“KINKY BOOTS” its kickin’!

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FSCJ ARTIST SERIES BROADWAY REVIEW

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW BY DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM

The Florida State College of Jacksonville Artist Series opened “Kinky Boots” on May 2, which will be onstage through May 7, 2017 at the Times Union Center in downtown Jacksonville. This musical won six Tony awards in 2013, including Best Musical. For tickets and additional information, call (904) 442-2929 or visit fscjartistseries.org.

Those who love exciting theatre will love “Kinky Boots,” a show with a message of learning to accept others for who they are, which includes superb voices, superb dancing, and an upbeat ending.

The musical was based on the 2005 British film of the same name (based loosely on a true story), and follows the struggle of a young Northampton shoe factory owner to save his family business and the jobs of his employees after his father’s sudden death.

While Charlie Price (Curt Hansen) isn’t interested in manufacturing shoes and is planning on moving to London to join his fiancée and pursue a career in real estate, he decides to try to save the business, but encounters difficulties. Sales are poor; the shoes are well-made, but are outdated and expensive. Selling the building to a condo developer may be the only practical option to avoid bankruptcy.

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However, a chance encounter and subsequent collaboration with a London performer leads to creative revisions in the company’s product line and marketing. When Charlie first meets drag queen Lola (Timothy Ware), who is wearing a pair of flimsy boots with high heels which were designed for a woman and are uncomfortable, he realizes that a niche market exists for “kinky boots” – sexy boots designed specifically for male performers – and enlists Lola’s help as a designer. Ware is a marvelous singer and dancer, and is backed up by six “Angels,” all talented drag artists.

0030_KINKY_BOOTS_TOURThe sixteen songs show off the voices of the many cast members, who all sing fabulously and speak with English accents. Cyndi Lauper wrote the songs; this is her first Broadway musical, and does she know the music business! She has been singing for thirty years and has reportedly sold around fifty million albums, singles, and DVDs worldwide.

The set is a shoe manufacturing factory with two stories that covers the entire stage and on occasion becomes a glittering showcase for Lola and the Angels.

The book was brilliantly written by playwright Harvey Fierstein, author of hits which include “Torch Song Trilogy,” “Newsies,” and “La Cage Aux Follies.”

This action-packed show is two hours and thirty minutes long (with intermission) and features an excellent live eight-piece orchestra tucked away back stage. We loved the gorgeous costumes, and the spectacular finale with the entire cast in kinky boots. Don’t miss this musical, filled with fine-quality performances and unique staging.

About Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom

The Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville have been reviewing plays together for the past nine years. Dick Kerekes has been a critic since 1980, starting with The First Coast Entertainer and continuing as the paper morphed into EU Jacksonville. Leisla Sansom wrote reviews from time to time in the early 80s, but was otherwise occupied in the business world. As a writing team, they have attended almost thirty Humana Festivals of New America Plays at Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, and many of the annual conferences sponsored by the American Theatre Critics Association, which are held in cities throughout the country. They have reviewed plays in Cincinnati, Chicago, Miami, Sarasota, Minneapolis, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota, San Francisco, Shepherdstown, and The Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Massachusetts. They currently review about one hundred plays annually in the North Florida area theaters, which include community, college, university, and professional productions.

april, 2022

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