VIDEO: Get A First Look At KINKY BOOTS At Olney Theatre Center

The musical is on stage now through March 26.

By: Mar. 01, 2023
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Get a first look at Olney Theatre Center Mainstage productions of Kinky Boots which runs now through March 26, 2023.

With music and lyrics by pop-icon Cyndi Lauper, a book by Broadway-legend Harvey Fierstein, and its tale of overcoming prejudice and stereotypes, the Olney Theatre production is just the thing to get winter-worn theatregoers through to spring. Director Jason Loewith, in addition to longtime collaborators Christopher Youstra (Music Director) and Tara Jeanne Vallee (Choreographer) will also be aided by Devon Vaow (who is well known in drag circles as Evon Michelle), as the production's drag consultant and makeup designer. Additionally, costume designer Kendra Rai supplies the inspiration for the titular footwear, a bevy of drag queens, and industrial factory workers. Tickets are available from $42 - $85 and can be purchased at olneytheatre.org or 301-924-3400.

Said Loewith about the production, "What better way to start 2023 than with a Tony-winning musical about optimism, change, tolerance and acceptance? Kinky Boots is a fun and wild ride, and I'm so excited to RAISE UP our audiences alongside this stellar cast and creative team."

In the show, which is based on a little-seen indie film of the same name, Charlie Price (Vincent Kempski) is desperately trying to save his family's shoe factory, when an encounter with Lola (Solomon Parker III), a London drag queen in need of a quick repair for her boot, unites them in a new business venture. In order for their plan to work, the macho culture of Charlie's economically depressed industrial hometown is going to have to co-exist with the gender-fluid exuberance of Lola and her queens.

Solomon Parker III, who also performs in drag as Echinacea Monroe, grew up in Montgomery County, and sees his Olney debut as Lola serving as a kind of "capstone" to a DC-theatre career that has seen him rise to the first rank of local performers. He recently was a standout in Signature's production of The Color Purple and Ford's Theatre's Grace. Says Parker, "I was lucky to grow up with the diversity of Silver Spring. But I'm definitely from a tougher part of the county. So embracing my femininity, expressing that in drag, has been a majorly expressive feat. Like I'm a 200 pound black dude. I get Lola. I've lived and continue to live Simon's experience. To be able to embrace our shared gender fluidity is going to be an incredible experience to share onstage. I'm 15 minutes from the street I grew up on. So leading this show and telling this story is a real pinnacle for me."

Vincent Kempski makes a long-anticipated return to Olney Theatre to play Charlie coming off acclaimed performances as the Wolf/Cinderella's Prince in Signature Theatre's production of Into The Woods and last year's turn as Roger in the Virginia company's production of Rent.

Also joining the Kinky Boots cast are Candice Shedd-Thompson as Charlie's longtime girlfriend Nicola; Stephen Schmidt as Charlie's dad; Chris Genebach as the ultra-masculine factory worker Don; Alex De Bard as Lauren, a local factory girl; Ricardo Blagrove as Lola's father Simon Sr; Karl Kippola as factory worker George; Calvin McCullough as Charlie's shoe-biz connection Harry; Stephen Murray as Nicola's boss Richard; Kaiyla Gross as office manager Pat, and Sarah Anne Sillers as Trish, a factory employee with a lot to lose. Shane Hall (Dance Captain), Connor Reilly, Robbi Duncan, Quadry Brown, David Singleton and Malachi Alexander are the Angels - Lola's fellow drag queens. Henry Harleston will play Young Lola/Simon, while Grayden Goldman and Dustin Sardella share the role of Young Charlie. Swings for the production are Alexis Krey, Catrina Brenae and Tyrell Stanley.

Joining Loewith, Youstra, Vallee, Vaow, and Rai on the creative team are Milagros Ponce de León (set designer), Larry Peterson (wig designer), Max Doolittle (lighting designer), and Matt Rowe (lighting designer). Leigh Wilson Smiley is the dialect coach, Casey Kaleba is the fight choreographer, and Ben Walsh is the Production Stage Manager.




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