One of Broadway’s biggest hits is about to strut right into town with what may be the hottest ticket in all of gay Atlanta this year.

By Jeffery Silvey

One of Broadway’s biggest hits is about to strut right into town. Kinky Boots, the winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical 2013, brings the high heels and the high kicks to Atlanta for a limited run at the Fabulous Fox Theatre at the end of this month.

This shoe-cente bit of fabulousness with a heart of gold proves that our girl Dorothy from Kansas wasn’t the only one whose life changed by the perfect pair of red heels, and we have the Broadway in Atlanta series to thank for it.

For two and a half hours, we get to play pretend and, in doing so, make people happy,” says Adam Kaplan, who brings lead character Charlie to life in the touring production. “It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Based on true events, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price, a struggling businessman who is tasked with running his father’s shoe factory. With business lower than its most basic flat, Charlie desperately needs help saving the factory. Enter the unlikely friend and muse he finds in the form of drag queen and local cabaret superstar, Lola.

Lola’s order of red, thigh-high, stiletto-heeled boots inspires a business revamp. The new and provocative footwear takes the characters – and the audience – from the assembly line of the small-town factory to the catwalks of Milan. Get ready for a modern day Cinderella story about friendship, determination, and how fate can change your life if you let it.

Lola offers the best, bluntest advice,” Kaplan says of his co-lead, played on tour by J. Harrison Ghee.

Ghee agrees about Lola, and her infectious, uplifting personality is starting to leak into Ghee’s off-stage persona as well, he says.

Lola’s boldness is something I am definitely carrying over into my personal life more and more each day,” Ghee says. “I get to play my dream role every night. I never thought something like this would exist much less the reality of having the opportunity.”

Gay audiences who haven’t heard about the show yet will be impressed that the success of the show is largely attributed to the story’s writer and its lyricist: Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper, respectively. The two icons bring their well documented magic to the production.

Fierstein of course is a veteran of both the American stage and drag, having already won a Tony award for his role as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, in addition to his own Torch Song Trilogy. He also wrote the book for La Cage aux Folles, another popular musical featuring a drag queen as a main character.

Lauper’s prolific career in pop music brought an X-factor to the production despite her lack of theater experience. Who else could craft the edgy and quirky songs needed for a show of this kind? She injects the right proportion of whimsy into a story of heart, humility, and success against the odds. The work made her the first woman to win the Tony for Best Score without a collaborator.

The two leads each prepare to take the stage with just one final word about Kinky Boots.

Heart,” Kaplan says.

Uplifting,” Ghee echoes.

So strap on your thigh-highs! Kinky Boots is the feel good story sure to capture the hearts of underdogs everywhere. It’s a reminder that you can make it if you set your mind to it, and that if you can’t walk the typical walk, then just strut, baby.

Want to go?
What: Kinky Boots
Where: Fabulous Fox Theatre
When: March 29 – April 3.
More info: foxtheatre.org