The Lens

Tina Burner is Burning Through Broadway

Tina Burner, the bigger-than-life personality from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13, will be burning her way through classic Broadway hits with a spin and is bringing it to a city near you. Based on her iTunes chart-topping album Maybe This Time, she will be presenting a more intimate Tina, but no less powerful.

With orchestrations and arrangements by Blake Allen, it is a full theatrical production that uses classic Broadway standards and stand-up comedy to tell the story of Burner’s personal life, from her life today backwards until the first time she realized she was gay. Show-stopping numbers include A Chorus Line’s “What I Did for Love,” La Cage Aux Faux’s “I Am What I Am” and Gypsy’s “Rose’s Turn” reimagined as “Tina’s Turn.” “The message of the show is to never forget where you come from, never lose sight of where you’re going, and never give up on your dreams….oh, and world peace,” Tina Burner explains.

Maybe This Time Live will offer audiences a chance to see so much more of me than what they saw on TV,” Burner continues. “It will give a literal glimpse of the man behind the curtain. There will be laughs, tears; and I hope by sharing my story, the show inspires fans to be the truest version of themselves. To forget fear, live in truth, and celebrate life. Because “What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play. Life is a Cabaret, old chum. Come to the Cabaret!”

Musical theatre has always been a passion of Tina, who moved to New York in 2005 to pursue a career on the stage. After an initial brush with drag, she was bitten by the diva bug and a decade later is still leaving her mark on drag and entertainment history.

Tina will be showing NYC her goods with a performance at Q on November 9th at 7 pm.  We caught up with Tina for a Metrosource rapid-fire in between her rehearsals.

What is your favorite moment from Maybe This Time Live?

I love seeing the reactions on everyone’s faces when I do my costume reveals, but there’s also nothing more pleasurable to me than making people laugh.

What do your fans tell you the most?

My fans mostly say that I’m a drag queen who loves to push the boundaries, which also makes them laugh. They think I’m a little crazy, which is true, but also hard-working, and I appreciate them so much.

What do you love about performing for New York audiences the most?

I feel like NYC audiences expect the most out of a performer but give the most back. They are your harshest critics, but also your biggest fans.

You’re going national! Do you think you’ll behave on the road?

The older I get, the easier it is to behave because the faster I fall asleep! But then again, we’ve all heard the term…a kid in a candy store.

What is your dream musical theatre role?

If we’re going classical musical theater, I have always loved Don Lockwood in Singin’ in the Rain. But I do also love La Cage aux Folles and would love to play Albin.

What is the most overrated musical?

OMG Cats. I’m a dog person.

What is your pre-show ritual?

I like to dance around my apartment procrastinating, while I blast “Kill the Lights” by Alex Newell.

Who would be your dream Broadway diva duet?

Oooh that’s a good question. Probably Alex Newell and Cynthia Erivo

Audiences will be seeing a different side to Tina Burner, is that a bit nerve-wracking to be sharing intimate and personal stories from your life?

I wouldn’t be anywhere I am today if it wasn’t from where I came from. I know that sounds cliche, but everything that’s happened – good and bad – has shaped me into the performer I am today. By sharing my story, I hope that it helps people to be more comfortable to live their own truth even when it’s scary.

These are new arrangements of well-known Broadway classics, how have you been these songs your own but kept still paid homage to the original?

With certain songs in the show, especially “Somewhere That’s Green,” it’s such a classic that I wanted to do my own spin on it. Imagine Audrey instead of having the fantasy of living in her beautiful suburbia town, singing in a slinky club a la Madonna, Dick Tracy, Jessica Rabbit. I just thought it was interesting to take new interpretations on such beloved classics.

What’s the most un-musical theatre song on your playlist?

For the show, I guess “My Way by Frank Sinatra,” and that has a very close, personal meaning to me. In life… I suppose anything Tina Turner, even though it’s now been on Broadway 😉

What is your message to your fans?

Life is tough enough, you can always use a little laughter. And also, be whoever you want to be and don’t apologize for it.

MAYBE THIS TIME at Q (795 8th Ave) in NYC on Nov 9th @ 7 pm

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Alexander Rodriguez

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