"I'm thrilled to join the Kinky Boots family and unleash my inner Lola," Brady said in a statement. "It's the role of a lifetime! Billy and his prodigious talent have left some pretty big red boots for me to fill. Starring in a Broadway show of this caliber has been my dream since I started performing at age 16. I'm ready to jump in with both feet!"
There's a New Diva in Town! A Scintillating First Look at Wayne Brady in Full Lola Drag
Porter, who created the role of Lola and has strutted in the role over 800 times, will exit the production this fall to star in the 2016 mounting of Shuffle Along starring Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Porter's final performance in Kinky Boots will be Nov. 20.
I'm going to do my best to take care of Lola for you baby! You know that no one does it like you do Billy! https://t.co/uply6mw5d0
— Wayne Brady (@waynebrady) August 13, 2015
Brady won both a Primetime Emmy Award for "Whose Line Is It Anyway" and a Daytime Emmy Award as host of his own talk show, "The Wayne Brady Show." He currently hosts the CBS game show "Let's Make a Deal," which has earned him six Daytime Emmy Award nominations. Based on the 2005 film of the same title, the Northampton, Kinky Boots 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).
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.