Original Broadway Cast Recording
Book By: Harvey Fierstein
Music & Lyrics by: Cyndi Lauper
Distributed by: Masterworks Broadway
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When I first learned that Cyndi Lauper was involved in a new Broadway musical nominated for a bunch of Tony Awards, I wasn’t all that surprised. Having grown up listening to Cyndi Lauper’s music, I have always thought her a very talented individual whose memorable songs contain thought-provoking lyrics. I couldn’t wait to see what she had come up with for Kinky Boots, especially when I learned what the musical was all about.
Inspired by a true story and based on a film of the same name, Kinky Boots centers on Charlie Price, the son of a shoe factory owner who, though groomed for the family business, wants to strike out on his own. Despite explaining his aversion to working with the style of shoes the factory creates, Price finds himself inheriting the family business and all of the financial problems that go with it. In an effort to save the family business, he must think outside the box and go after a new market for the factory…an untapped market. He decides to create shoes to market to drag queens. After meeting flamboyant drag entertainer Lola and “her” troupe, the Angels, Charlie finds inspiration and creativity. Together, the unlikely yet incredibly similar pair turn the fate of the factory around through acceptance and keeping an open mind.
Kinky Boots is a great deal of fun to listen to. The storyline is unique and the music and lyrics by Lauper are catchy. I found myself singing along after only one listen. And I loved the fact that in all of this fun there is a lesson to be learned - quite a few, in fact. Kinky Boots preaches thinking outside the box, acceptance of others and more. This is the case with all of Lauper's music - there is always a message behind the lyrics and no matter what music she packages it in, you're hard pressed not to notice. And yet, you never have the feeling that you are being preached to...just that you are having a whole lot of fun.
After listening to this soundtrack numerous times, I can only imagine just how much fun this musical must be. With its moments of rock and roll, disco, and full-on Hair-like chorus numbers, it's no surprise that Kinky Boots has been nominated for so many Tonys. I had so much fun with this album that I would actually like to see the musical itself. Fans of upbeat Broadway musicals are going to have a blast with the Original Cast Recording of Kinky Boots.