BWW Review: Touring KINKY BOOTS Charms at Clowes Memorial Hall
Kinky Boots is the story of Charlie, a young man who inherits his father's failing shoe factory in England. In a last ditch effort to keep the business going, he joins forces with a drag queen named Lola to create a line of high-heeled boots. The story, based on real events, is fun but it also carries a serious message about accepting those who are different.
In the second act Charlie says something that sums up the entire production. He tells Lola that when she's not there, there's a big gaping gap. This is so true of the show. It's not that the scenes without Lola are bad; they just don't have the same magnetic energy. Timothy Ware's electric performance as the sassy cabaret performer carries the show. He has an energy that steals every scene.
During the number "Not My Father's Son" he also shows a tender vulnerability that gives an added heft to the shows message. His performance is just as powerful when all the sequins are stripped away. Charlie, played by Curt Hansen, is earnest but he pales in comparison to Lola. That's not Hansen's fault, it's just a tough act to follow.
Like many big musical shows, there are moments when the sheer number of voices and flashing lights overwhelm the lyrics. Yet the production finds its footing when Lola's character is introduced in the first act. The end result is captivating musical featuring a gaggle of drag queens and a surprisingly tender heart.