater artists to get their degree, rather than head right into the workforce?

I won't presume to know what is best for each young artist, we're all on our own journey. For me, I'm just grateful I was given the tools to succeed. I already had a deep love and respect for the theatre but I credit my education with what it means to show up prepared and polished. I definitely try to bring that to my drag too. The most valuable lessons I learned in school were gratitude and that being a great artist is also informed by being a well-rounded person.

Alexis, you are responsible for iconically classic glamor looks reminiscent of old Hollywood. Who are the silver screen beauties that have, most, influenced the Alexis Michelle style of glamor?

BWW Interview: Alexis Michelle of BROADWAY DIVAS! at The Green Room 42 Thank you! Unquestionably, Judy and Audrey Hepburn are two of my classic glam goddesses. Truthfully though, one of my greatest style inspirations comes from a Broadway production. The current production of CHICAGO on Broadway introduced me to Fosse back in high school and I became instantly enthralled by that understated sexy glam. A little black dress, a great pair of shoes, a pair of diamond studs, a smoky eye, a red lip and I'm a happy girl.

Broadway Divas! is a holiday show. What is a holiday tradition that you have carried over from your childhood, and what is a holiday tradition you created in your adult life?

Whether celebrating Hanukkah or Christmas, I celebrate both actually, it's always about the lights for me. Lights on the tree and lit on the menorah always take me right back.

Alexis Michelle, thank you so much for chatting with Broadway World today and I hope everyone at Broadway Divas has the best time. Happiest of Holidays to you and all your families.

Thank you! Happy holidays!

The Green Room 42 homepage is HERE.

THIS is the Alexis Michelle Instagram.

All photos provided by Alexis Michelle

The Green Room 42 presents

Broadway Divas!

A holiday concert fit for a queen

host by

Alexis Michelle

from RuPaul's Drag Race

Special Appearance by

Brian Charles Rooney

with

SASHA PIERCE DAVENPORT JASMINE RICE LABEIJA

PISSI MYLES

and

Hector Cerna | Richel Ruiz | Chad Sapp | Zach Williams

musical direction by

Brandon James Gwinn

produced, directed & conceived by

Henry Ravelo

Portions of the proceeds go to the ACTORS FUND OF AMERICA

Monday, December 13, 2021

9:30pm - 10:30pm

VIP Meet & Greet after the show


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