• Don Ford

Don Reviews "Kinky Boots"


Since becoming a critic, one thing I rarely do is see a film in the theater for a second time due to scheduling and the number of invites unlike when I was a child when I saw "E.T." or "The Goonies" in the theaters three or four times. Sometimes, repeated viewings of something makes me catch something that I missed in the first go around, which happened recently as “Kinky Boots” returned to the Dallas/Fort Worth Area at Music Hall at Fair Park.

With the script by Harvey Firestein and music by Cyndi Lauper, the production we attended starred Curt Hansen as Charlie, Timothy Ware as Lola, Rose Hemingway as Lauren, Aaron Walpole as Don, Katerina Papacostas as Nicola, Tami Dahbura as Trish, Gavin Gregory as Simon Sr., and Tom Souhrada as Mr. Price. Based on a true story with some of the names and details changed, it is the story of Charlie who lives in the U.K. and as he moves to London, he finds out that his father has passed, so he is unwillingly put into the position of running the family shoe production company. The business is failing and it looks like he may have to close the business for good and lay his employees off until he meets Lola, a drag queen that performs at a club in London. After some discussion, they have an idea to start making high-heeled boots that are strong enough to be worn by a man. What follows is the story of dealing with launching a product for a unique group and dealing with relationships, gender identity, and acceptance.

If you are a loyal member of The Empire, you may recall we reviewed this production a couple years ago, and there is no real variance in the script and storyline, which I still enjoyed. There is also the right amount of comedy, which contributes to a great overall story. With this new cast, I have to note that Hemingway does a great job with her number, "The History of the Wrong Guys". She has that real upbeat emotion and great tone, but my big shout out goes to Ware when he sings "Not My Father's Son," which hit me so emotionally that I almost broke up inside.

When it came to the acting, Ware does incredible as Lola, as does the remainder of the cast. However, my big issue lies with Hansen, whose singing is wonderful, but the forced English accent does not work which takes away from his otherwise fine performance. My non-leading role shout out has to go to Walpole who plays Don, whose mannerisms and style is perfect for the part and adds quite a bit to the overall production. There are also great sets and lighting with this production, complete with the square center piece that rotates and it helps with transitions from location to other location. I truly liked it more the second time through, and recommend it to be seen at the back of the front floor section.

#KinkyBoots #HarveyFirestein #CyndiLauper #DallasSummerMusicals #MusicHall #FairPark #CurtHansen #RoseHemingway #TimothyWare

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