Show History

History

Inspiration

Tony-winning producer Daryl Roth saw the film Kinky Boots at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and resonated with it, feeling its heart and soul gave it the potential for a musical adaptation. Producer Hal Luftig saw the film separately in London and had similar feelings and decided to partner with Roth on her efforts. Roth soon secured the rights and the creative process began. They brought aboard renowned director Jerry Mitchell, and hired Harvey Fierstein to write the book.

Looking for a composer, Mitchell knew that Fierstein was friends with Cyndi Lauper, and thought they would make a good team to create the show. Seeing an opportunity to orient the score around "club music" along with show tunes, Fierstein approached Lauper, who joined the creative team in June 2010.

Kinky Boots, a musical with book by Tony-winner Harvey Fierstein and a score by pop star Cyndi Lauper, is based on the 2005 film of the same name. The film itself is an adaptation of the true story depicted on a 1999 episode of the BBC documentary series Trouble at the Top. It focuses on Steve Pateman, a struggling shoe factory owner who ends up saving his company by producing footwear for drag queens.

In his book, Fierstein decided to take some focus away from Charlie and split it with drag queen Lola. He decided to emphasize the notion of two men from completely opposite worlds coming together and finding something in common. Lauper had a range of inspirations from her score, from musicals like West Side Story to the songs of Aaron Copland and Lana Del Ray. Both the book and the score make sure to stress the themes of community and the father-son bond as a vehicle to explore tolerance.

Productions

Kinky Boots started as a reading on October 6, 2011. The next year, the producers opened a workshop production at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago on October 2, 2012. After the tryout, the creative team added a couple more songs and revised the book. The musical then opened on Broadway on April 4, 2013 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, featuring performances from Stark Sands, Billy Porter, and Annaleigh Ashford.

While the Broadway production is currently running, several additional productions have been announced. A national tour of the United States began on September 4, 2014 in Las Vegas. The musical will have its Canadian premiere at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in June 2015. On November 25, 2014, South Korea will put up the first international production of Kinky Boots. Jerry Mitchell is also eying a West End production in 2015.

Cultural Influence

  • Composer Cyndi Lauper is the only sole female composer to win a Tony¬†Award for Best Original Score.
  • The Broadway production of Kinky Boots has set a new box-office record at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

Trivia

  • The Broadway production of Kinky Boots was nominated for 13 Tony¬†Awards in 2013, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, Best Direction of a Musical, and Best Orchestrations. It also was nominated for nine Outer Critics Circle awards (including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, New Score, Book of a Musical, Choreographer, and Director of a Musical), three Astaire Awards, and two Drama Desk Awards.