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"Kinky Boots" (review)

Short Description of "Kinky Boots" (review)

“Kinky Boots”

at Proctors

State Street, Schenectady


“Always be yourself. Everyone else is taken”.



Here's the bottom line: You go “Kinky Boots” to have fun and a great night out. It's a fun show, with great music, fantastic scenery, and a Lola that makes the show like no other. The crowds came en masse, some dressing the part in, well, Kinky Boots, but that's ok. The show has a cult-like following.


Cyndi Lauper's “Kinky Boots” is in town at Proctors until June 21st. She made her Broadway debut with Kinky Boots and immediately snagged enough Tony Awards to fill a Tom McCann. The story evolves around the near closing of a real life shoe store outside London by the name of W.J. Brooks, LTD. Brooks, transformed in the musical to Price & Son, was inherited by Charlie Price (Adam Halpin) when his father died. Charlie is out of ideas on how to turn a profit, and stores are closing all over town. He stumbles upon the true show-stopper of this production, drag queen Lola (Kyle Taylor Parker), who teaches us not just about life's lessons on acceptance, but how to make a boot for women to be danced in by men. They must be red , she adds, because “Red is for sex.”


Lola tells us, “A drag queen puts on a frock, “ she adds, “and feels like Cleopatra, whereas a transvestite puts on his mother's dress and looks like Winston Churchill.”


Women's dance shoes, we learn, just aren't built for men. Where is a sturdier heel when you need one? Price endeavors to build the perfect boot for men who dress like women, and salvages the company from bankruptcy.


The next question is, what is new about “Kinky Boots” that hasn't been explored in La Cage or Priscilla Queen of the Desert”?


La Cage was revolutionary when it was released, and opened the doors to understanding and tolerance. Priscilla, on the other hand, was one of the funniest shows I have ever had the pleasure to review. Which leads us to more foot stomping in “Kinky Boots”.


The scores here are simply superb, just as we would expect from Lauper (where was “Girl's Just Want to Have Fun?”) the dancing phenomenal, and the scenery dastardly delicious, with moving conveyor belts and neon everywhere. But I personally had a huge problem with the sound system. Often the jokes were muffled and garbled. I asked my partner in crime of twenty six years—who can hear a whisper half a mile away-- if she had the same issue, and she nodded yes. So it wasn't just me.


The true talent in this production is Kyle Taylor Parker, who stands out as a one man dynamo. His voice is strong and his character bold and convincing.


Much of this story line is predictable, with more lessons of tolerance. But “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” is out there, and frankly, it's much funnier.


But still, we didn't come here to critique a show that has a cult-like following. We came for some humor from a great troupe of dancing gals, for some great songs, and a plain old fun night out.


Richard DiMaggio, didyouweekend.com


From proctors.org:

Kinky Boots is the exhilarating Broadway musical that will lift your spirits to new high-heeled heights!

Winner of six Tony Awards® including BEST MUSICAL, this inspirational story follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. Together, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… proving that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

Inspired by a true story, Kinky Boots features a joyous, Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper, direction and Tony-winning choreography by Jerry Mitchell and a hilarious, uplifting book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein. Come join the sold-out audiences who’ve discovered why – sometimes – the best way to fit in is to stand out!


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Address: Proctors, State St, Schenectady, NY, USA

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