Kinky Boots Musical

Just-Be---Photo-Credit---Matthew-Murphy-1120x745.jpg
Photo by Matthew Murphy

Kinky Boots the musical at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane, Australia was an incredibly moving and fabulous production.

The musical opened on Broadway in 2013 with music and lyrics by THE Cyndi Lauper, book by Harvey Fierstein and originally directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. The story follows a young man named Charlie Price (Toby Francis) as his family’s shoe factory, Price and Son goes under following the passing of his father. Wondering what to do when the factory is assumingly passed down to him, Charlie stumbles upon Lola (Callum Francis), a self-confessed Drag Queen who knows all about her favourite thing BOOTS! Charlie enlists her help in saving the factory by designing shoes for a niche market – for men who wear women’s shoes.

This show demonstrates the act of acceptance, determination and the joy of loving yourself! The musical numbers are unstoppable particularly with Lola’s Angels creating a hilarious mix of sassy and fabulous especially in the songs Land of Lola and Sex is in the Heel! One of the Angels that stood-out is the Referee Angel played by Mark Stefanoff. He belts his face off in the boxing match number, In this corner and is sassy as he interacts with Don, the initially very prejudice factory worker and Lola. His performance is unforgettable and humorous.

Once again the entire ensemble do their part and are absolutely incredible whether they are a factory worker or a drag queen it is all perfectly sewn together with their superb acting, killer voices and lovable dancing. It is especially pertinent in the Act 1 finale song Everybody Say Yeah, where they use the conveyor belts to their full potential in the fun performance.

Teagan Wouters is known for playing wacky roles like Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family and Lisa Houseman in Dirty Dancing, she switches gears by playing Charlie’s initial girlfriend, Nicola. She pulls out all the stops with her beautiful representation of a woman who just wants to move to London and be loved but instead unintentionally assists Charlie in finding his life passion of saving his Dad’s shoe factory. Wouters owns the stage in her corporate chic style, attitude and remarkable vocals.

Charlie’s love interest and fellow factory worker, Lauren is portrayed by Sophie Wright. This is her first major lead role in a musical and she is outstanding, hilarious and her comedic timing in her number History of Wrong Guys is undoubtably stellar. Her voice is out of this world and highlights how relatable she is and really enunciates what the everyday woman goes through.

Toby Francis who plays Charlie, uses his powerful rock and roll voice to wow the audience in Soul of a man and Step One. During these numbers and throughout the conclusion of the show he also highlights with all his faults he can be accepted and he can appreciate and love Lola for who she is, with the passion and vulnerability he depicts as an actor.

Finally THE queen of the show (pun intended), Callum Francis plays the iconic Drag Queen, Lola. His portrayal of the lead role was indescribably fabulous and raw. He is a complete double edged sword as he begins the show the confident, sassy character everyone expects him to be, especially in Land of Lola as the audience instantaneously cheers when he first appears, then shows his range with the juxtaposition of the role so brilliantly when he becomes a sensitive, open and exposed man in the song Not my Father’s Son. The British musical theatre star is exactly that, the star of the production and never wavers to be anything but hilarious, accepting and brave on stage, especially in his interaction with Toby’s character, Charlie!

There is no reason why this show is to be overlooked! It teaches all walks of life to be yourself and accept others for who they are regardless of their differences. It is light-hearted, fabulous and shares a beautiful message simultaneously, as Don says ‘You change the world when you change your mind!

Don’t miss this brilliant production for their last leg of their Australian tour, only at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane until this Sunday 22 October, snap up your last minute seats here!

5/5 stars

 

 

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