Views on pop culture through my eyes

Kinky Boots
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Pantages Theatre

Songs performed: Price & Son Theme/The Most Beautiful Thing, Take What You Got, Land of Lola, Land of Lola (reprise), Charlie’s Soliloquy, Step One, Sex is in the Heel, The History of Wrong Guys, Not My Father’s Son, Everybody Say Yeah, Price & Son Theme (reprise), What a Woman Wants, In This Corner, Charlie’s Soliloquy (reprise), Soul of a Man, The History of Wrong Guys (reprise), Hold Me in Your Heart, Raise You Up/Just Be

Comments: The Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots has sashayed it’s way into town at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. The musical was based on a movie of the same name, which in turn was based on a true story. With music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and the book by Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein, the play tells the story of Charlie who is struggling to run the family shoe business after his father dies. He stops to help out a drag queen named Lola who is being harassed on the street. Charlie then sees Lola perform with her angels in her nightclub act.Kinky Boots

The angels were Lola’s drag queen friends and fellow performers. Their crazy outfits, hairstyles and energy reminded me of an episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

An unlikely friendship develops between Charlie and Lola, which leads to an even unlikelier business partnership. Charlie realizes that unless things change — his family’s shoe business is going to go out of business. Lola comes on board to help oversee the design and production of a new shoe line aimed at drag queens, hence the name “Kinky Boots.”

The show was very fast-paced and choreographed. I especially loved the moving conveyer belts during the number “Everybody Say Yeah.” The 2 leads and the angels were using them for dancing and walking. The music itself is very catchy, with ballads, disco, power pop, and even tango thrown in.

One of the best numbers from Act 1 was the ballad “Not My Father’s Son” which is sung by Charlie and Lola. This was something I could identify with. As much as I love my Dad, we are totally different. Lola’s working at the factory brings on issues such as workplace diversity and how we can’t judge a book by it’s cover. The men (Charlie and Lola) are finding themselves and realize that by marching to the beat of a different drum, they can save the factory and create something special together.

The stand out musical numbers are “Sex is in the Heel,” “Everybody Say Yeah,” “Not My Father’s Son” and the big finale “Raise You Up/Just Be.” When the factory finally gets the shoe right after a few false starts, it is a thigh high red sparkly boot. And amazingly all the stars of the show end up wearing the high heeled boots for the finale number including some formerly homophobic heavy set guys. Special thanks go to the leads: Kyle Taylor Parker as Lola and Steven Booth as Charlie.

My only complaint was regarding Lola’s father. She said how he was a boxer and such, and how he didn’t approve of him dressing in women’s clothes. Later on, Lola sees him in a rest home where she is performing (big coincidence). To me, this wasn’t explained or dealt with very well. Parent child relationships are complex, and for me, this was the one weak point in the show.

I ran into one straight coworker at the show. At work, the next day, he told me how much he enjoyed the show too. That’s cool that he said that. Go see this show. The themes of self-acceptance, finding your way in the world, and just being the person you were meant to be are universal themes that apply to many people. The show lived up to it’s hype for me. It was a fun evening at the theater.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Advertisements

Comments on: "‘Kinky Boots’ Worth Trying On" (1)

  1. guy.hubbard@att.net said:

    Dan, Very good review. I loved the show and I loved the movie it’s based on. I would have loved to have seen the Broadway version with Billy Porter, who won the Tony for his performance as Lola. He was in Angels In America previously. I met briefly him at a party of gay men here in L.A. years ago. I didn’t know who he was at the time. I was told he was an actor who had done AIA, playing the nurse. He was not the original actor in the part. I didn’t know he sang and danced. I’m glad to see his subsequent great success.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: