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Trinity twins make Broadway debuts in 'Newsies,' 'Kinky Boots'

Cameron Colley, left, has a six-week contract to play the young Charlie character in Kinky Boots, while his twin brother, Joshua, fills the role of as Les in Newsies.

Courtesy of Brad Colley

Cameron Colley, left, has a six-week contract to play the young Charlie character in Kinky Boots, while his twin brother, Joshua, fills the role of as Les in Newsies.

A touch of jealously surely would have been forgiven. He was, after all, a 10-year-old boy who left his school and friends to follow his twin brother around the country.

Cameron Colley watched audiences from San Francisco to Washington cheer his brother, Joshua, and the national touring company of perhaps the most celebrated musical of all time, Les Misérables. And because he was so good, Joshua landed on Broadway in the blockbuster Disney musical Newsies.

"Cameron was incredible supporting his brother,'' their dad, Brad Colley, said last week. "And now it's his turn.''

Eighteen months after the Colley family left their home in Trinity to follow Joshua's rising star, both boys are on Broadway. Cameron signed a six-week contract last Thursday to play the young Charlie character in Kinky Boots, which won six Tony awards this year, including best musical.

Brad and Robbie Lynn Colley, actors themselves, can now walk a few blocks from their apartment in Hell's Kitchen to watch both their boys on Broadway; Joshua at the Nederlander Theatre and Cameron at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

"It's like a dream,'' said Brad. "Amazing.''

The family settled in New York after Joshua took the part as Les in Newsies, which won the Tony Award in 2012 for best score and choreography. He is at the theater for eight shows a week, splitting the duty with another young actor.

"Every night it's packed,'' Brad said. "I go to pick Joshua up and get to stand at the back and watch them take their final bows. It's such a touching and proud moment. The cast is like family.''

The Colley boys are both represented by the CESD agency in New York. Before getting his shot on Broadway, Cameron completed a role in a short film called A Dream of Flying directed by fashion designer Georgina Chapman, co-founder of Marchesa. It's part of Canon U.S.A.'s Project Imaginat10n which employs celebrities to direct films based on photographs selected by renowned Hollywood director Ron Howard. Joining Chapman are actors Jamie Foxx and Eva Longoria, musician James Murphy and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

"Cameron plays a kid who gets to fly,'' his dad explained. "What could be better than that for your first film? He gets to strap on a harness and fly!''

Joshua, though busy with Newsies, has enjoyed some other projects, including voiceovers for Nickelodeon Jr.'s Team Umizoomi, which uses animated characters to teach children life lessons. Joshua originated the role of the Shadow King, his dad said, and will soon be singing as the Gingerbread Man.

Meanwhile, Brad and Robbie Lynn manage to get home each month to perform educational musicals like Bullyproof at area schools and community centers as part of the business they formed in 1999, Play 'N Around Theatre Company.

"It's good for us,'' Brad said. "We're so busy with the boys in New York, it feels like moonlighting. And it gives us a release.''

The boys, who will turn 12 in January, may be rising stars, but they're still expected to complete school work. They were fourth-raders at Longleaf Elementary when they hit the road with their parents. Now their mother guides them through the Pasco County homeschooling network. Their field trips include places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

What's next?

"We've been asked to submit multiple videos of the boys for television series,'' their dad said. "Every week it's something new. We're enjoying the ride.''

Trinity twins make Broadway debuts in 'Newsies,' 'Kinky Boots' 09/03/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 8:16pm]
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