How Kevin Del Aguila Tried to Make Christian Borle Break Character During Some Like It Hot | Playbill

Special Features How Kevin Del Aguila Tried to Make Christian Borle Break Character During Some Like It Hot

Del Aguila recently went viral for posting a video of offstage antics.

Kevin Del Aguila

It started fairly innocently. Kevin Del Aguila was standing in the downright wing of the Shubert Theatre, waiting to make an entrance in Some Like It Hot, as castmates Christian Borle and Adrianna Hicks performed a scene on stage. Hicks, as Sugar, invites Borle's Joe to see her show. As he declines, saying "I'm afraid I must say..." he turned to his right and glanced off stage in Del Aguila's direction. 

"At first, I'd smile back or wave. And before you know it, I'm on the ground with a laundry basket on my back and pretending to be a turtle," he told Playbill when we called him to ask what the heck was going on in the recent video he posted on social media. 

It's been a few months since Some Like It Hot closed on Broadway, so Del Aguila was feeling somewhat safe in sharing his shenanigans. The actor posted a montage video composed of several moments from that downright wing in which he dons costumes, dances, makes faces, and acts out silly scenarios—all designed to make Borle laugh. "He loves this stuff. He thrives on this kind of stuff. I knew he would appreciate my little skits off stage. I wouldn't really do it with any else." 

Though Del Aguila and Borle don't interact much in Some Like It Hot, they have worked together previously. You can see their friendship in the video below.

We asked if Del Aguila if Borle ever retaliated in any way to his clownery. The actor didn't. But Del Aguila confesses that perhaps his Some Like It Hot antics had deeper roots. "First of all, Christian is a consummate professional. But anybody who's been on stage with him knows he is an assassin when it comes to making other people laugh on stage," says Del Aguila. "He is personally responsible for making me laugh harder than I've ever laughed in my entire life when we were in Peter and the Starcatcher together. He had me weeping. Tears falling down my face, stop-the-show kind of laughing. So in a weird way, this is a little bit of a retaliation for that!"

The Some Like It Hot videos were taped by stage crew member Ronnie Vitelli, unbeknownst to Del Aguila, and sent along after closing. What we're seeing is really just a highlight reel, of sorts. Del Aguila shares that there were several attempts that didn't make the cut—they weren't as epic or outrageous. "The one that really got him, I think, was the baskets on the feet. I thought it would be funny, but I didn't count on the sound. The sound kind of got him a little bit."

But for all his efforts, Del Aguila never really broke Borle completely apart. He got a smile or a little giggle, but not the weeping laughter he was going for. "[Christian is] a rock. I couldn't believe how he was hanging in there."

And keep in mind, Adrianna Hicks was facing Del Aguila through all of it. She saw all the prep work going in to the one moment meant for Borle's glance. But she loved it too—when Del Aguila apologized and asked if he should stop, she gave her full blessing that he continue. 

The funny thing is, though, Del Aguila is not normally a backstage trickster. But he says it was appropriate for a musical comedy like Some Like It Hot, which was about two musicians on the run from the mob. "I'm usually the guy who gets upset when people are messing around on stage," he admits. "I'm also a writer, so I look down on any shenanigans that might get in the way of the show. So, I've lost all credibility whatsoever now. But you know, there's a balance. Was it the most professional behavior? Not really. But the profession is also about playing, so it always spills over backstage, especially in a show like this. It's just so much fun and laughter."

Some Like It Hot closed December 30, 2023 after running over a year on Broadway. Del Aguila was Tony-nominated for his performance as Osgood, the wealthy paramour to Tony winner J. Harrison Ghee's Jerry/Daphne. 

"I miss it so much," says Del Aguila. "People would always ask, 'Are you guys having as much fun as it looks like you're having?' And I'd be like, 'You have no idea. We're having a ball.'"

Photos: Some Like It Hot on Broadway

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