Triangle Arts and Entertainment – News and Reviews Theatre Dance Music Arts

Drag Queens, Fashion, and Fun — DPAC’s “Kinky Boots” Has It All

The Durham Performing Arts Center will present "Kinky Boots" on March 10-15 as part of its SunTrust Broadway Series

The Durham Performing Arts Center will present “Kinky Boots” on March 10-15 as part of its SunTrust Broadway Series

When a young man, Charlie (Steven Booth), reluctantly takes over the family shoe business after his father’s death, he finds that sales are dismal and his options are limited. Fortunately, as fate would have it, he runs into Lola (J. Harrison Ghee), an oh-so-fabulous drag queen, on the streets of London, where he intervenes when someone tries to steal her purse. The two form a not-so-fast friendship after they become business partners, with Charlie turning Price & Sons into a shoe store that specializes in sultry but stable heels for drag divas.

Steven Booth (left) and J. Harrison Ghee forge an unlikely alliance as Charie Price, the owner of a failing men's shoe-factory and the drag-queen Lola, whose suggestion that Price & Son manufacture "kinky boots" revitalizes the moribund business (photo by Matthew Murphy)

Steven Booth (left) and J. Harrison Ghee forge an unlikely alliance as Charie Price, the owner of a failing men’s shoe-factory and the drag-queen Lola, whose suggestion that Price & Son manufacture “kinky boots” revitalizes the moribund business (photo by Matthew Murphy)

Harvey Fierstein’s fun play was adapted from the 2005 film of the same name and features incredible music by Cyndi Lauper. The version now onstage at DPAC, directed by Jerry Mitchell, enables the script to live up to its potential in a larger-than-life, wonderful kind of way.

It’s pretty hard not to love a play that features drag queens, fabulously funky and utterly outrageous fashions (Gregg Barnes), and lilting English accents, but just in case you still need convincing, there’s more to get excited about. The show’s story is both empowering and funny, heartwarming and hilarious- the perfect mix of poignancy with enough energy and laughter to keep it from ever feeling bogged down or overly heavy.

The music mirrors that funny/serious dynamic, switching easily between peppy, upbeat numbers and more soulful soft songs. Booth and Ghee both display powerhouse voices and do true justice to their characters’ songs. Ghee is definitely the standout here, vocally speaking, especially with his heart-wrenching performance of “Hold Me in Your Heart.” Ghee also excels at physical comedy and gives Lola all the sass and pizzazz she needs to become an audience favorite. Booth, too, displays charm and strong vocal abilities; his standout number is definitely “Not My Father’s Son,” but really, all of the musical numbers and all of the cast for that matter are on-point. Other standouts include Joe Coots’ understated Don, a worker at the shoe factory who’s “all man” and who needs some convincing when it comes to joining in on the Lola love-fest, and Lindsay Nicole Chambers’ spunky, fireball-style rendition of Lauren, another worker at the factory who has turned a romantic eye on Charlie. Coots and Chambers provide some of the best comedic moments in the show.

Joe Coots (right) as Don, a bigoted worker, goes off on Lola (J. Harrison Ghee) (photo by Matthew Murphy)

Joe Coots (right) as Don, a bigoted worker, goes off on Lola (J. Harrison Ghee) (photo by Matthew Murphy)

Ultimately, Kinky Boots is about accepting yourself for who you are and realizing that, when you do, you can accept others too. And while that message might seem a little simplistic, it’s delivered in such a non-simple way and with so much poignancy that everyone is sure to have a blast at this show.

The Durham Performing Arts Center presents KINKY BOOTS at 7:30 p.m. March 12, 8 p.m. March 13, 2 and 8 p.m. March 14, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. March 15 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District.

TICKETS: $52.19-$173.39 (including fees). Click here for DPAC Special Offers.

BOX OFFICE:

DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787), tickets@dpacnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/where-to-buy.

Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/1726370/.

GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/group-services.

SHOW: http://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/kinky-boots and https://www.facebook.com/events/265199500318170/.

VIDEO PREVIEWS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzZ0ztL9Tl0 and https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeJ-O3FgSgzZKfVBqRE7k9ZCBnaTso5MK.

THE TOUR: http://kinkybootsthemusical.com/tour.php.

TOUR CAST: http://kinkybootsthemusical.com/tourcast.php.

CREATIVE TEAM: http://kinkybootsthemusical.com/creative.php.

OFFICIAL SHOW GUIDE: http://digital.turn-page.com/i/131604.

DPAC’S 2014-15 SUNTRUST BROADWAY SERIES: http://www.dpacnc.com/suntrust-broadway-series-2014-15.

PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.dpacnc.com/, https://www.facebook.com/DPACNC, https://twitter.com/DPAC, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_Performing_Arts_Center.

DIRECTIONS: http://www.dpacnc.com/plan-your-visit/directions.

PARKING: http://www.dpacnc.com/plan-your-visit/parking.

NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the show’s 8 p.m. Friday, March 13th, performance.

OTHER LINKS:

Kinky Boots (2005 film): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0434124/ (Internet Movie Database) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinky_Boots_%28film%29 (Wikipedia).

Kinky Boots (2013 Broadway and 2015 West End musical): http://kinkybootsthemusical.com/index.php (official website), http://ibdb.com/show.php?id=493286 (Internet Broadway Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinky_Boots_%28musical%29 (Wikipedia).

Cyndi Lauper (music and lyrics): http://cyndilauper.com/ (official website), http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=391830 (Internet Broadway Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyndi_Lauper (Wikipedia).

Harvey Fierstein (book): http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=6157 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.facebook.com/harvey.fierstein (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/harveyfierstein (Twitter page), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Fierstein (Wikipedia).

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/susie-q/. To read more of her writings, click http://www.susiepotter.com and http://www.myspace.com/susiepotter.

Tagged as: , , ,

Categorised in: A&E Theatre Reviews, Lead Story, Reviews