Kinky Boots on Broadway

What’s NOT to like about a play with lyrics like “I’m Black Jesus, I’m Black Mary/But this Mary’s legs are hairy” and song titles like “The Sex is in the Heel”?!?

Earlier in February I had the opportunity to see “Kinky Boots” on Broadway and I had a BLAST. Broadway tickets are undoubtedly chère, but my BFF and I were lucky enough to snag 2 for 1 priced seats during Broadway Week. It’s a much more reasonable way to get good seats at a price that won’t leave you eating ramen for a month to offset the cost. Broadway Week will be returning this summer, so be on the lookout!

How was it? Well, with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, it would  be hard to go wrong! I had an absolute blast, and left feeling upbeat and ready to download some new show-tunes onto my Spotify. The play is based on a book by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth that was inspired by true events and Choreographed/Directed by legend Jerry Mitchell. It first premiered in Chicago in 2012, and has been on Broadway since 2013. If you haven’t seen it yet, I couldn’t recommend it more! It is pure entertainment, while managing to cover controversial subjects and promote acceptance and authenticity in an effective and engaging way. 

IMG-3041

The story of Kinky Boots follows Charlie Price as he is forced into running his family’s struggling shoe factory after the death of his father. When he meets the dazzling drag queen, Lola, he gets an idea of how to save his family’s factory. And this idea includes the production of some pretty crazy kicks.

While it may not be a brand spanking new play, Kinky Boots does have some new (and returning) cast members who made it an amazing experience. Jake Shears, known from the pop group the Scissor Sisters, made his debut in the lead role of Charlie Price on January 8th. No stranger to live performance, he was a 10/10! He commanded the stage with grace and was able to deliver both heartfelt and humorous lines. I also love his singing voice and so many of his Scissor Sister songs, so I was thrilled that his pipes sounded just as melodious in-person. Shears will only be involved through April 1, so get over to Hirschfeld Theater ASAP!

Jake Shears as Charlie Price
(Photo by Nathan Johnson)

Another notable member of the production is J. Harrison Ghee in the role of Lola. Ghee was originally an understudy for Lola in the national touring company of Kinky Boots, and eventually became the lead for the role. He began playing Lola full-time in the New York production in 2017. Ghee is not a stranger to drag, and,  before the play, had been known in many circles throughout the city as his drag alter-ego, Crystal Demure.

As much as I loved Shears, Ghee stole the show. He was so captivating, so entertaining. His dancing and singing had me and my friend grooving in our seats throughout, but he was also genuine and poignant in scenes that carried more emotional weight. His performance was all-around excellent, and I hope he continues his run in the production for a long time to come!

Kinky Boots: J. Harrison Ghee -- Photo: Matthew Murray
J. Harrison Ghee as Lola (Photo: Matthew Murray)

Kinky Boots has been nominated for a total  of 13 Tony Awards, of which it has won six. Hard to argue with those stats!

Check it out here today.