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Queerty: J. Harrison Ghee on their Jordan E. Cooper obsession, onstage face-planting, and lovable co-star

J. Harrison GheeJ. Harrison Ghee. Film still provided by ‘Some Like It Hot.’

J. Harrison Ghee is making history this theater season as a nonbinary actor nominated for a Tony Award for their performance in Some Like It Hot. The triple-threat extravaganza keeps Ghee busy, along with special appearances such as the recent performance at Family Equality‘s annual gala, which helped raise more than $1 million for LGBTQ+ families.

Queerty caught up with Ghee in between performances and the day before the music video release of Ghee’s breakout number, “You Coulda Knocked Me Over With a Feather,” which premiered on Queerty and is quickly becoming a self-discovery anthem of the Broadway season.


EXCLUSIVE: Tony nominee J. Harrison Ghee is on fire in this show-stopping number from ‘Some Like It Hot’

Nominated for 13 Tony Awards, “Some Like It Hot” lives up to its name thanks to this number that brings down the house.

Hailing from Fayetteville, North Carolina, Ghee made their Broadway debut in Kinky Boots, followed by Mrs. Doubtfire. Their latest role is in one of the most critically acclaimed shows of the year— Some Like It Hot scored 13 Tony nominations, including Best Musical. Standing 6-foot-4, the 33-year-old has the potential for a groundbreaking Tony win, despite gendered categories that still need to be addressed by the American Theatre Wing.

“Wherever I am, I will show up as who I am. Someone’s compartmentalization of me doesn’t limit me in any way,” Ghee told the New York Times. “I hope for the industry we can remove the gender of it because we are creators, and we should free ourselves beyond so many labels and let the work speak for itself.”

In our recent chat, Ghee gave fans a peek inside life as a Broadway star.

J. Harrison GheeJ. Harrison Ghee attends opening night for Some Like It Hot on Broadway at Shubert Theatre in New York on December 11, 2022.

At my dressing table, you will find

So many things — a lot of cosmetics, which I love! It’s so much fun. I often celebrate the little me, or the younger version of me, who loves the freedom to play anything openly.

The queer theater maker everyone should be paying attention to right now…

Ooh… Jordan E. Cooper. Just in every way is just doing such beautiful work, and that human’s joy and purity is just like — go off!

I can sing, I can act, but I can’t…

As the character of Osgood says to my character in the show, “What can’t you do?” I don’t know that there’s anything I can’t do, and I won’t limit myself by saying, “I can’t.” But one of my friends would probably say that I can’t do a good Kermit the Frog impression. I thought it was good, but I will never do it again because of them.

The one secret I can’t keep anymore about co-star and fellow Tony nominee Kevin Del Aguila

Oh, I don’t know that I have a secret about Kevin. He really is the pure essence of joy. His laughter echoes throughout the building.

Kevin Del Aguila and J. Harrison Ghee in 'Some Like It Hot.'Kevin Del Aguila, left, J. Harrison Ghee, and the cast of ‘Some Like It Hot.’ Photo by Marc J. Franklin

My biggest onstage mishap during Some Like It Hot

Oh, I’ve had a couple. I’ve fallen flat on my face multiple times during previews. Running around in tap shoes will get you now and then. During the first preview, I also got my finger slammed in a door during Act II’s big chase scene — cuticles fully bleeding. And my first thought was, “I have to put on a white gown for the finale!”

Eight performances a week is not for the faint of heart. After the curtain comes down on that final performance, the first thing I want to do is…

Soak my feet.


Broadway’s ‘Some Like It Hot’ sizzles, and everyone’s invited to the party

The 1959 film receives a Broadway recalibration with plenty of Prohibition-era jazz hot fun, including a standout performance by J. Harrison Ghee.

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