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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 17 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 42
Everyone SHOULD say YEAH - Kinky Boots is a hit!
Arts & Entertainment
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Everyone SHOULD say YEAH - Kinky Boots is a hit!

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

KINKY BOOTS,
THE MUSICAL
5TH AVENUE THEATRE
Through October 26


Kinky Boots is the hit musical that has stomped all over the Great White Way and now continues with a national tour. With a hugely talented team at its base (including acclaimed director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell, book writer Harvey Fierstein and pop legend composer/lyricist Cyndi Lauper) Kinky Boots, the musical has broken records and has become one of the most talked about musicals of last year's season. Currently, those boots were made for walkin', and they did just that - walkin' into the 5th Avenue Theatre, where they remain for a foot-stompin' good time.

The storyline of Kinky Boots is based on a true story. In a small city north of London, Charlie Price is set to inherit his family's shoe business. Not overly interested in taking over the manufacturing of formal men's shoes, and more interested in pleasing his fiancée, Charlie looks to move to London and avoid the business, despite the fact that it's failing. On a chance encounter, he comes to the assistance of a woman being harassed, only to find out that her name is Lola, and she's a female impersonator. Seeing an opportunity to take hold of a niche market, Lola inspires Charlie to change his factory's format and to instead make Kinky Boots: 'two and a half feet of tubular sex.' Since a man's body weight is distributed differently than a woman's, the idea for creating fetish footwear for men dressing as women becomes a blossoming potential. Now Charlie has to sell the idea to his workers, a group of old-fashioned urbanites, his fiancée, and then to the fashion-istas of Milan and the world.

Steven Booth plays Charlie Price, the inheritor of the family shoe factory. His boy-next-door appearance charms easily and works well for the main character's disposition. Booth's voice is strong and he plays the role well, delivering his lines and singing without any hitch. His interpretation of Charlie's struggle with the factory's transformation, as well as his own and those of the people around him, is all presented well and the audience immediately takes to rooting for their champion.

The love interests of the musical come in the form of two female leads. Grace Stockdale plays Nicola, Charlie's fiancée, who is more concerned with her own position in life than for the sake of others. Ms. Stockdale does a great job of portraying the shallow vixen, while allowing her to have a sense of compassion - no matter the size. Lindsay Nicole Chambers plays Lauren, the factory worker who takes an interest (both romantically and professionally) in Charlie's life. Chambers' humble factory worker is a great contrast to Stockdale's society climbing wanna-be, and the two make the perfect ends to Charlie's romantic interest. Ms. Chambers' version of 'The History of Wrong Guys' tells her character's story musically through the land of unrequited love and it's done with wonderful, subtle timing and a great voice.

Kyle Taylor Parker plays Lola, the female impersonator and inspiration for creating Kinky Boots footwear. Mr. Parker's presentation is perfectly on queue, never once letting the audience see he's 'a man in a frock' as opposed to just being who Lola is. His personality holds enough sexual ambiguity to be believable in the fine combination of man and woman, without becoming a stereotype to either.

The music is definitely one of the strongest assets in an already powerful show. Music and Lyrics composed by the one and only Ms. Cyndi Lauper, adds the incredible music that only a pop-diva can present. Knowing what the public wants, from her several Grammy Award winning albums, Ms. Lauper used her talents to create some of the best music Broadway has heard in a over a decade. Each song is well written, each song is infectious, and each song does what a song in a musical should do; it helps promote the characters involved, the storyline of each, and presents a positive message of being true to who you are in life! 'Everybody say Yeah!'

Kinky Boots is a great musical presented in an excellent way. Although a professional touring company and not a Seattle premiere production, it is still easily one of the best shows the 5th Avenue has put on their stage since their debut of Hairspray!



Kinky Boots, the musical is based on the 2005 British film by the same name - the film stars Academy Award winner Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) as Lola. The book was adapted from the screenplay for the stage by Harvey Fierstein, who in turn first mentioned the musical to Cyndi Lauper. Ms. Lauper, writing the music and lyrics, became the first woman in Broadway history to win Best Score as a solo-artist. The musical opened on Broadway March 3, 2013 where it is still currently running. Kinky Boots, the musical was nominated for 13 Tony Awards in the 2013 season, winning five including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, and Best Performance in a Male Leading Musical Role (Billy Porter).

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