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BWW Reviews: KINKY BOOTS Is Laced with Punch and Brio!

Kinky Boots has ushered in the 50th Anniversary of ASU Gammage with a righteous and literally uplifting kick in the pants of intolerance and stereotyping, featuring a star-spangled cast of characters and theatrical elements.

Kyle Taylor Parker gives a virtuoso performance and will knock your socks off as Lola, the drag queen, who partners with Charlie Price (Steven Booth), the heir to a failing shoe factory, to produce a groundbreaking line of boots that will save the business from insolvency. Parker's Lola is sexy, flashy, sassy, provocative, and inspiring ~ cutting to the chase when it comes to facing the taunts of self-fashioned real men like Don the factory worker (Joe Coots).

Parker is backed up by a glam sextet of Angels (Darius Harper, Tommy Martinez, Nick McGough, Ricky Schroeder, Juan Torres-Falcon, and Hernando Umana) who strut and belt out their numbers with flash and flare.

Lindsay Nicole Chambers shines! She had me and the audience in her kittenish, pouting rendition of The History of Wrong Guys. Every fiber, every movement and expression, of this gifted performer bristles with energy.

David Rockwell's set design of a Northampton shoe factory is a work of art. Hats off to Gregg Barnes for stunning wardrobe. And the boots! Oh, yes, the boots definitely star in this show as well.

As solid and robust as the performances are in this tour of the 2013 Tony winner for Best Musical, it is the conscience and soul of Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper that radiates throughout the show. Economic necessity is the mother of innovation, and it's this drive that brings such unlikely partners as Lola and Charlie together ~ each a son bearing the burden of parental expectations and fighting to realize their true selves. It is on this platform that Fierstein and Lauper shoecase such fundamental principles as self-acceptance, mutual respect and the value of diversity. In the end, it's a simple message: "Just Be!" Kinky Boots makes the message an anthem.

Kinky Boots, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, runs at ASU Gammage through September 21st.

Photo credit to Matthew Murphy


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