It was inevitable that there would be some self-consciousness about “fierce footwear” at a Friday news conference to promote the new musical “Kinky Boots,” which kicks off a five-week world premiere run at Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre starting Tuesday, Oct. 2.
“Kinky Boots” playwright Harvey Fierstein opened his remarks by complimenting the snazzy boots of his collaborator, composer/lyricist Cyndi Lauper.
“She’s just a gift to the theater,” Fierstein said about Lauper’s first crack at writing for Broadway. “She’s written a score like you’ve never heard before.”
Lauper herself was proud to be a part of the show, since it touches on so many relevant issues ranging from tough economic times to the importance of families and acceptance. “Thank God they think outside the box,” Lauper said, referring to the show’s plot about a Northern English shoe manufacturer named Charlie Price (Stark Sands) who turns to a drag queen named Lola (Billy Porter) to help save his troubled factory by targeting the niche market of women’s footwear that can be worn by men.
“They’re an unlikely pair, which also shows us that once you get to know a person, you’ll find that you have a lot in common even if it’s someone you think is the opposite of you,” Lauper said.
Later, supporting actresses Annaleigh Ashford (“Wicked”) and Celina Carvajal (“Cats”) both drew attention to each other’s respective leopard-print and shiny black high heels as they both expressed gratitude at working in Chicago again.
The “Kinky Boots” news conference held in the lobby of Chicago’s Oriental Theatre also featured the show’s two leading men, director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell and Tony Award-winning producers Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig.
Broadway in Chicago president Lou Razin used the occasion to point out how “Kinky Boots” is the first show to take advantage of the new Illinois Live Theater Production Tax Credit that assists producers of pre-Broadway and other long-running shows to pick Chicago over other cities.
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