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Andrew Levitt - Nina West - photo by Jeremy Daniel

RuPaul’s Drag Race Star Nina West Gets ‘Choked Up’ About Starring in Hairspray Tour

August 31st, 2021 | By Lindsey Sullivan

Hairspray character Edna Turnblad is timeless to musical theater fans, and as previously announced, Andrew Levitt, (a.k.a. drag queen Nina West, who rose to fame on RuPaul’s Drag Race), will lead the cast of the upcoming national tour of the Tony-winning musical. Levitt sat down with Editor-in-Chief Paul Wontorek—as Nina!—at New York's Time Hotel.

"I live in a world of confidence. I really love myself. I love what I do. I love the ability to stand on stage and entertain people. We see Edna at the beginning of the show, really just not in love with herself, not in love with her body," Levitt said. "It's great to watch this journey and this transition."

Levitt likened the art of drag to theater: "What's so cool about this show and what's remarkable about the power of the art form of drag is that, we get to see a transformation. Drag Race introduces young people and their families to the art of drag. This show will introduce young people to the art of theater. When you see a show like Hairspray—this is a very profoundly queer show. Being a part of this—I'm getting choked up. I know what this did for me when I was 20. I know what it's doing to me when I'm 42. I can't imagine what it's going to do for somebody who's young and closeted and sees someone like me."

Watch the interview below, and head here to check your local listings for Broadway Profiles. Hosted by Emmy-winning anchor Tamsen Fadal and powered by, it is the only nationally syndicated weekly theater news program.


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