Kinky Boots. What comes to thought when you hear that title? Curly boots? Dented boots? Nah, picture a pair of sexy, sparkly, red, stiletto boots. The kind that turns heads, and makes the wearer feel like the can take on the world. And the broadway musical Kinky Boots delivers exactly what the title implies: it turns heads and exudes confidence.
The musical tells the story of Charlie Price, who inherits a shoe factory from his father in Northampton. To save the business, Charlie must find a “niche” market. He forms a partnership with cabaret performer and drag queen, Lola. With Lola's as the designer and Charlie as the businessman, the develop a plan to produce a line of high-heeled boots.
Originally a book and then a film Kinky Boots was inspired by a true story. And after it’s open in Chicago, it made it’s way to Broadway. An eventually winning 6 Tony’s.
Also it's about acceptance and love and rock n' roll. So you know, all the good stuff.
I won’t lie, the show started off slow. The scene was set up in the past...two young sons that looked up to their father. It was very typical broadway “everything is happy and we are happy,” with an abrupt change in plot when Charlie’s father dies and he has to return to the factory.
But that’s when the musical started getting good. He meets Lola and it completely glamorized the plot.
Here are some highlights along the way:
One of my all time favorite parts of the show. “Everybody Say Yeah!” after Charlie and Lola create there first shoe designs.
Sure it’s a classic “we did it!” kinda theme, but add that with 6 Drag Queens, a factory full of workers, and conveyor belts? You get some pretty incredible dancing. This is just a bit of the scene, but soon after the queens arrive they perform a kick-boots routine. It’s like OK Go treadmill music video on steroids...and also in high-heeled boots.
Also, Lola (played by the original Billy Porter) is just fierce all the time. Whether she is in drag or not, she really defined the show with her sound. I was sold on her "Kinky Revolution."
Another highlight of the musical: The music. With music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, it’s the perfect rock, pop, musical. And Andy Kelso, who played the lovable Charlie Price has the tone of Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) mixed with Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening).
Here’s a clip of the original cast member (Stark Sands) performing one of his many songs.
One of my other favorite songs from the musical? The History of Wrong Guys performed by Haven Burton (originally Annaleigh Ashford). She’s a factory worker that falls for Charlie Price despite him having a fiancé. She’s the perfect amount of awkward and frumpy.
What can I say? I’m a sucker for cheesy romantic soliloquies.
So to sum up: Kinky Boots is perfect. It’ll knock your socks off.
But you know, put them back on because after the show you’ll want to go out and buy your own pair of tall, sexy boots.