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‘Kinky Boots’ at the Fox Theatre
March 29-April 3

2016 March 27


“Kinky Boots,” which won six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Choreography, arrives at the Fox Theatre Tuesday. Four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein wrote the book and Cyndi Lauper wrote the score.

Based on an independent film inspired by true events, the story revolves around Charlie, the owner of a failing English shoe factory, and Lola, a drag artist, who team up to serve a niche market making sturdy boots for cross-dressers.

Director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell said he knew the musical would speak to a lot of people the moment he watched the film. “I got very emotionally caught up in the story of the fathers and the sons,” he said. “And I thought, ‘well that to me is the nucleus of something really strong,’ because it’s a universal idea for us: how do we measure up in our fathers’ eyes?”

Producer Daryl Roth felt the same way when she first saw the film at Sundance in 2006. She optioned the musical rights and brought producer Hal Luftig on board. The two enlisted Mitchell and playwright Fierstein, who said he was attracted to the “bromance” between Charlie and Lola, a.k.a. Simon. “The real love story here is these two gentlemen who become friends,” said Fierstein. He said he also was attracted to the theme of self-acceptance, which translates not just to the two lead characters, but all the workers in the factory.

Fierstein called Lauper, whom he had known socially, to write the score. The two-time Grammy Award-winner, who grew up listening to Rodgers and Hammerstein cast albums, said, “Everybody asks the question about pop songs and theater songs. I just think that, in some ways, they’re very similar; and in other ways, they’re not. You need to be economical; you have to say something simply. And you have to have your story – a beginning, middle and end – because if the song goes nowhere, well, what are you talking about?”

Fierstein, a veteran of several musicals, including “La Cage aux Folles,” educated Lauper in writing for the theater. He showed her how to weave music and dialogue effectively, something she resisted at first. Fierstein told her, “When it’s done right, you will never notice, but the show must move on.”

The national touring company of “Kinky Boots” moves to the Fox Theatre March 29 and runs through April 3.

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