PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: A Day Off in Chicago with Kinky Boots Star Celina Carvajal

By Matthew Blank
October 18, 2012

Celina Carvajal (Cats, Tarzan), who plays the role of determined fiancée Nicola in the pre-Broadway engagement of Kinky Boots, gives an inside look at her day off prior to opening night in Chicago.


"Proud to be Kinky!!! It's the out-of-town tryout of Kinky Boots in Chicago at the Bank of America Theatre and I couldn't be happier," says Carvajal. "I play Nicola, Charlie Price's (Stark Sands) fiancée and one of the antagonists in the show. After 3 years of being a part of the workshops and readings, I finally get to strut my kinky boots stuff for audiences every night! I'm still pinching myself at the fact that I get to work with Cyndi Lauper, Harvey Fierstein, Jerry Mitchell, Stephen Oremus and producers Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig and share the stage with an amazing cast featuring Billy Porter, Stark Sands and Annaleigh Ashford."

"The last time I was in Chicago, I was touring through with the 4th National tour of Cats over a decade ago. The city had always stayed with me, so when Kinky Boots told me we were coming here to do a pre-Broadway run, I was so excited to return. This time around I plan on touring the city's architecture, exploring the rock scene here by playing a few shows with my band, The Deafening, (, and wearing regular make-up and costumes, not grease paint and yak hair."

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The bright Chicago morning sun wakes Gretta Garbone (my teacup Maltese) and I up for our well-deserved day off!
Photo by Guy Smith


The 2005 film "Kinky Boots," about a struggling shoemaker who reinvents his business by creating footwear for drag performers, struts into Chicago as a new stage musical by Grammy Award winner Cyndi Lauper and Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein. The Broadway-bound production opened its world-premiere engagement Oct. 17 at the Bank of America Theatre.

Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (2004's La Cage aux Folles, Legally Blonde, Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can) directs and choreographs Kinky Boots, which began Chicago previews Oct. 2 and will continue through Nov. 2. 

Kinky Boots will arrive on Broadway March 5, 2013, at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. It will officially open on Broadway April 4, 2013. Tony winners Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig produce.

Tony winner Fierstein (Torch Song Trilogy, La Cage aux Folles, Newsies) adapted the film for the stage. Kinky Boots centers on a floundering British shoemaker who has his business saved when he partners with a drag performer named Lola to create fashionable and sturdy boots for some new flamboyant clientele. Grammy Award winner Lauper, whose hits include "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "True Colors," authored the original score.

Stark Sands (American Idiot, Twelfth Night, Journey's End) is cast as Charlie Price, with Billy Porter (Grease, Angels in America, Smokey Joe’s Café) as Lola.

The cast also features Annaleigh Ashford (Rent, Legally Blonde), Celina Carvajal (Spiegelworld's Empire), Daniel Sherman (Desire Under the Elms), Marcus Neville (The Full Monty), Paul Canaan (Legally Blonde), Kevin Smith Kirkwood (How to Save the World…), Kyle Taylor Parker (In the Heights), Kyle Post (Rent), Charlie Sutton (How To Succeed...), Joey Taranto (Rock of Ages), Andy Kelso (Mamma Mia!), Tory Ross (Cry-Baby), Jennifer Perry (Mamma Mia!), Josh Caggiano (Les Miserables), Aaron Bantum (Finian's Rainbow), Adinah Alexander (The Wedding Singer), Eric Anderson (South Pacific), Eugene Barry-Hill (The Lion King), Stephen Berger (The Pajama Game), Caroline Bowman (Wicked), Sandra DeNise (Shrek), Eric Leviton (Seussical), Ellyn Marie Marsh (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), John Jeffrey Martin (Hairspray), Nathan Peck (La Cage aux Folles), Robert Pendilla (Wicked), Lucia Spina (South Pacific), Sebastian Hedges Thomas (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Marquise Neal and Clifton Oliver (In the Heights).

Here's how it's billed: "In Kinky Boots, Charlie Price (Sands) is forced to step in and save his family's shoe factory in Northern England following the sudden death of his father. Help comes from the unlikeliest angel, a fabulous drag performer named Lola (Porter). Together, this improbable duo revitalizes the failing business, while stepping out from their fathers' shadows and transforming an entire community through the power of acceptance."

Musical supervision, arrangements and orchestrations for Kinky Boots are by Tony Award winner Stephen Oremus (The Book of Mormon, Wicked).

Designing the production are Tony nominee David Rockwell (scenic design), Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes (costume design), Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (lighting design), John Shivers (sound design), Josh Marquette (hair design) and Randy Houston Mercer (make-up design).

For tickets to the Chicago run, visit