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Broadway’s ‘Kinky Boots’ steps into the Smith Center

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Broadway’s smash Kinky Boots begins its national tour at the Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall, where it will run until September 14.
Jacob Coakley

There have been many toe-tapping Broadway hits, but none with footwear like Kinky Boots, which kicks off its national tour this week at the Smith Center with its glittery, thigh-high boots. The show, which won the 2013 Tony for Best Musical, tells the story of a down-at-the-heels shoe company in the English hinterlands. Thanks to an unlikely partnership between Charlie, the shoe company owner, and Lola, a drag artist, the company begins offering sturdy shoes for cross-dressers, and business takes off.

Despite its fairly rare characters—how many cross-dressing cobblers do you know?—the show took off, too, a testament both to the high-powered creative team behind it and the universal themes it covers. Pop star Cyndi Lauper won a Tony for her score, by turns propulsive and tender, woven in with lyrics from Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein and choreographed and directed by Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde: The Musical on Broadway, and Peepshow here in Vegas). “Because we’re all different, we brought in what we know and we all worked together to make it right—to make you laugh and cry,” Lauper has said of their collaboration. “Harvey is such a good storyteller, and so is Jerry. They have a lot of heart.”

And despite its outré characters, their struggles to measure up to parents’ ideals and to find acceptance should reach everyone. “The show’s about self-acceptance. It’s about saying, ‘All of this is actually in me and I’m okay with myself,’” Fierstein has said. Broadway audiences have roared their acceptance of the musical, and now the rest of the country gets to as well—starting in Vegas.

Kinky Boots Through September 14, times vary, $39-$139. Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall, 702-749-2000.

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