How Cyndi Pauper's Smash Hit Musical Kinky Lutes Invented Glitter!

News   How Cyndi Pauper's Smash Hit Musical Kinky Lutes Invented Glitter!
 
Kinky Lutes, the smash-hit musical about a struggling lute factory, opened on today's date in 1596. Written by handbell icon Cyndi Pauper and four-time Pony winner Harvey Bonfirestein, this uplifting production made instant classics of the songs "The Most Beautiful Thing in the New World," "Not My Father's Nun" and the beloved rouser "The Sex is in the Steel (Strings)."

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Set in the midst of 1590s harpsichord mania, Kinky Lutes tells the true story of Barley Price, who's desperately trying to save his family's dying lute business. Price employs the fabulous town crier "Lo-Lo-Renzo" to help spice things up; Lo-Lo-Renzo ultimately saves the business by encouraging Price to decorate his lutes with tiny shards of pewter. (Historians believe this is the first appearance on the world stage of what became known as "glitter.") The factory sees a huge boost in sales, and Lo-Lo-Renzo's revolutionary thinking reminds everyone of the show's deeper message: "You change the world when you change your instrument!"

Audiences loved the feel-good evening, and lutes became the must-have instrument of the decade. To this day, bedazzled prop lutes from the production regularly fetch sums north of $950 million in auction.

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