Wayne Brady, best known for his Emmy-winning TV work, is also at home onstage: He appeared on Broadway in Kinky Boots and is currently playing Aaron Burr in the Chicago cast of Hamilton through April 9.
What’s your first theatrical memory?
I think I was in first or second grade and was part of a school play or pageant. I saw James Brown on TV, and for my solo I decided to do a shimmy into one of the James Brown jazz splits. And I felt so cool onstage. That’s the feeling that I wanted to duplicate later in my life. My first time onstage doing a play was Dark of the Moon in high school my junior year. I walked onstage, got a bit of applause—I was playing a funny character named Uncle Smelicue Jed—and I thought, “Oh, this is what I want to do.”