Kinky Boots Broadway Musical

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Kinky Boots Tickets Broadway NYC – Review

Kinky Boots is a raunchy and uplifting Broadway classic. This fabulous run has a Tony Award-winning score by pop legend Cyndi Lauper and a book, direction, and choreography from two other Tony Award winners, Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Mitchell. Kinky Boots is a modern tale with a lot to offer open-minded audiences. Todrick Hall, who rose to fame on American Idol and has since wowed Broadway audiences in The Color Purple and Memphis, makes a stunning turn as Lola in this crowd-pleasing production.

The colorful musical tells the story of Charlie Price, a young man who finds himself saddled with the family shoemaking business. The factory that is struggling to stay profitable and in danger of being shut down. When Lola, a bawdy and self-confident drag queen arrives, it seems that there may be a way for the business to survive. Lola opens Charlie up to the idea of producing bright, kitsch, man-sized stiletto heels to fill a gap in the market. Together, Lola and Charlie find common ground and take inspiration from one another to help the factory thrive.

Kinky Boots offers life lessons aplenty and a goofy but heart-warming sentimentality. The musical is a loving meditation on self-acceptance and learning to accept others. Certainly, Kinky Boots offers eccentricity within its simple setting of a British factory town. Moreover, the fantastic pop-driven score helps the musical keep its momentum. Kinky Boots songs, from “Sex Is In The Heel” to “Raise You Up/Just Be”, are also fantastically uplifting and catchy. As a testament to its quality, the play has far outstripped the popularity of the 2005 film of the same name on which it is based. There are lessons to be learned and fun to be had as part of the audience to this musical knockout.

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Kinky Boots Broadway, NYC

Theater: Al Hirschfield Theatre
Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes (1 intermission)
Starring: Killian Donnelly, Todrick Hall, Taylor Louderman

Kinky Boots  Musical – Act I

Charlie Price grows up as the fourth-generation “son” in his family business, Price & Son, a shoe factory in Northampton. Another young boy, growing up in London, is as fascinated by shoes as Charlie is bored by them, but in this case it is a pair of red women’s heels that have attracted his attention, aggravating his strict father. Years pass. Charlie’s father is aging and hopes that Charlie will take over the factory, but Charlie is eager to move to London with his status-conscious fiancée, Nicola, and pursue a career in real estate (“The Most Beautiful Thing”).

 

Charlie has barely made it into his new flat in London when his father dies suddenly. Charlie hurries home for the funeral, where he finds the factory near bankruptcy. The factory makes good quality men’s shoes, but they are not stylish and not cheap, and the market for them is drying up. Charlie is determined to save the factory and his father’s legacy, though he has no desire to run Price & Sons himself. The workers, many of whom have known Charlie his entire life, do not understand why Charlie had moved away in the first place, and many are hostile and skeptical of the new management.

Returning to London, Charlie meets his friend and fellow shoe salesman Harry, in a pub, to ask for help with the factory. Harry can only offer a temporary solution and advises Charlie not to fight the inevitable (“Take What You Got”). Leaving the pub, Charlie witnesses a woman being accosted by two drunks. He intervenes and is knocked unconscious. He comes to in a seedy nightclub, where the woman he attempted to rescue is revealed to have been the club’s drag queen headliner, Lola, who performs with her backup troupe of drag dancers, the “angels” (“Land of Lola”). Recuperating from his ordeal in Lola’s dressing room, an uncomfortable Charlie notices that the performers’ high-heeled boots are not designed to hold a man’s weight, but Lola explains that the expensive and unreliable footwear is an essential part of any drag act.

Charlie returns to the factory and begins reluctantly laying off his workers. Lauren, one of the women on the assembly line, explodes at Charlie when given her notice, and stubbornly tells him that other struggling shoe factories have survived by entering an “underserved niche market”. This gives Charlie an idea (“Land of Lola” reprise), and he invites Lola to come to the factory to help him design a women’s boot that can be comfortable for a man (“Charlie’s Soliloquy”/”Step One”).

Lola and the angels arrive at the factory, and she is immediately unsatisfied with Charlie’s first design of the boot. Quickly getting the women of the factory on her side, she draws a quick design of a boot, explaining the most important factor is by far the sex appeal (“The Sex is in the Heel”). George, the factory manager, realizes a way to make her design practical, and an impressed Charlie begs Lola to stay until a prestigious footwear show in Milan in three weeks’ time, to design a new line of “kinky boots” that could save the factory. Lola is reluctant, since she is already receiving crass comments from some of the factory workers, but is flattered by Charlie’s praise, and finally agrees.

Charlie announces that the factory will be moving ahead with production on the boots. He thanks Lauren for giving him the idea, and offers her a promotion. She accepts, and is horrified but thrilled to realize she is falling for him (“The History of Wrong Guys”).

The next day, Lola shows up in men’s clothes and is mocked by the foreman, Don, and his friends. An upset Lola takes refuge in the bathroom, and Charlie attempts to comfort her. Lola explains that her father trained her as a boxer, but disowned her when she showed up for a match in drag. The two discover their similarly complex feelings toward their fathers, and Lola introduces herself by her birth name: Simon (“Not My Father’s Son”).

