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Rob Reviews "Kinky Boots"


After a very successful run two years ago, Dallas Summer Musicals has brought back the new touring company of “Kinky Boots,” and I was very interested to attend Press Night to do some comparison and contrasting. Loosely based on a true story adapted for the stage by Harvey Firestein with music by the great Cyndi Lauper and winning more awards that most people have room on their mantle, it is the story of Charlie Price (Curt Hansen), whose father has run a marginally successful shoe factory in England for a long time. When his father passes away, Charlie comes back to his hometown after moving to London with his fiancé, Nicola (Katerina Papacostas) to figure out a way to keep the factory open after a disastrous season and finds his plan after a chance meeting with drag queen Lola (Timothy Ware). Between them, they create high-heeled boots for men and plan to unveil it at the big fashion show in Milan as both of them try to navigate their own issues while finding their place in this world and in their own lives.

I found myself very mixed on this particular production. The presentation itself is stellar (as it was the first time), the choreography is spot-on, the technology and transitions wowed me just as much, and the vocal work is strong, especially when it comes to the two leads. Ware absolutely owns the stage as Lola, and his vocal compatibility with Hansen is wonderful (“Not My Father’s Son” gets me every time, and it is STRONG here). But what flirted with taking me out of more than one moment here was the delivery of the dialogue. My memories of two years ago seemed to be more wowed by the strength of the authenticity of the cast when not singing, but not so much here, oddly enough mostly by Hansen. His delivery of his lines seemed to all have the exact same cadence where almost every sentence had an upward tic that made them sound like questions. Luckily, the supporting cast around him helps keep him lifted up and moving, especially Rose Hemingway as Lauren. She brings the right amount of maturity and fun while still showing Lauren’s quirkiness and teenage-girl-crush-ness that is nothing short of smile-inducing (“The History of Wrong Guys” is a prime example of her talent here).

In the overall analysis of the production, if Hansen’s dialogue is my biggest critique, this company under the direction and choreography of Jerry Mitchell and the GREAT musical supervision of Stephen Oremus is doing alright. With a lot of fun and a cast that shows their passion for their craft, “Kinky Boots” is a great night to spend at the theater, as it runs at Music Hall at Fair Park through April 9th, or catch this touring company when it comes to a city near you!

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

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