KinkyBoots-Press

A few weeks ago, I attended a tailgate for the Michigan State vs. Notre Dame game. A theatre geek, I was completely out of my element--but I certainly could get behind beer and fried food, so that made up for my woefully inept understanding of the game. Soon, with the help of a little liquid courage, I was having a great time and fitting in like "tailgate" was my middle name. I recognized the same look of disorientation from pop icon Cyndi Lauper as she hesitantly stepped on the podium to talk about her new musical, Kinky Boots.

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Lauper isn't a natural public speaker. She hid behind her leather duds and Queens accent as she muttered something about "loving Chicago" and being "honored to be working with such amazing talent."

But polished public speaking skills are not why La Lauper was hired to pen the score to this new musical, which is currently in previews at the Bank of America Theatre. Music is her libation and, from what fellow Kinky Boots creator Harvey Fierstein revealed, what Lauper's developed for this show is "nothing short of genius." Tall words from a guy who certainly knows his way around a musical--Fierstein has won multiple Tony Awards for both acting and writing.

The incredibly well-spoken Director Jerry Mitchell took the stand and outlined what he hopes audiences walk away thinking and feeling. In doing so, he relayed an anecdote about visiting a shoe factory in a small town in Northampton, London, much like the setting for the musical. "Our goal is to capture this spirit in our storytelling," Mitchell said. Mitchell also explained how meaningful it was to be back in Chicago premiering this show at the Bank of America Theatre (formerly the Shubert Theatre), as that's where he saw his first Broadway musical, A Chorus Line, as a teen living in Paw Paw, Michigan. "And less than a year later, I was touring in the show," he noted, exemplifying that musical dreams do come true if you commit to what you believe in--much like the characters in Kinky Boots

Broadway in Chicago's Eileen LaCario urged audiences to snag Kinky Boots tickets ASAP, rather than waiting for the the anticipated raves. "I can't tell you the number of times customers have stopped me in the street and told me how exciting it was to have been among the first audience members to see a hit, such as The Producers [which had a pre-Broadway tryout in Chicago], before everyone else found out about it."