Nicola arrives from the city of London, and presents Charlie with a plan for the factory that her boss has drawn up: closing it and converting it into condominiums. Charlie refuses, but is shocked to discover that his father had agreed to this plan before he died, presumably because Charlie was not there to run it. He refuses to sell, and soon the workers are celebrating as the first pair of “kinky boots” is finished (“Everybody Say Yeah”).

Kinky Boots  Musical – Act II

Many of the factory workers are not enthusiastic about the radical change in their product line. Some of them, especially the intimidating Don, make Lola feel very unwelcome. Lola taunts him back, enlisting the help of the female factory workers to prove that Lola is closer to a woman’s ideal man than Don (“What a Woman Wants”). Lola presents Don with a unique wager to see who is the better “man”: Lola will do any one thing that Don specifies if Don will do one thing that Lola specifies. Don’s challenge is for Lola to fight him in a boxing match at the pub. Charlie, remembering Lola’s background, is horrified. Lola easily scores against Don in the ring but ultimately lets Don win the match (“In This Corner”). Afterwards, in private, Don asks why she let him win, and Lola replies that she could not be so cruel as to humiliate Don in front of his mates. She gives him her part of the challenge: “accept someone for who they are.”

Charlie is pouring his own money into the factory to ensure it will be ready in time for Milan, and he is getting frantic that the product is not right, angrily forcing his staff to redo what he considers to be shoddy work. Nicola arrives, fed up with Charlie’s obsession over the factory, and breaks up with him. Lola has been making some decisions about production and preparations without consulting Charlie. When he discovers that she has decided to have her angels wear the boots on the runway rather than hiring professional models, an overwhelmed Charlie lashes out at her, humiliating her in front of the other workers. Lola storms out, and the factory workers go home. Alone, Charlie struggles with the weight of his father’s legacy and what it means to be his own man (“Soul of a Man”).

Lauren finds Charlie and tells him to come back to the factory. It is revealed that Don has persuaded all the workers to return to work and to sacrifice a week’s pay to ensure the boots can be finished in time for Milan. Charlie is astonished and grateful, and asks if Don has paid up on his wager by accepting Lola. Lauren explains that the person that Don has accepted is Charlie himself.

As he heads to the airport for Milan, Charlie leaves a heartfelt apology on Lola’s voicemail. Meanwhile, Lola performs her act at a nursing home in her home town. After she leaves the stage, she speaks to her now wheelchair-bound father, who is dying in the home, and reaches a sense of closure (“Hold Me in Your Heart”).

Charlie and Lauren arrive in Milan, but without models Charlie is forced to walk the runway himself. Lauren is thrilled by his dedication (“The History of Wrong Guys (Reprise)”) but the show threatens to be a disaster. Just as all seems lost, Lola and her angels arrive to save the day. Lauren and Charlie share their first kiss, and the whole company celebrates the success of the “Kinky Boots” (“Raise You Up/Just Be”).

Further information: List of awards and nominations for the musical Kinky Boots.
Matilda had been the pre-Award season favorite, but as the season progressed, it became clear that Kinky Boots and the revival of Pippin would provide serious competition. Early in the 2013 awards season, Kinky Boots did well, receiving Drama League Award nominations for Distinguished Production of a Musical and Distinguished Performance, for both Porter and Sands, and winning for Distinguished Production. The show received nine Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, winning three, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, Outstanding New Score and Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Porter). The musical received only two Drama Desk Award nominations, however, and only one win: Porter for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. New York Times theatre writer Patrick Healy, however, reported that some Tony voters found Matilda “dark” and “a bit chilly”, and accurately predicted that “while the cleverness of Matilda may be enough to win best book, the warmth of Kinky Boots will be enough to score an upset and take the top Tony for best musical.”

Kinky Boots received a season-high 13 Tony Award nominations. Matilda, which The New York Times described as the “unalloyed critical hit” of the season, received 12 nominations, 11 of them in the same categories as Kinky Boots. In addition to its critical success, Matilda had won the Drama Desk Award for outstanding musical and had set a record by winning the most Olivier Awards in history. Nevertheless, Kinky Boots won a season-high six Tonys, including Best Musical, which the press described as an upset, and Lauper’s win for Best Score made her the first woman to win alone in that category. The creative team are Americans, and reviewer David Cote, an American writing in The Guardian, judged that the show’s win was a case of “the balance of love going to a homegrown American musical, Kinky Boots, over the British import Matilda.” The other Tony wins were for best actor (Porter), sound design (Shivers), choreography (Mitchell) and orchestrations (Oremus). Fierstein, Sands, Ashford, Mitchell (as director) and the three other designers were all nominated but did not win. Kinky Boots also won the 2013 Artios Award for Outstanding Achievement in Casting in the Broadway musical category.

The West End production won the Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best New Musical, which was based on voting by the public at the 2015 Evening Standard Theatre Awards. The show earned seven nominations for the 2016 Laurence Olivier Awards, which was second to a revival of Gypsy, which earned eight nominations. Kinky Boots won three Olivier Awards: Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical and Best Costume Design, trailing only Gypsy’s four awards.[1]

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AL HIRSCHFELD THEATRE - NEW YORK, NY
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