Leslie Jordan attends the Fox Winter TCA at The Fig House on 6 February 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
Gay legend and actor Leslie Jordan has said he would be on board for a Will & Grace musical “in a minute” if the opportunity ever came up.
Jordan played Beverley Leslie, a pretentious, sexually ambiguous rival of Karen Walker. The character traded witty insults with Walker across the 17 episodes in which he appeared in gay sitcom. Jordan even won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a comedy series in 2006 for his portrayal of the Will & Grace character.
In 2018, Meghan Mullally, who played Karen in Will & Grace, told Digital Spy that she had an idea for a musical starring her infamous character. She said she had tried to get a musical spin-off for her character, but it had not come to fruition. Mullally explained she had Karen: The Musical “all set up”, but “those who owned the rights to the character of Karen withdrew their consent” at the last minute.
But the idea of a possible musical revival of Will & Grace has been stuck in the minds of fans ever since Mullally planted the idea.
Now, Leslie Jordan has weighed in on if he would be up for a possible musical collaboration with Mullally in the future. He told NME he would definitely be down to reprise his Will & Grace character, but he doubted the musical might happen because of copyright issues.
“I would be on board in a minute, but I don’t think it can happen because we don’t own the characters,” Jordan said. “NBC owns the characters and they don’t want us messing with the [Will & Grace brand] – it’s a huge brand for them.”
He added that “Broadway is a tough nut to crack”. Jordan said: “A musical is years in the planning with out-of-town trials and all of that.”
But Mullally’s interview hinted that Karen: A Musical was “actively in the works” before it was cancelled. She said the musical would have been produced by Fox Theatrical and directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, who is best known for his work on The Book of Mormon.
Fans dying to hear more from Jordan can rest easy knowing he has just dropped a gospel album, featuring Saint Dolly Parton. Jordan’s album Company’s Comin’ is inspired by the actor’s childhood growing up in the Southern Baptist church in Tennessee, and it’s filled with fantastic collaborations with LGBT+ icons from across the country music scene.