The “Sex is in the Heel,” isn’t it? That may be true, but not for Charlie Price. His destiny was all but decided for him, as he was born into a family run shoe factory in the small town of Northampton, England. Charlie, however, will have none of this small town life. He races off to chase his big city dreams in London with his snobby fiancée, Nicola.
And just like that, his big city dreams are interrupted; his father has died. Who is now in charge of the shoe factory? You guessed it: Charlie Price.
What comes next is a heartfelt and truly realistic story of a young man realizing the vast difference between his perceived dreams and his true destiny. And who helps him find this path? None other than Lola, the unstoppable London drag queen who is the unexpected answer to save the factory.
Turns out that all the factory needed to do was find their niche market, which just so happens to be… drag queens! With more than a fair share of pushback along the way, Lola and the drag queens teach Charlie a VERY important lesson with one of their biggest numbers: “Sex is in the Heel.”
From Charlie’s ever confusing love life to Lola’s secret training as a boxer, the show has more than enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes!
When the time comes for the boots to be showcased in Milan, trust me when I say, your breath will be taken away, not only with awe, but from uncontrollable laughter.
There were too many standout performances to count. Lauren’s (Taylor Louderman) rendition of “The History of Wrong Guys,” was hysterical, awkward and relatable across the board. There wasn’t a person in the theater not laughing during the song, and she was a wonderful comic presence, and a bit of a show stealer.
But then again, every song felt like a show stealer. The two main ballads, “Not My Father’s Son,” and “Hold Me in Your Heart,” were the dry your eyes type of songs you would expect from a big production like Kinky Boots.
“Big production” is somewhat of an understatement, because the costumes, choreography and music are larger than life. Director/Choreographer Jerry Mitchell of Legally Blonde: The Musical and the current On Your Feet! About Gloria Estefan, did an incredible job, utilizing a seemingly drab factory set and making it a place of commotion, entertainment and excitement. Costume designer Gregg Barnes of Legally Blonde, Bye Bye Birdie and Aladdin brought the show to life with sparkles, sequins, and of course those kinky boots.
Our book writer, Harvey Fierstein, of Newsies and La Cage aux Follies, did an incredible job translating the movie to stage, which is not an easy task. The movie was a small Sundance picture, and Fierstein made it a Broadway smash.
Lastly in our core four we have music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper. The show has an extensive and diverse cast of characters – not just in age, sex, or race, but in heart and goal. Each character is so unique with their own motives and desire, and Cyndi’s songs personified their goals and traits beautifully. Together the four of them have been nominated for 23 Tony’s, won 9, and took in a whopping 13 nominations and 6 wins for just the show itself.
The show sings a great message of acceptance – acceptance of self, and others. In our modern times it’s important to heed Lola and her Angel’s 6 steps: 1.Pursue the truth, 2. Learn something new, 3. Accept yourself and you’ll accept others too, 4. Let love shine, 5. Let pride be your guide 6. You change the world when you change your mind.
Thoughts to leave you with…
-Young Charlie and Young Lola are the cutest things to ever be on Broadway
-The fight scene between Don and Lola was amazingly hysterical, and perfect to be in slow motion
-Lola’s Angels were fantastic, and I could have watched them do flips and splits for 5 more hours
-Seeing Charlie dance in the Kinky Boots was honestly pretty sexy
Kinky Boots has been running since 2013 at the Al Hirschfeld Theater in New York, and has performed over 1,500 shows. In case I haven’t been clear here: go see Kinky Boots!