Billy Porter stars as an indefatigable drag performer whose broken heel helps mend a broken wing for a foundering shoe-maker, played by Stark Sands, in the new Cyndi Lauper-scored Broadway musical Kinky Boots, which officially opened on Broadway April 4 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.
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 music and lyrics by Grammy Award-winning "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "True Colors" songwriter 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 following an out-of-town engagement at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago last fall.
Porter ( Grease, Angels in America, Smokey Joe’s Café) stars as outgrageous drag performer Lola, who in an upended Cinderella moment, accidentally knocks out her hero with a stiletto boot. Sands ( American Idiot, Twelfth Night, Journey's End) plays Charlie, the working-class guy whose encounter with Lola's broken heel sparks a business proposition that changes both of their lives.
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, Cole Bullock ( South Pacific), Jonah Halperin and Timothy Ware.
Here's how it's billed: "In Kinky Boots, Charlie Price (Sands) has suddenly inherited his father’s shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola (Porter). A fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos, Lola turns out to be the one person who can help Charlie become the man he’s meant to be. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… and discovers that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world."
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).
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.