Summer Musical's “Kinky Boots”
The Broadway Touring show of “Kinky Boots” is playing at Fair
Park Music Hall, and it's a flashy, glitzy, slightly raucous, feel-good
show that resonates at surprisingly emotional levels.
It's based on the 2005 film by the same name, which in turn was
based on a true story. Charlie
Price (Curt Hansen) has inherited a shoe company from his father, who
inherited it from his father. But
times have changed. Nobody
really wants the kind of quality, but clunky, men's workboots that they're
selling, because they're available much cheaper elsewhere (another
instance of the big discount stores driving out the Mom and Pop small
businesses). Worse, Charlie's
fiancee wants Charlie to sell the factory to a condominium developer so
they can move to London.
But just when things seem to be dying for lack of imagination, in
roars Lola (Timothy Ware), a transvestite dancer who commands the stage,
along with her “Angel” chorus. They're
outrageous and fun and loud and “out there” and everything Charlie
isn't. But it seems they need
specialized boots for their performances which they can't find anywhere,
and Charlie needs a new market. Lola
even has designing talent, but of course things are never that easy.
Lola has a hard time adjusting to the “ordinary” workday
routine, and Charlie's perfectionism and intransigence threaten to derail
everything. And the
Tony-Award-winning musical score from Cyndi Lauper expresses the full
range of emotion from all the characters.
But Charlie and Lola have something very basic in common:
loving a father who made them feel like a disappointment.
Both, in their own ways, have tried to find their true selves, but
it's a painful process, because it involves adjusting their own
expectations of themselves. So
we start with Oscar Wilde's quote “Be yourself, everyone else is already
taken.” And we move toward
“Celebrate you to elevate you.” And
then along the way, the challenge is to “accept someone else for who
Timothy Ware simply steals this show.
His performance as Lola just rocks the house, and the audience was
not only cheering his acting and singing, but even his entrances and
exits. There are some very
lively ensemble dancing sequences, and a couple of killer ballads, but
mostly this show is just one big affirmation of accepting everybody as
they are. Yes, love wins.