Fabulous Drag Queens, Factory Workers, and Manolos: Inside Broadway’s Kinky Boots
We speak with Harvey Fierstein, Cyndi Lauper, and the dream team behind the shoe fetish musical during a tech rehearsal at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.
In 2005, Broadway producer Daryl Roth (Annie) saw a British film called Kinky Boots. The film tells the true story of a young man who inherited his father’s failing shoe business in Northampton, England. A few special someone’s convinced him to ditch the boring men’s shoes in favor of heels-for-drag-queens – which saved the factory. Roth knew immediately that it had to be a musical. So she began to assemble a dream team.
Kinky Boots, which opens for previews on March 3 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, features a score by Grammy Award winner Cyndi Lauper and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles). Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde) directs and choreographs the musical, which features a lot of dancing -- in ultra-high heels.
Billy Porter (Angels in America) lead the company as, in his words, “the fabulous drag queen” Lola, who inspires the shoe factory’s turnaround. He also helps business owner Charlie Price (Tony Award nominee Stark Sands) become the man he’s meant to be. Annaleigh Ashford (Wicked) plays Lauren, a love interest for Charlie, while Celina Carvajal (Dracula) plays his fiance. (Yes, there is drama.)
Kinky Boots started its run at Chicago's Bank of America Theater last fall, and its creators have now refined the production for its Broadway debut. Take a look.