BWW Review: KINKY BOOTS at Shanghai Culture Square
If you're having seconds thoughts about whether to spend some or not spend some RMB to purchase a ticket to see Kinky Boots, take this friendly advice: buy it already! The Musical made its debut in July and they brought a huge amount of glitter, stilettos and joy to China.
I can give you a list of reasons why you shouldn't hesitate, but let's start from the most obvious one: Kinky Boots it's currently #1 musical on Broadway and the one behind the music and lyrics is no one less than Cyndi Lauper. And I must say, she's a natural. Her melodies can get stuck in your head for days and the lyrics are powerful enough to bring some tears to your eyes. Tears of emotions and tears of joy, which makes Kinky Boots an intense mix of awesome feelings for those who appreciate a deep yet funny story to be seem on stage.
This kinky musical keeps you entertained from the very first minute to the very last. Joshua Banks is absolutely flawless and I'm not talking only about the sparkling dresses and the insanely beautiful red leather boots. He gives life to Lola, a drag queen that can easily distract you from RuPaul. He delivers successfully a bunch of giggles with a precious dose of dark humor. The emotional part of Lola's story is just the cherry on top.
For those who wonder how a drag queen, a fancy pair of boots and a country town in England can fit together, here's a quick brief. Charlie Price, well played by Lance Bordelon in the China tour, is a young British guy how has just inherited a show factory from his beloved father. As the one responsible to keep the business going and to keep the family's tradition, he finds himself facing a challenge: how to make money out of an old school shoe factory nowadays?
That's when the audience meets Lola, a drag queen and cabaret performer who is a shoe lover. And we're are not talking about normal shoes, we're talking about cabaret kinky shoes! Together, Charlie and Lola will figure out a way to bring the dying factory to life again and also realize that, after all, they can be business partners and friends for life. Lola and Charlie's path to success is the proof that Kinky Boots can awake all different types of feelings inside of you within two hours and a half of pure delight.
The experience is infectious. Kinky Boots is humorous and it's bright. This is also to blame on the original London cast seemed to be handpicked to put everyone in the audience in such a good mood. Every actor is versatile and totally capable of delivering touching and intense performances with just the right amount of silliness. All of that between the emotional roller coaster you will certainly feel. Like I said before, Kinky Boots is a perfect mix of ingredients. And, oh, I almost forgot to mention that the story is actually based on true facts, which makes you wonder how all of this would happen in real life. I would love to meet Lola and Charlie face to face after seeing them on stage.
As far as I've noticed, the Chinese audience couldn't stop smiling after the show. Some may wonder if a drag queen script could work in Chinese territory but Kinky Boots was a big 'yes' in Shanghai. It was a funny and heart melting way to show everyone that drag queens are not strange and, not at all, unacceptable.
The show it's bighearted and with a important message about love and self acceptance that pops in front of our eyes without being too cheesy. Dazzling and charismatic, Kinky Boots is one of those awesome moments in life that, to stand out from the other normal ones, dresses as a drag. It's guaranteed: high heels, high mood and high vibe.