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Stark Sands and Annaleigh Ashford to Depart KINKY BOOTS in 2014; Billy Porter Extends Run Through July

Billy Porter, this year's Tony Award-winner for Best Actor in a Musical, has extended his contract in Kinky Boots, producers Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig announced today; Porter will remain with the show at least through July 2014. They also announced that Natalie Joy Johnson (Legally Blonde) will join the cast of the smash hit musical, taking over for Tory Ross on December 23, 2013.

Kinky Boots' other Tony Award-nominated stars, Stark Sands and Annaleigh Ashford will both depart the show in early 2014. Sands' last performance will be January 26, 2014, and Ashford will leave in March to film the next season of Showtime's "Masters of Sex."

The current cast of Kinky Boots also includes Lena Hall, Daniel Stewart Sherman, Marcus Neville, Paul Canaan, Kevin Smith Kirkwood, Kyle Taylor Parker, Kyle Post, Charlie Sutton, Joey Taranto, Andy Kelso, Adinah Alexander, Douglas Baldeo, Eugene Barry-Hill, Stephen Berger, Sandra DeNise, Jonah Halperin, Jaden Jordan, Eric Leviton, Ellyn Marie Marsh, John Jeffrey Martin, Nathan Peck, Robert Pendilla, Jennifer Perry, Tory Ross, Lucia Spina, Sebastian Hedges Thomas, Stephen Tewksbury, Timothy Ware and Cortney Wolfson. Abby Mueller makes her Broadway debut when she joins the cast on December 23, replacing Lucia Spina.

Kinky Boots features a Tony Award-winning score by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, a book by four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein, and direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell. The smash-hit musical plays to standing-room-only crowds nightly and continues to break box office records at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 West 45th Street), where it started previews on March 4 and officially opened on April 4, 2013.

In Kinky Boots, Charlie Price (Sands) has suddenly inherited his father's shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father's legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola (Porter). A fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos, Lola turns out to be the one person who can help Charlie become the man he's meant to be. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible... and discovers that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

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