NEW YORK — Don't panic, music fans — Panic! at the Disco's singer Brendon Urie is about to make his Broadway stage debut in "Kinky Boots."
The singer-songwriter will play a factory honcho in the musical starting next month, lured by the show's producers who were curious to see if he was interested in exploring some sort of musical theatre role. Urie joked that he offered to build sets, but will settle on singing.
"It's a familiar thing, I guess, but it's such a different world. I'm so excited to jump in," Urie tells The Associated Press. "This is a step in an exciting direction for me because I've always dreamed of being a part of Broadway in some way."
The Tony Award-winning "Kinky Boots," which recently celebrated its fourth anniversary on Broadway, is based on a 2005 British film about a staid British shoe factory on the brink of ruin that retrofits itself into a maker of footwear for drag queens. It has songs by Cyndi Lauper, a story by Harvey Fierstein and some fierce-looking drag queens in 6-inch heels. Urie will play the role originated by Stark Sands, who earned a Tony nomination in it.
Urie, who helped build theatre sets in high school, said he's feeling a jumble of emotions as he gets closer to his May 26 debut at the Hirschfeld Theatre. "I'm terrified. I'm excited, anxious. I can't wait to get started on it," he said. "I'm mostly just curious, really." He hopes to be in the show until the fall.
He's preparing to adjust to an eight-show-a-week schedule and is furiously listening to the cast album. "I'd seen a couple of other musicals and this one just made the most sense to me," he said. "I said, 'I want to be a part of this magic that I'm watching.'"
Panic! at the Disco formed in 2004 and its 2005 debut, "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out," went platinum thanks to the band's smash hit single, "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." Urie is the sole remaining and only full-time member of the original group.
Urie is just the latest in a wave of musicians jumping to Broadway, including Sara Bareilles in "Waitress," Josh Groban in "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812," Sting in "The Last Ship" and Green Day's frontman Billie Joe Armstrong in "American Idiot."
Urie said he spoke with singer Carly Rae Jepsen, who starred in "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" on Broadway in 2014, who told him it was the best time she's ever had.
"I want to give it a 110 per cent . As much as I can," he said.
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press