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posted: 7/28/2014 6:00 AM

Rock musician swaps Skivvies for high heels in 'Pageant'

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  • Singer/actor/musician Nick Cearley has developed a new appreciation for women after playing one in the off-Broadway show "Pageant."

    Singer/actor/musician Nick Cearley has developed a new appreciation for women after playing one in the off-Broadway show "Pageant."
    Associated Press

By John Carucci
Associated Press

Performing as a woman in the off-Broadway spoof "Pageant: The Musical" has presented unique challenges for Nick Cearley -- much like playing in his underwear with his rock band The Skivvies.

The actor-musician alternates between wearing too much and too little clothing.

"One day, I would really like to wear a sweater," Cearley said with a smile. "I feel that there has to be a healthy balance somewhere, sometime, where I could actually just wear my normal clothes."

But for the next couple of months Cearley will spend his time dressed as a woman and that experience has given him a new perspective.

"It takes more time to get ready for 'Pageant' than the actual length of 'Pageant' and that's grueling," Cearley said.

He added: "I'm so glad I'm a boy. I have a whole new respect of how women have to get ready for just a normal day. I respect women who wear heels to parties, because it hurts my lower back. It's very hard to wear heels for that long."

"Pageant: The Musical" takes an irreverently funny look at the beauty contests with the female contestants all played by men. The audience gets to pick the winner. Cearley first starred in the show when it played Boston's Stoneham Theater in 2008. Now it's at the Davenport Theatre.

When not vying for the crown at the end of each show, Cearley, and his "partner in crime" Lauren Molina perform with their band The Skivvies. Playing to sold-out crowds, the duo is always joined by a few of Broadway's elite stars, who also must perform in their underwear or some other creative type of undergarment.

The classically trained musician was educated at the Boston Conservatory and after some prodding, modestly admitted he can play a double-digit amount of instruments. Cearley's love for music began with piano lessons at home from a nun named Sister Marie Hoelle.

"She taught me every Tuesday. And I started getting interested in other areas of music after that, but that was the gateway drug, Sister Marie Hoelle," Cearley proudly said.

After the interview, Cearley learned from his mother that Sister Marie Hoelle had passed away earlier in the day. She was 100.

"I just can't believe it," he said.

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