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Review: KINKY BOOTS at Omaha Community Playhouse

The factory is open for one more week only!

Review: KINKY BOOTS at Omaha Community Playhouse

Everybody say YEAH! The Price and Son factory has reopened!

Omaha audiences are once again being invited to visit the Price and Son factory at the Omaha Community Playhouse this week as the talented cast and crew of their current production, Kinky Boots, return to the stage for one final week of performances.

Based on the film of the same name, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price and Lola, unlikely business partners and even less likely friends, who take on social norms and cultivate a business that brings beauty, hope, and acceptance to the forefront of an otherwise failing business. A stylized score full of hits penned by Cyndi Lauper (yes, THAT Cindy Lauper), and book by Harvey Fierstein, it is a show that is sure to leave a song in your soul and a smile on your face long after you leave the theater.

Director Stephen Santa has rounded up a diverse and multitalented cast full of Omaha favorites and newbies alike. His direction reflects much of the award winning charm crafted by choreographer and director Jerry Mitchell, director of the critically acclaimed Broadway production, while still leaving room to make his own mark on this energizing production.

Leading the way at the new and improved factory are Billy Ferguson and Roderick Cotton, who take on the roles of Charlie Price and Lola respectively. Ferguson was last seen in the murder mystery Murder on the Orient Express, where he first flexed his acting chops at the Omaha Community Playhouse; but he is given another voice to flex in Kinky Boots as he belts out some of the most challenging vocal parts in the production. He's charming, although not as confident or simply innocent as I expected his Charlie to be, and it's easy to see why he nabbed one of the two leading roles. Cotton, an Omaha Community Playhouse alum and all-around Review: KINKY BOOTS at Omaha Community Playhouse Omaha favorite in the theater and drag community, beautifully tackles the nuanced role of Lola, known to some as Simon of Clacton. Cotton's strength lies in his confidence as a performer, the grounded character approach he bring to Lola, and his beautiful tone of voice when delivering some of the best numbers of the night. Every line is carefully delivered, and no joke is thrown away for the sake of a laugh. These two strong leads are sure to impress, and I won't be shocked to see them recognized for such come awards season.

Even the strongest script led by strong lead talent can't properly tell this story without the support to equally strong supporting and featured performers, but this cast is up to the task. Megan Kelly, who plays Lauren, garners well-earned laughter in her big number, The History of Wrong Guys. The Angels, played by Matt Bailey, Brendan Brown, Brock McCullogh, and Kevin Olsen, are Lola's main girls who aid in the creation and presentation of Lola and Charlie's new line of footwear. They delight as they sing and dance with harmonies that lock in even while running around in heels and while delivering fun choreography, courtesy of Omaha Community Playhouse favorite Michelle Garrity. Jon Hickerson and Sarah Ebke are a hoot as Don and Trish, delivering some of the best one-liners of the night.

In a world so often divided by politics, religion or just the lack of ability to see eye-to-eye, Kinky Boots is a reminder that when we work together, beautiful things can happen just by being ourselves and celebrating our differences. I strongly encourage Omaha audiences to take the trip to visit this crew at the shoe factory at the Omaha Community Playhouse. That is, if you can get tickets. Secure your tickets now at https://ticketomaha.com/Productions/kinky-boots_2022.

Photo Credit: Robertson Photography



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