Kinky Boots Were Made for Walking to Broadway; Will Chicago Be First?

News   Kinky Boots Were Made for Walking to Broadway; Will Chicago Be First?
 
The new musical Kinky Boots, with a score by pop singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper, was seen New York City workshop presentations Jan. 19-20 in anticipation of a Broadway bow sometime in 2012-13. Broadway's Stark Sands and Billy Porter tested the material for an eager industry audience.

Stark Sands
Stark Sands Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Daryl Roth (The Normal Heart) and Hal Luftig (Legally Blonde) are the producers behind the project based on the 2005 film comedy about a failing British shoe company that finds new hope in converting to the manufacture of fetish footwear.

"The next steps for the show are being decided," a spokesman told Playbill.com. The Chicago Tribune reported that the musical directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (2004's La Cage aux Folles, Legally Blonde, Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can) may hot-foot it to a pre-Broadway tryout in Chicago. No official production dates have been announced.

Kinky Boots the Musical (drawn from the 2005 film) has new music and lyrics by pop superstar Lauper and libretto by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (Torch Song Trilogy, La Cage aux Folles). Musical supervision and arrangements are by 2011 Tony Award winner Stephen Oremus (Wicked, 9 to 5, The Book of Mormon). Casting is by Telsey + Company.

The January workshop presentation, attended by potential investors, featured Stark Sands (American Idiot, Journey's End) as Charlie and Billy Porter (Off-Broadway's Angels in America, Broadway's Smokey Joe's Café, Miss Saigon) as vivacious drag performer Lola. The workshop cast also included Adinah Alexander, Annaleigh Ashford, Aaron Bantum, Eugene Barry-Hill, Stephen Berger, Caroline Bowman, Josh Caggiano, Paul Canaan, Celina Carvajal, Andy Kelso, Kevin Smith Kirkwood, Eric Leviton, Ellyn Marie Marsh, John Jeffrey Martin, Mike McGowan, Marcus Neville, Nathan Peck, Jen Perry, Kyle Post, Tory Ross, Daniel Sherman, Charlie Sutton and Joe Taranto.

Singer-songwriter Lauper is best known for her offbeat '80s style and such tunes as "True Colors," "Time After Time" and "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." Her show will have a pop-rock sound. The 2005 source film comedy is about a drag-queen cabaret performer who helps revitalize a British shoe company by creating a line of fetish wear. Broadway producer Roth is known for Wit, Proof, August: Osage County and many other Brodway and Off-Broadway shows, and won a 2011 Tony for producing The Normal Heart. Luftig produced Movin' Out and Legally Blonde, among others.

Geoff Deane & Tim Firth penned the screenplay of "Kinky Boots." The film was directed by Julian Jarrold. Chiwetel Ejiofor (who played vivacious drag queen Lola) was nominated for a 2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. The U.K. release was in 2005; the U.S. release was in 2006. In the movie, a son inherits his dead father's dying shoe company, which produces functional footwear for which there is no market. An encounter with a drag performer changes the lives of those in the shoe business.

"The story is really about relationships," Roth previously told the Hollywood Reporter, "and I want to find the heart at the center of it."

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