Kinky Boots on Broadway

Walking towards the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in the Theatre District of Midtown West, Manhattan, we see a glittering red boot acting as a beacon, guiding us towards the glamorous and least not, hilarious show we’re about to witness.

Having seen the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, performed by the Rockettes, during my last visit to NYC, this is my first time watching a show on broadway – and my expectations are high.

New York City, Broadway, Kinky Boot, Al Hirschfeld Theatre
The queue to get into the theatre before Kinky Boots started wrapped around the block.

Starting on the factory floor in Northampton of a failing family business – Prince & Sons – Charlie Price – played by Oliver Tompsett – is given a helping hand to save his company by the spectacular Lola – played by Simon Anthony Rhoden – after a chance encounter.

In order to pull the factory from the ashes, Charlie latches onto the idea of creating bespoke heels which can support a man’s weight – which as Lola explains is an essential component of any drag act. From there, friendship forms and hilarity ensues as they help each other overcome difficulties, which ultimately brings out the best in the pair as they find themselves in Milan for a prestigious footwear show.

New York City, Central Park
Central Park is such an oasis in the midst of a concrete jungle.

Whilst the show is filled with clever quips, quick-witted lines, and brilliantly put-together lyrics, sensitive topics are brought to the forefront, with both Charlie and Lola showing the complex – and not often discussed – issues surrounding men and fathers when growing up.

Throughout the first and second act, factory worker – Don – does his very best to make Lola feel unwelcome on the factory floor, which brings to light his challenge of accepting people for who they are without judgment. It’s the address of these issues which carefully balances the light-heartedness of this fantastic showbiz tale and the sensitive issues which arise more often than we think. This combination results in a fabulous tale which was deservedly awarded the Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Choreography amongst an array of other impressive accolades.

New York, Radio City
Bright lights in New York City outside Radio City Music Hall.

What made this story even more heartwarming, is the fact that it is based on a true story, and without a doubt, Kinky Boots is one of the best musicals I have ever seen. The cast is dazzling, the story gripping and the script and songs are hilarious.

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