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Kinky Boots - Broadway

Broadway's new high-heeled hit is the winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical!

Learn Drag Names! Bring Gluten-Free Treats! Annaleigh Ashford Sums Up Her Kinky Year

Learn Drag Names! Bring Gluten-Free Treats! Annaleigh Ashford Sums Up Her Kinky Year
Annaleigh Ashford
Annaleigh Ashford looks back on her year in Kinky Boots!

In the corporate world, employees departing a job are asked to sit through an exhausting "exit interview" about their stint at the company. Although that model doesn't exist for Broadway performers, we think it's fun to check in with stars as they finish up a successful run. Tony nominee and Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Annaleigh Ashford, whose run in Kinky Boots is coming to a close, looks back on her dragalicious “once-in-a-lifetime experience” in the Tony-winning musical.

Employee Name:
Annaleigh Ashford

How did you feel when you first got the job?
I was excited... Well, excited and scared. (How about that musical theater reference!?) I couldn't wait to be in the room with Jerry Mitchell, Harvey Fierstein, Cyndi Lauper, and the incredible cast and crew. I knew from the first moment that everyone was in the same room together that this was a special group of people. I couldn't wait to see them every day.

How do you feel now that you’re leaving?
So nostalgic about the incredible blessing that this last year was to me and those around me. I am so grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime experience with this once-in-a-lifetime group.

What are three words you would use to describe your experience at the job?
Family. Laughter. Love. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s the truth. I could also say Poonchcard, Come On, and PoonBoot. but only the cast and crew would get that :)

What was the easiest thing about the job?
Spending hours and hours with all of the amazing people that make Kinky Boots happen every day, onstage and off.

What was the hardest thing about the job?
The hardest thing will absolutely be saying goodbye to all of those amazing people.

What was the highlight of your time at the job?
There were too many highlights to count. One of my favorite moments was our first night with an audience. Everyone in the building stood stage right and held hands before we shared our story with New York. It was theater magic!

What skills do you think are required for future job applicants?
Lauren would say, “Think outside the box. All them other sods who survived went out looking for an underserved niche market and aimed to fill the void!” Lauren is a feisty factory girl that will have the heart of whoever plays her in the perfect way. Jeanna de Waal, who is coming in next, is going to give her some authentic British magic!!! I can't wait for the company to have a proper Brit!

What advice would you give to future employees in your job position?
Bring gluten-free treats for Megan Bowers. Your dresser and friend of dreams!!! Learn everyone's factory names and drag names. They were chosen thoughtfully with care and love.

How do you think you’ve grown during your time at this job?
I grew as an actor and as a human in ways I never dreamed. I got to create a role from scratch, I got to watch Cyndi Lauper perform from stage left at Radio City at the Tony Awards, and I became a Sadie Sadie married lady. If you don't grow from a year like we have had, then you are either an alien or a robot. I am so lucky.

Why are you leaving?
I will be reprising the role of Betty DiMello on Showtime's Masters of Sex, so I'm off to L.A. to shoot the second season.

What will you miss most about the job?
Telling 1,000 people every day that they can change the world if they change their mind, and my family at the Hirschfeld Theatre. Thank you for everything!

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