With a score by Cyndi Lauper and a book crafted by Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots seemed designed in a lab to be a Broadway smash. And in fact, it has lived up to that billing: Last week, it topped over $1 million in receipts, joining some rare company on the current theater landscape.
The music is exceptional, but a healthy portion of the show’s success has rested on the shoulders of the two leads, whose performance prowess and on-stage chemistry have made them into Broadway’s best new duo.
“The director said, ‘I’d like you to be in this musical, and Cyndi Lauper is writing the music and Harvey Fierstein is writing the book.’ You don’t really think twice about that. You hear those names, and you say yes,” Stark Sands, who plays shoe factory owner Charlie Price, told EW. “I didn’t really even look at the script. When I heard who was involved, I knew it would be good.”
Sands has been able to carry the show alongside Billy Porter, who plays the brash, idealistic drag queen Lola. Over the course of the show, the two of them recognize a strength in one another, best expressed in a centerpiece duet that bares both characters’ complicated relationships with their dads.
“I love them all, but the centerpiece for me is ‘I’m Not My Father’s Son,'” Porter told EW. “Lola at the beginning of the show masquerades as what I was pigeonholed to be. Then all of a sudden it completely drops in. It’s interesting to sense the audience go, ‘Oh, wait a minute, Lola’s not just a clown. Lola is a human being, and now we’re all required to experience her as a human being.’ ‘I’m Not My Father’s Son’ is the pinnacle of that, and it allows me to express that side of the character and also that side of myself.”
And though Kinky Boots took its time in development, “I’m Not My Father’s Son” benefitted from some good old fashioned theater magic. READ FULL STORY