Flare: What inspired you most when you first saw Spring Awakening?
Kyle Riabko: “The music. I felt like I was at home with my headphones on listening to a Radiohead album. Sonically and melodically it was such a different experience from what musical theatre traditionally is. That kind of rebellious attitude inspired me.”
What do you admire most about Melchior?
K.R.: “He is constantly searching for truth and knowledge, and he wants the best for people even though his society is so repressive. He stands up for his friends and for what he believes in which is pretty amazing.”
Was the nude scene in the play the most challenging part for you?
K.R.: “No because it’s so choreographed. We are creating art and it’s essential to the story. I felt more proud than nervous. The scene at the end, which is almost like a monologue, was very difficult because I felt naked up there alone without my guitar.”
A documentary about your journey from Toronto to Broadway is airing on Bravo in March. What do you think the most fitting name for this documentary would be?
K.R.: “It’s called The Lead, but I would name it The Most Stressful 20 Days in One Man’s Life. It’s funny because when I’m under a lot of pressure I get really stoic and try to make it seem like nothing is wrong. I can see myself putting that face on when I watch it, but I can also see the utter fear in my eyes.”
You once said you feel most comfortable as a songwriter. Is this still the case?
K.R.: “I feel most in control as a writer, it’s the easiest and truest way for me to express myself. But, my ultimate goal is to meld everything together – performance, film and music. I think there is a way to mesh my interests and become an entertainer.”
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