Drag Race All Stars’ Valentina and La La Land’s Benj Pasek Talk TV Musicals

Written by | Entertainment, Screen, Stage

In the wake of Rent: Live, we talked to its Angel, Valentina of Drag Race All Stars, and Benj Pasek – the openly-gay, Oscar-winning songwriter of projects including Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, The Greatest Showman and A Christmas Story – about more TV musicals they’d like to see.

Valentina Envisions a Netflix Telenovela

Has one drag queen ever had a more momentous week? Mere days apart, Valentina (entertainer James Leyva) took on the beloved role of Angel Dumott Chunard in the live (well, partly live) TV reimagining of Rent and sashayed away from All Stars Season 4.

While Valentina and Naomi Small’s “Club 96” may not have been a hit with the judges, it’s turned into one of those classic Drag Race moments that launched a thousand memes. Meanwhile, the starlet’s turn as Angel almost-certainly promises we’ll be seeing more from her in projects beyond the Ru-niverse. So, since Alyssa Edwards has found Netflix success with her show Dancing Queen, we asked Valentina what her own Netflix project would look like. See her answer on video:

“Hi, Metrosource!” says Valentina. “If I were to ever get the opportunity to do my own show on Netflix, it would definitely have to be some sort of telenovela where I play the protagonist. And it would be about maybe two twins separated at birth. One is a boy; one of them is a girl; then they meet up later in life. The girl dies, so the boy transforms into the girl to live her life as a rich woman, but ends up finding and meeting lots of problems and being some sort of villain that ends up killing themself in the end. It’ll be in Spanish, and I will sing the score, and it’ll have the one-and-only costumes. It’ll be everything.”

We don’t know if she’s been working on that pitch or she made it up on the spot, but we’re ready to binge it now!

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What Benj Pasek Wants to See After Rent: Live

Sure, the ratings were not blockbuster. And, yes, the reviews were mixed. But for those of us who love Rent, Fox’s televised production of Jonathan Larson’s masterpiece was a chance to revisit a work that that invigorated Broadway and was the soundtrack of the end of the millenium.

So, now that Rent: Live has come and gone, we sought out one of our favorite makers of musical theater, LGBTQ community member Benj Pasek, to ask whether he wants to see more of his work adapted for the small screen. Here’s what he had to say:

“Metrosource wants to know – of all the work that Justin [Paul] and I have done what would we like to see as a live broadcast?” says Pasek. “So, we already did Christmas Story live, and I think we will let every other musical have its day in the sun because I loved watching Rent last night. My boyfriend’s over there, and he was crying entire time, and there’s so many musicals that I grew up loving that I would love to see on TV; so I can’t wait to see them all. I think there’s a performer going, so I’m gonna go now. Bye, Metrosource!”

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Last modified: January 31, 2019