Here’s the new Broadway musical you’ve been waiting for – and how could you go wrong with sexy songs by Cyndi Lauper, a tranny fable by Harvey Fierstein, and Jerry Mitchell’s dynamic direction and supercharged choreography? Hairspray Harvey currently has two blockbuster musicals on Broadway: both Kinky Boots and Newsies!. His book for Bootsis based on a movie that had the same name as the Musical, but you may not have seen it, as there were no vampires, space aliens or zombies in it. See, there’s this shoe factory up in the North of England — or wherever Northhampton actually is — but dad has died, and son wants to make something of himself down in London. But no one wants to buy the quality men’s shoes that the factory has been turning out, so it will have to be shuttered, as other shoe factories have already been. That means loss of jobs and possible financial ruin for the town, so Charlie Price (Stark Sands) — the London-lusting son — seeks to save the factory; but he needs a new niche in shoe manufactory!
Fortunately, he catches the fabulous drag show of Lola (the entirely fabulous Billy Porter), with its fab costumes and fab high-kicking boots (by the fab Gregg Barnes), which leads to the new line at Price’s factory: kinky boots!
The human subtext in this fantastic, all-singing, all-dancing, all-energy Broadway show of shows is that both Charlie and Lola — really the slight, mild mannered Simon, who becomes Charlie’s brilliant boot designer — never could please their fathers. Charlie didn’t want to be an industrialized shoemaker — “Someday, son, all this will be yours!” — but Simon’s problem was much, much bigger: Simon was different.
They share a song about this problem, “I’m not my Father’s Son,” but it goes on too long after it has already made its point; we want more show stoppers, not philosophical angst.
Still, not only will you get to see Lola and Her Girls dance up a storm in a London club, but also you will get to see how a shoe factory really works, not to mention how Lola and her Fabulous Trannies strut the runway in Milan!
Laurels to all the designers but especially David Rockwell on sets, Gregg Barnes on boots and costumes, Kenneth Posner on lighting and John Shivers on sound, as well as Josh Marquette on hair design and Randy Houston Mercer who designed the fabulous makeup. Kinky Boots looks like one of those Broadway musicals that will run forever, so bravo Harvey, Cyndi, Jerry Mitchell & Stephen Oremus for this palpable hit!