I had the privilege of seeing Kinky Boots (now in previews on Broadway) on Friday night and I cannot get the amazingness of that show out of my head.

 

Kinky Boots – based off of the 2005 film of the same name – deserves to be Broadway’s next HUGE hit because it is the magical combination of great storytelling, memorable songs, fabulous costumes and a beyond talented cast.

 

For those of you who have not seen the film, the plot of Kinky Boots is that a young man named Charlie inherits his dad’s shoemaking factory which is about to go under. At the suggestion of a colleague to find a new niche product to produce, Charlie gets the idea to manufacture boots for Drag Queens (i.e. boots made for men who dress like women… because regular heeled boots were not meant to withstand the weight of a man). When Charlie’s initial boot design is total crap, his Drag Queen acquaintance, Lola (the AMAZINGLY TALENTED Billy Porter – holy shit this man is a flawless performer) and her flock of Angels help Charlie and Co. come up with the design for Kinky Boots. 

 

There are daddy issues, relationship issues, homophobic issues and then some mixed into the plot, making this comedic romp an equally heartfelt punch to your feels. Charlie’s character arc is more like a roller coaster as he deals with what he wants, what he thinks he wants, what he needs, and how he needs to let himself embrace others just as much as he needs them to embrace him. It’s a show about self-acceptance as much as it is about accepting others. 

 

Kinky Boots is also the most fun I have ever had at a show in my entire life. And I’ve seen a lot of shows…

 

The introduction of Lola and her Angels was literally show-stopping. (The audience I was a part of stopped the show at least two or three times with the epic amount of applauding and cheering we were doing after some of the music numbers. At the stage door, the cast said that we were the best audience they had had so far and that we were an enthusiastic wall of sound. They earned it though – they put so much of themselves into that show, it was the least we could do.)

 

 

There are several extremely high-energy numbers where Lola and her Angels dance at the club and at the factory. I was completely gob-smacked by these men and their ability to dance that well in those heels and costumes. You couldn’t help but hoot and holler after the songs were done – they were just so entertaining and full of life and passion. 

 

 

It was hard to pick a favorite song, as most of them were amazing. 

 

Of all the Lola/Angels songs, “The Land of Lola” and “Sex is in the Heel” were definitely highlights.

 

Charlie and Lola’s “Everybody Say Yeah,” which takes place in the factory after the first pair of Kinky Boots is produced was amazing. There was dancing and tricks on these four conveyor belts and everyone was just so high-energy, which was amazing considering this was the last song at the end of a very long, very dance-heavy first Act. 

 

Lauren’s solo “The History of Wrong Guys” was a brilliant use of Annaleigh Ashford’s natural ability to exude comedic charm. She just goes for it and it was a privilege to watch her perform this self-deprecating spiral that a lot of girls can relate to. (Lauren works at the factory with Charlie and she has a crush on him even though he’s dating Nicole…)

 

The show has a few songs that are all about the lyrics and character relationships and not the glitz and glamour of most of Lola’s numbers. (See, when Lola is not in Drag, she’s Simon… and Simon is a vulnerable man who is not his father’s son. In fact, there is a song called “I’m Not My Father’s Son” and it almost made me cry.) 

 

The scenes between Charlie and Lola/Simon were some of my favorites because I enjoy the loud and fabulous shenanigans as much as I crave the intimate, vulnerable moments between these two men trying to be themselves when other people are telling them otherwise. Charlie and Lola/Simon have a lot more in common than they initially think, and its this realization that drives them apart and ultimately brings them back together. An unlikely pair, these two men need each other to take on the world – they are just too stubborn to admit it.

 

Kinky Boots works as a musical because of the trifecta of awesome that crafted its existence.

 

The equally hilarious and emotional book is written by Harvey Fierstein who has the uncanny ability to make the dialogue between the songs be just as powerful and memorable as the music numbers. 

 

The music and lyrics are by Cyndi Lauper. Though nothing sounds like “Time After Time” or “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” everything sounds like Cyndi. You can hear her singing these songs and them making complete sense. She has composed selection of songs that make you laugh and make you feel – the words are relatable and the rhythms are catchy. This show has songs that are so fun, as well as these ballads that break your heart. There are anthems that will make you stand and cheer, as well as snarky numbers that have more sass than you thought was possible. I cannot WAIT for this soundtrack to come out.

 

And then there is the direction and choreography by the beyond talented Jerry Mitchell. I SAW Mr. Mitchell at the show I was at and I almost had a heart attack knowing I was less than 50 feet away from a man who I have admired and respected for a long, long time. His choreo is the stuff musical theater dreams are made of and it was a privilege to see his work in his presence. The dance numbers are up tempo and intense. I don’t know how those guys do all that dancing in those heels, but they do and it is MAGICAL to watch. The last number alone is jaw dropping. So many fabulous boots… Oh my goodness.

 

This show has a lot of the same crew and some cast from Legally Blonde: The Musical and it shows – but I mean that in the best way possible. (I LOVE LB:TM – you don’t even know…) However, I would argue that Kinky Boots is a stronger show. 

 

Kinky Boots is great because it’s just as much for men as it is for women. The two leads are men of different races, sexual orientation, and social status and yet they have so many similar problems. This show proves that people who seems different on the outside have more in common on the inside than they initially think. This show is about teamwork and how reaching out to help others and letting people help you can achieve a lot more than being stubborn and dealing with everything on your own.

 

After the show, I went to the stage door and had a chance to talk with several of the cast members. They were so gracious and appreciative of the crowd that night and were grateful of how much the audience loved the show. I sincerely hope this show gets the recognition it deserves and that it blows up as this season’s must-see show. 

 

 

(I was lucky to snag a general rush ticket for $37 and had a fourth row orchestra seat… Partial-view my ass, I didn’t miss a thing.)

 

 

I highly recommend for you to get your ass down to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre as fast as your boots will take you and see Kinky Boots.

Flawless show is flawless, y’all.

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