Q&A Quickie: Perez Hilton, Now Making News Off Broadway

By: Brandon Voss

Last September, Perez Hilton released a children’s book while publicly shaping a kinder, gentler persona. A year later, the controversial blogger continues to act outside the box by making his New York stage debut Sept. 8 for a four-week stint in NEWSical the Musical, a popular Off-Broadway revue that, much like PerezHilton.com, satirizes pop culture, celebrities, and current events. And if you think Perez has no business doing theater, keep in mind that he did earn a drama degree from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. We chatted with the 34-year-old multihyphenate about his showstopping Chick-fil-A number and his dream stage role.

Gay.net: A bunch of new material has been written specifically for your arrival in NEWSical, including a song about Chick-fil-A’s antigay stance. What can you share about that number?
Perez Hilton: I think it’s the showstopper. It’s really funny and topical, just like the show itself. It’s a number that features just me, so I really get to show off my comedic abilities, my acting abilities, and my singing — and people can determine how good or bad that is for themselves! It’s a number I’d love to do on TV at some point too so that more folks could see it.

Considering your involvement in NEWSical, Anderson Cooper and John Travolta probably aren’t safe either.
You’re right. Nobody is safe.

You’re making your professional theater debut in NEWSical, but you’ve actually already been the subject of a musical, Perez Hilton Saves the Universe, which was a big hit at the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival. What was it like to sit in the audience and watch yourself lampooned onstage?
Scary. I didn’t quite know what their take on me would be. I was afraid they would rip me three new holes, but it was really well done, loving, playful, and fun — and this was back when I was a douchebag. Well, maybe not a douchebag, but I was definitely a lot bitchier. I was the bitchy blogger, but now I’m just trying to be the sassy blogger. Sassy is the new bitchy.

Because of all your interesting legal battles and crazy celebrity interactions over the years, have you ever considered doing a one-man show?
I have, but I didn’t know how to even begin approaching it. But now that I’ve met so many great people in the New York theater community, I have a lot more tools and resources to put something compelling together if I ever wanted to. But it’s not really a top priority on my list, because I feel like with something like that, where it’s all about me, it has to be a huge hit. It would really suck if it were a disaster or bomb. Besides, a one-man show is something I would really have to earn. I’d want to establish myself first to the New York theatergoing community as a New York theater actor.

You’re taking on a number of real newsmakers in NEWSical, but which celebrity would you most like to play onstage if given the opportunity?

For more info on NEWSical, visit newsicalthemusical.net.