Meet Your New Crush: Casa Valentina Cutie Nick Westrate
April 14th, 2014
by Josh Ferri
Nick Westrate gives a breakout performance as the unwavering and bold Gloria/Michael in Harvey Fierstein’s new drama Casa Valentina. The world premiere play tells the true story of a group of heterosexual men in the early 1960s who retreated to the Catskill Mountains where they dressed and lived as their female alter egos. The role marks Westrate’s first lead on Broadway, though he did receive a 2012 Drama Desk Award for his versatility in off-Broadway’s Unnatural Acts, Love’s Labor's Lost and Galileo; the Drama Desk committee called the impressive feat “a highlight of the season.” BroadwayBox caught up with the adorable and charming Westrate (you should follow him @westratenick) to talk about Gloria, lessons learned during Casa, his key to surviving Juilliard and “the hardest question ever.”
1. The quality of Michael/Gloria’s I relate most to is:
Michael/Gloria and I are both fiercely loyal friends. I have an incredible family of friends, as does Gloria. When they are threatened, we rally around them, and when they are full of shit we will let them know about it.
2. The biggest cross-dressing lesson I’ve learned so far is:
I have learned a new kind of confidence from Gloria—you have to be pretty brave to present yourself as she does. I have also learned: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
3. If I had to tweet (140 characters) a description of Casa Valentina, I’d say:
Family of transvestite friends fight to save their home, join a modern world, & remain upright in 1960s Catskills. #undergarmentadoration
4. My secret to surviving at Juilliard was:
Hard work and a bar called Malachy’s on 72nd and Columbus.
5. TV show I think everyone should be watching:
Top of the Lake starring Elisabeth Moss and Holly Hunter on Netflix, and The Fall starring Gillian Anderson and my friend Eugene O’Hare (currently in Red Velvet at St. Ann’s Warehouse)…also on Netflix.
6. Character from literature I most relate to:
Jacob De Zoet from David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet. I want to play him if they ever make the film.
7. Movie I will stop what I am doing to watch anytime it’s on:
The Sting. Robert Redford, Paul Newman 1973.
8. My celebrity crush would be:
Michael Fassbender and Christina Hendricks.
9. I keep my Drama Desk award:
In my dining room.
10. If I could bring one album on a desert island:
Hardest question ever. Right now it would be Nina Simone Live at the Village Gate.