On-the-scene at 2013 Tony Awards: Cyndi Lauper talks about big winner 'Kinky Boots'

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Image Credit: Mike Coppola/WireImage

One of the biggest surprises on the Tony Award red carpet may have been that Cyndi Lauper – who won for her score in the musical Kinky Boots – wasn’t even wearing a pair of stiletto boots: “Just some kinky shoes,” she explained with a laugh to reporters.

Despite her choice of footwear, the show’s story – along with its uplifting message – was clearly on her mind in the press room after her big win. “Harvey [Fierstein] called me, and…he said, ‘I’m working on a book for a big Broadway musical. How would you like to write the music?’ And I said, ‘Fine.’ I had always wanted to work with Harvey. And he walked me through it. And maybe ignorance is bliss because I didn’t think about it. I just thought of the opportunity of what kind of music I could do for these two characters because they were so different. And you know, no one sings the same song in the shower –everyone has got their own jam, right? So that means these two different characters were going to have their own different style of singing. So as a musician that is a lot of fun! And so I just started to think of the whole thing like that. When they start singing, “Yeah, Yeah,” I just thought, ‘They’re going to the church of shoes!”

“I thought that this story was really bigger than me,” Lauper continued. “You want to be involved with something that’s bigger. Maybe it’s like Dorothy. I click my ruby boots three times and say, ‘There’s no place like home at the [Al] Hirschfeld Theater, There’s no place like home like New York City, where diversity and acceptance has always made this city bright.’ And that’s what makes Kinky Boots bright. That’s what it’s about: Diversity and acceptance. And that’s something worth rolling your sleeves up and toiling for no matter how many years.”

In addition to Best New Musical, Kinky Boots won for Best Score, Best Actor (Billy Porter), Best Sound Design and Best Choreography.

For choreographer Jerry Mitchell (who also directed the show), the award for dancing was particularly sweet. When asked in the press room about the challenges of Kinky Boots, he explained,  “Number one: I knew I had to hire dancers who were comfortable in very high heels –boys. …Those heels were a real challenge, we kept having to go back to the makers and whittle it down and whittle it down so that we could get the spikiest heel we could get, that would still support a guy, doing eight shows a week, doing what I’m asking them to do. It was tough; it was a challenge.”

The show may have star Billy Porter sing that sex is in the heel, but clearly all the hard work is in the heels as well.

Erin on Twitter

Read more:
Tony Award winners list: ‘Kinky Boots’ and ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’ take home top prizes
Tonys: Neil Patrick Harris captures ‘Empire State on Mind’ in closing number — VIDEO
Tony Awards 2013: We’re live-blogging them!

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