Justin Huertas on LIZARD BOY, comic books, and musical theatre

Justin Huertas is more than just the lead the for LIZARD BOY, he is also the writer of the book, music, and lyrics of this fun comic book inspired story. Like every good hero, Trevor has to come to get over what he thinks makes him “different” and embrace them as what make him special instead. Then he can do anything, including possibly save the world.

So in honor of this comic book inspired musical, here are a few fun questions about theatre, comic books, and what inspired this show.

Justin Huertas
Justin Huertas

Marvel/DC/Lord of the rings/Star Wars/StarTrek – which are your top 2?

Marvel and Star Wars

How many instruments did you play prior to this show?

I won’t count piano but I will say I knew cello, guitar, and ukulele before the show.

What was your first job in theatre?

I acted in middle school but in high school, in the first 2 years of high school I was I the pit playing cello and played cello for THE MUSIC MAN and played cello for BRIAGDOON. Brigadoon was freshman year and Music MAN was sophomore year and after that I stared auditioning for stuff and being in shows.

Why is theatre important?

Theatre allows people to communicate and express things and feelings and issues to a large group of people who may not have access to those kinds of discussions. That’s what I like about theatre. All these different kinds of people are going to a play and thinking “fun Saturday night I’m going to watch a play and drink a little bit and then maybe their minds get blown and put back together in a completely different way and they leave here with a new brain. That’s why I love it

What are the musical Inspirations for the show?

It was a lot of the music I listened too. I was originally commissioned by the Seattle Rep Theatre to create a one man show about my experience touring, playing cello for SPRING AWAKENING. That’s music that I’ve loved since that music came out, rock on a cello is my favorite thing ever. There is a lot of SPRING AWAKENING that runs through the veins of this show. Mostly that, the other bands that I listened too are “Ra Ra Riot”, and “Belarus”, and every Sondheim show that ever was. I live by his songwriting, and even when I’m writing just a pop song, even one that feels really trivial and feels shallow, I go back to anything he’s ever said and make sure that my dumb pop song is telling a story that makes sense and is clear and coherent. Then those dumb pop songs turn into awesome LIZARD BOY songs that we sing every night.

This character has similarities to Spider Man, is Cary’s relationship with Trevor more Mary Jane or Gwen Stacy?

I want to say the relationship is like Peter and Gwen, but a combo universe with Gwen as in Spider Gwen. Cary is an amalgam of Gwen Stacy proper and Gwen Stacy as Spider Gwen.

(author note here- this is a super cool combo, if you don’t know what this is refering too please see MARVEL’s Edge of Spider-Verse #2 to see the Spider Gwen character)

What is your personal kryptonite?

Pepsi is my kryptonite. I think that Pepsi gives me power and strength and it’s not true at all but it’s a weird mind thing that I have like “I can’t hit that B flat unless I drink a Pepsi”. We’re going to have a student matinee at 10:30am next week you best believe that I will have a Pepsi at 9:30am.

What is your current musical theater obsession?

I love pop music and I love Sara Bareilles. She is also someone I listen to a lot when I am writing. I think her lyrics are so clever all the time and her melodies are so catchy, so I’m obviously obsessed with WAITRESS right now and haven’t stopped listening to it since that cast recording came out. She released her songs from WAITRESS on her own pop album months before and I’ve been listening to that too, her lyrics are so smart.

Make sure you see this innovative show before it’s gone! LIZARD BOY has been extended through November 6th! Showtime and ticket information can be found at www.Diversionary.org

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