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Kinky Boots -Vancouver

Posted on February 11, 2017 at 12:24 am by David Jones — Make a Comment

Kinky Boots by Broadway Across Canada
Until Feb 12th 

Kinky Boots by Broadway Across Canada Until February 12th Joyous and empowering this musical is a delight and huzzah! it’s new to Vancouver.

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher policies may have been disastrous for the blue-collar industries but they sure spawned a lot of great movies that became musicals. The Fully Monty, Billy Elliott, Kinky Boots and Pride, the last one currently is being adapted in to musical and the last two are based on true stories.

Price and Son is a shoe factory on North Hampton that is falling on hard times. However Charlie the son is not interested in taking over the family business but when his Dad dies he becomes the top man in the floundering company. His driven and beautiful fiancé (Katarina Papacostas) wants him to sell it but not wanting to abandon the employees he tries to revive the factory. Into his life waltzes Lola a statuesque drag queen and when he see her heel break he comes up with a plan.

But will the rough and tumble assembly line workers want to start making kinky boots for drag queens? Will Charlie notice the love struck factory worker or will he reconcile with his unsympathetic fiancé? Will Lola resolve their daddy issues? Will the new shoes become a big hit and save the company?

Although everything in the book by Harvey Fierstein is highly predictable and sometimes the drama is a little forced he does set up some wonderful opportunities for first time Broadway composer Cyndi Lauper. Her passionate pop sensibilities and quirky outlook meshes lovely with the subject matter and she makes a lot a lot of powerful fun songs for the ensemble.

Despite the issues above he show is dynamic, subversive and joyous. Seeing queer characters over coming adversity and living life on their own terms is very moving and I have not gotten tired of experience those stories. The touring cast attacks the songs with gusto and with heart. Highlights include; Ellen Marlow as Lauren the lucky factory crush, Aaron Walpole as Don the gruff worker with a lesson to learn and Jim J. Bullock as George.

Curt Hansen as Charlie is charismatic, with a great voice and navigates brilliantly the huge emotional shifts that the character has to undergo.

But the star of the show is the compassionate and sometimes caustic Lola given life by J. Harrison Ghee. What a dynamic and precise performer. He effortlessly captures the stage and makes the each moment resonate.

The whole show is richly satisfying and the opening night audience leapt to their feet at the curtain call. Although I had grumbles with the script it is a rousing show and I jumped up readily in part that I was so grateful that Broadway Across Canada had presented a musical I had not heard a thousand times before.

It’s an audience pleasing, slightly subversive, musical treat.

David C. Jones



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