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Broadway’s Ben Jackson Walker — from sexy gardener to ‘& Juliet,’ and what he refuses to do on a first date

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& Juliet, he also jumped into the recording studio to lay down two new songs inspired by his queer sexuality and coming-of-age experience — all while performing eight times a week in the Max Martin jukebox musical.The biggest pop songs of the past several decades converge in a musical reimagining of what might have happened if Juliet survived.

Walker, who also appears in Paramount+’s Honor Society, released “Nothing to Lose” and “Tightrope Walker” on July 7, which offers fans a taste of his indie sound featuring layered vocal tracks and an acoustic vibe that echoes the early days of artists like Duncan Sheik and Gavin DeGraw but with a decidedly gay hook.

It’s a big step from his first show — a musical version of The Hobbit in which he played Frodo Baggins. The pandemic threw a temporary wrench in Walker’s dreams, despite graduating from the acclaimed musical theater program at the University of Michigan.

Stints nannying and gardening held him over until Walker arrived in New York City and booked the gig that would change his life (& Juliet’s opening night cast included 15 performers making their Broadway debut). “I just have to take it one day at a time,” Walker said in a recent interview. “Because it’s overwhelming, and it’s amazing.”Queerty caught up with Walker between performances to chat about his new music, favorite queer icons, and what British guys like to dip their “chips” in. This is my Broadway debut!

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