Peppermint, the runner up of RuPaul’s Drag Race’s ninth season, will make her Broadway debut in the Go-Go’s musical Head Over Heels. When the musical opens this summer, she’ll become the first performer who identifies as a trans woman to originate a principal role on Broadway.
Peppermint is the second Drag Race contestant to appear on Broadway; the first, Dwayne Cooper (in drag, Milan), appeared in Motown and Hairspray. Many others have been a part of the New York theatre scene, including Jinkx Monsoon, who has celebrated numerous Off-Broadway runs with her act The Vaudevillians, and New York cabaret favorite Alexis Michelle.
The Michael Mayer-helmed production will first play San Francisco’s Curran April 10 through May 6. As speculated, the musical will subsequently make its Broadway bow at the Hudson Theatre, with performances beginning June 23 prior to a July 26 opening night.
Joining Peppermint are Jeremy Kushnier (Paramour), Rachel York (Disaster!), Alexandra Socha (Spring Awakening), Andrew Durand (Spring Awakening), Taylor Iman Jones (Groundhog Day), Bonnie Milligan (the national tour of Kinky Boots), and Tom Alan Robbins (The Lion King).
The ensemble will include Sharon Catherine Brown, Yurel Echezarreta, Lisa Finegold, Brian Flores, Ari Groover, Tanya Haglund, Arica Jackson, Gregory Liles, Gavin Lodge, Samantha Pollino, Justin Prescott, Tanner Ray Wilson, and Ricardo Zayas.
Featuring a book by Jeff Whitty adapted by James Magruder, Head Over Heels uses the music of the all-female rock band to tell an updated take on Philip Sidney’s Arcadia. Audiences can expect such Go-Go’s hits as “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” and the title “Head Over Heels,” as well as original Go-Go’s member Belinda Carlisle’s singles “Mad About You” and “Heaven is a Place on Earth.”
Gwyneth Paltow is attached to produce, having spearheaded a series of revisions and workshops following the 2015 world premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Producing alongside her are Donovan Leitch, Rick Ferrari, Christine Russell, Louise Gund, Hunter Arnold, and Tom Kirdahy.