Kinky Boots Plans a Lola Swap as Tony Winner Billy Porter Extends and Hits the Road

News   Kinky Boots Plans a Lola Swap as Tony Winner Billy Porter Extends and Hits the Road Billy Porter, who earned the Tony Award for his portrayal of unstoppable drag performer Lola in the Tony-winning hit musical Kinky Boots, will take a three-month leave of absence from the Broadway production. Producers also announced that Porter will headline the show when it plays his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, this summer.

Billy Porter
Billy Porter Photo by Matthew Murphy

Porter will take a leave of absence Jan. 27-April 26 to pursue directing work and to perform his new concert act, which will also be seen as part of the American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center Jan. 28. Porter has also extended his contract with Kinky Boots through January 2016.

The Tony-winning actor has been starring in Kinky Boots since the musical had its 2012 pre-Broadway premiere in Chicago.

It was also revealed that Porter will join the national tour of Kinky Boots Aug. 4-9, when the musical plays his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

Actor Kyle Taylor Parker, currently playing Lola in the national tour of Kinky Boots, will take over for Porter during his absence from the Broadway production on both occasions. Darius Harper and J. Harrison Ghee, who currently understudy Parker on the national tour, will alternate playing the role of Lola on the road.

"Lola is literally my dream role, and I'm still loving every minute of it," Porter said in a statement. "But I'm going to take a few months at the beginning of the year to do concerts, some directing, and other things. Then I'll be back at the end of April, and am excited to say that I get to strut my stuff in this glorious show until January 2016." The cast of Kinky Boots also features Andy Kelso, Jeanna de Waal, Daniel Stewart Sherman, Cortney Wolfson, Marcus Neville, Nick Rashad Burroughs, Paul Canaan, Sean Patrick Doyle, Kevin Smith Kirkwood, Kyle Post, Joey Taranto, Adinah Alexander, Douglas Baldeo, Eugene Barry-Hill, Stephen Berger, Cameron Colley, Alfred DalPino, Anna Eilinsfeld, Mia Gentile, Natalie Joy Johnson, D’Andre Lee, Eric Leviton, Ellyn Marie Marsh, John Jeffrey Martin, Graham Montgomery, Abby Mueller, Jake Odmark, Nathan Peck, Robert Pendilla, Jennifer Perry, Stephen Tewksbury and Timothy Ware.

Based on the 2005 film of the same title, the Northampton, U.K.-set musical has a new book by Tony winner Harvey Fierstein (Torch Song Trilogy, La Cage aux Folles, Newsies) and a score by Grammy and Tony Award-winning "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" hit-maker and "True Colors" songwriter Cyndi Lauper.

Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (2004's La Cage aux Folles, Legally Blonde, Catch Me If You Can), who created the high-energy dances that sent audiences and cast members into a frenzy during Hairspray, directs and choreographs Kinky Boots, which is bedazzled with a series of show-stopping numbers by Porter and a bevy of drag performers.

Kinky Boots premiered on Broadway March 3, 2013, following an out-of-town engagement at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago last fall. It opened to acclaim April 4 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

In addition to taking Best Musical and Tony wins for Lauper (Best Score), Mitchell (Best Choreography) and Billy Porter (Best Actor), Kinky Boots also saw awards go to Stephen Oremus (Orchestrations) and John Shivers (Sound Design). 

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). Casting is by Telsey + Company, Justin Huff, CSA.

Kinky Boots is produced on Broadway by  Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig, James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Independent Presenters Network, CJ E&M, Jayne Baron Sherman, Just for Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams, Yasuhiro Kawana, Jane Bergère, Allan S. Gordon & Adam S. Gordon, Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Lucy and Phil Suarez, Bryan Bantry, Ron Fierstein and Dorsey Regal, Jim Kierstead/Gregory Rae, BB Group/Christina Papagjika, Michael DeSantis/Patrick Baugh, Brian Smith/Tom and Connie Walsh, Warren Trepp, and Jujamcyn Theaters.

For tickets visit Telecharge.com. The Al Hirschfeld Theatre is located at 302 West 45th Street.

Check out highlights from Kinky Boots:

 

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