Five Burning Questions

Five Burning Questions with Kinky Boots Star Haven Burton

August 19th, 2015 by

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Five Burning Questions with Kinky Boots Star Haven Burton

After starring in Broadway's Shrek, Legally Blonde and Rent, Haven Burton steps into the leading role of Lauren in the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots. BroadwayBox caught up with B'way funny girl to talk about joining the mega hit show, being a mom on Broadway and her English accent idol.

1. What’s been the most surprising thing about joining this Tony-winning blockbuster?
I actually wasn't prepared for a standing ovation every single performance. I've never been in a show that it goes without saying that there is a standing ovation. People jump to their feet at the end of every single show-doesn't matter if it's a matinee on a Wednesday or a Saturday night. I've never been a part of anything like that. It's one of the most spectacular feelings in the whole world. It's this big, splashy Jerry Mitchell finale; everyone is clapping and rejoicing, and you get this opportunity to look out and see the audience while the fourth wall is broken, and it's just this beautiful shared experience of everyone living in joy. It's remarkable.

2. Who is your English accent idol? Who are you serving us in Kinky Boots?
You know what I watched a lot that was really inspirational for me? Bridget Jones’s Diary, because Renée Zellweger isn’t a Brit and I remember reading all these reviews saying how incredible her accent was and that all the Brits thought she was impressive. I also thought my Lauren in particular is this goofy girl that didn't know how sexy she was, so she’s always stumbling over herself, but by the end, she owns her sexuality in a sweet and playful way. That's something I wanted to bring into the role too.

3. What’s something no one tells you about being on Broadway?
Broadway is so wonderful, and it’s also very challenging. Doing eight-shows-a-week takes a lot of personal and physical responsibility to keep your stamina up and stay healthy. Also, we make a great living on Broadway and it’s good to learn how to manage your money; I had to learn how to budget and save.
What about being a mom on Broadway?
Being a woman and being a mother can be kind of difficult. When I got pregnant, our tour was closing so there wasn't maternity leave or an opportunity to go back to work after the baby. It was challenging getting back in on so many different levels, and you feel like you have to start over in the business. But now one of the greatest things about being a mom on Broadway is that I have days free to spend with my family. My husband [Denny Paschall] is also in a Broadway show [Chicago], so we have the luxury of waking up and having breakfast together then spending the day in the park or doing arts and crafts, having dinner together, then going to work for a couple hours. We have the best of both worlds.

4. What’s a role you would absolutely never be cast in but would love to play?
There are a couple of roles that maybe I could have played when I was younger but never got the opportunity to. The Fantasticks is one of my favorite shows in the whole wide world and that Luisa boat has sailed. Growing up I always wanted to play her; I think I saw it like 18 or 20 times. Another role is Peter Pan—I grew up on Mary Martin—but if you've got anything up top or anything down below you can’t play Peter Pan, and I was always too feminine.

5. What fictional character do you feel like you relate to on a visceral level?
Anne of Green Gables. She’s so charismatic and teeters on this realm of daydream and real life. She’s a romantic at heart and I love how that affects her everyday life. She loves with her whole heart and she’s so passionate. Anytime I get sick, I watch the miniseries with Megan Follows.

See Haven Burton as Lauren in 'Kinky Boots' at Broadway's Al Hirschfeld Theatre.