Time for some geeky disclosure: The only awards show I ever get really, truly excited about is the Tony Awards. They're just so much fun! All the musical numbers sprinkled throughout the show are always high-energy, entertaining, and memorable -- and the talented actors don't get nearly as much fame and fortune as their Emmys and Oscars counterparts, even though they perform live up to six times a week! Anyway, now that the new musical Kinky Boots is up for a huge 13 nominations, I had to learn more.
I've seen some random commercials featuring the show but know jack shit about it. Everyone's probably a little more familiar with its closest competitor, Matilda, which racked up an impressive 12 nominations. Didn't everyone read that Roald Dahl book back in the day? So, in case you were wondering what the hype is all about, here's everything you need to know about Kinky Boots ... though I'm sure the tickets will be astronomical in price by now!
Quite an unusual name for a musical, huh? Probably not something you'd take the little kids to see, but anyway, let's get into what this show is all about:
- The music and lyrics were written by Cyndi Lauper, you know, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," "Time After Time," "True Colors," etc. The book was written by Harvey Fierstein.
- To make sense of the title, it's about a shoemaker and his drag queen business partner.
- The shoemaker decides to create some fetish-y footwear for folks in drag instead of dress shoes (the company's original mission), which is why he partners with Lola.
- The Broadway cast currently features Billy Porter as Lola (Pittsburgh native, personal shout-out), Stark Sands as Charlie the shoemaker, and Annaleigh Ashford as Lauren.
- It's based off a 2005 film of the same name starring Joel Edgerton, Chiwetelu Umeadi Ejiofor, and Sarah-Jane Potts. It received average to poor reviews.
- The musical made its debut on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on April 4, 2013. Previews began on March 3, 2013, so it's a pretty new production.
- Fierstein said there are some differences between the film, which is "about the saving of a factory," and the musical, which he describes as including "drag queens singing as they pass along the assembly line." Sounds like fun!
- Kinky Boots actually divided critics after its Broadway debut, with some saying, "If [the show] weren't such a cheesy commercial mess, it might actually be fun"; "warm, likable, brassy, sentimental, big-hearted, and modestly scaled"; "script has issues like a pair of shoes: the left fits; the right pinches."
- The songs from the versatile score vary from pop to R&B to rock to soul and more.
- It was nominated for big awards like best musical, director, actor, score, and choreographer, but didn't match the record 15 nominations set by The Producers and Billy Elliot.
Now that the show's boasting 13 nominations and features crazy shoes, dancing drag queens, and a fun score, people will probably flock to the theater to see what it's all about.
Here is a quick preview:
Are you surprised Kinky Boots got so many nominations? Would you go see it?
Image via kinkybootsbway/YouTube