Originally published via Modest Truth Mag on June 13, 2017.
The lights of New York blink and shimmer in the surprisingly chilly summer night. A line is forming outside of the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, a younger crowd than the usual Broadway spectators huddling together against the line. Band t-shirts dot the crowd, and people pose not with the posters of Lola, but with Charlie Price. To an outsider, it’s an odd change from the norm. But if you know the actor who is playing Charlie, well, it all makes sense.
Brendon Urie, grammy nominated rock star and longtime Broadway fan, is taking his first bold steps onto the stage. And he’s doing it in heels. In the video post announcing his part in Kinky Boots, Brendon expressed that it was “dream come true.” He grew up with musicals, and he had always wanted to be a part of one. And now that he’s stepped onto the stage, many people are left hoping that he continues to play a part in Broadway.
Kinky Boots is a 5 time Tony Award Winner, currently basking in the glow of their 5th straight year on Broadway. With music written by Cyndi Lauper, the play speaks of love, acceptance, and making your own way in the world. Never has there been a more appropriate time for such a message, especially as we celebrate Pride month.
Brendon plays as straight-laced Charlie Price, the son of a shoemaker, who inherits a failing factory making shoes that no one wants. He struggles with a plan for the factory, and is on the verge of firing all of the employees when he meets Lola. Lola is a drag queen, and an excellent one. She finds herself breaking more boots than she can count because the sexy heels she desires just aren’t made for the body of a man.
The two end up working together to create a delightfully sexy, gloriously sparkly line of “kinky boots,” made with mountains of sass and a heaping helping of glitter. But their time together isn’t without its ups and downs.
As Brendon says, you’ll leave with “a fire in [your] chest.” Especially with stunning performances from all of the cast, not just the famous lead singer. J. Harrison Ghee makes an absolutely amazing Lola, with tons of heart and sass for the whole crowd. Taylor Louderman is hilarious as Lauren, with her antics bringing the crowd to tears. Daniel Stewart Sherman makes a great Don, with his old-school style a heart-wrenching nod to acceptance of others. And with Brendon singing the lines of emotionally-conflicted Charlie Price, you end up with a great cast that will make you laugh, make you cry, and then do it all over again.
Kinky Boots is, by far, one of the best plays on Broadway right now. Catch Brendon Urie in the show until August 6th, and expect to be wowed with amazing musical numbers and absolutely mind-blowing choreography. You’ll want to go again and again. I knew that I did before the show was even over, my eyes wide during the final musical number, trying to watch the many pairs of kinky boots strutting across the stage.
Writer, Photographer, Dream-Seeker