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Stagecraft Podcast: Kirstin Maldonado, Jake Shears Walk the Walk in ‘Kinky Boots’

Both Kirstin Maldonado, a member of the popular a cappella group Pentatonix, and Jake Shears, a former member of the Scissor Sisters, have plenty of experience performing live. But performing live in a musical is a whole different experience — as they’re learning in their starring roles in Broadway’s “Kinky Boots.”

On the latest episode of Stagecraft, Variety‘s theater podcast, Shears quotes a text he got from a friend about it: “‘I’m sure it’s like slamming heroin and jumping out of an airplane, but in front of an audience,'” he recalls. “Not that I’ve ever slammed heroin. Or jumped out of an airplane! But actually, it’s kind of what it feels like. It’s kind of like giving a concert, but in the middle of a puzzle box.”

Shears admits he never imagined himself performing on Broadway — unlike Maldonado, who was a musical theater kid until Pentatonix rose to fame as the third-season winner of NBC reality competition “The Sing-Off.” “I remember moving to California and feeling so strange, because I’d always seen myself moving to New York,” Maldonado says.

The two musicians go in-depth on the nerve-wracking and rewarding process of stepping into a Broadway show, and also give a little back story to the solo music projects they’ve worked on recently, and to “Boys Keep Swinging,” the memoir by Shears the will be released later this month.

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