Review: KINKY BOOTS at Chapel Off Chapel

This is a Show that you don’t want to miss! 4 STARS.

By: Dec. 04, 2023
Review: KINKY BOOTS at Chapel Off Chapel

Kinky Boots has returned to Melbourne in a blissfully boutique production, produced by James Terry Collective. With a story that centres around the importance of accepting others for who they truly are, Kinky Boots seems relevant now more than ever before. With great direction by Martin Croft, triumphant musical direction by Nathan Firmin and high energy choreography by Luca DiNardo & Jordan Charles Herbert, this production of Kinky Boots at Chapel Off Chapel will not only hit you with a powerful emotional punch, it will also leave you with a big smile on your face. With a book by Tony award winning writer Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles, Newsies and A Catered Affair), and music and lyrics by the iconic and multiple Grammy Award winning Cyndi Lauper, it is no wonder that Kinky Boots is jammed packed full of deliciously camp energy, glamour, and great songs. This is a Show that you don’t want to miss! 4 STARS.

Review: KINKY BOOTS at Chapel Off Chapel
Full Cast
Photo by James Terry

Kinky Boots, the musical, originally premiered on Broadway in 2013, followed by The West End in 2015, and originally made its way to Australia in 2016, under the original Broadway direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Legally Blonde: The Musical and Pretty Woman: The Musical). Based on the 2005 UK film of the same name, written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth, Kinky Boots, the musical, went on to win six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Choreography, and three Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical. It also sky-rocketed Billy Porter’s existing career to new levels, after his performance as the musical's original Lola, landed him a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album, as a principal soloist.

In the current production, the cast is led by Christian Charisiou (The Wedding Singer and The Last Five Years) as Charlie Price and Carl De Villa (The Voice, All Together Now) as Lola. While De Villa, at the performance I saw, did appear at times to struggle in authentically putting their own unique stamp on the role of Lola, something that is certainly not easy given the character’s legacy, De Villa does still belt out some impressive vocals, particularly during “Not My Father's Son” and “Hold Me in Your Heart”. Christian Charisiou’s performance as Charlie Price, simply put, is outstanding. Charisiou’s character interpretation and performance is so well developed, one must pinch themselves to remember that the role of Charlie was not written specifically for him. His tenor rock voice is also exceptional throughout the Show, with highlights including his rendition of “Step One” and “The Soul of a Man”.

Review: KINKY BOOTS at Chapel Off Chapel
Christian Charisiou
Photo by James Terry

Jessica Faulkner does an excellent job in recreating the role of Lauren and making it her own. Faulkner, though young, showcases some impressive vocals in “The History of Wrong Guys”, and is certainly one to watch in the next couple of years. This production of Kinky Boots also features a fantastic ensemble who support the principal cast well with strong vocals and character performances. Standouts include Sally Bourne as Trish and Keagan Vaskess as Pat.

Kinky Boot is playing at Chapel Off Chapel through to December 17th.

Review: KINKY BOOTS at Chapel Off Chapel
Christian Charisiou, Carl De Villa & Jessica Faulkner
Photo by James Terry



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