Kinky Boots struts into Seattle

The Broadway musical smash hit opens this week at the 5th Avenue Theater.

The Broadway musical smash hit 'Kinky Boots' opens this week at the 5th Avenue Theater.

It’s a tale as old as time, boy inherits failing shoe company from his father, boy meets drag queen, boy and drag queen work together to save company by creating “two and a half feet of irresistible tooo-bular sex.”

Co-written by Harvey Fierstein (book) and musical icon Cyndi Lauper, the story centers around Charlie (Steven Booth), who has just taken the helm of his family’s business making men’s shoes, and Lola (Kyle Taylor Parker), a local drag queen who provides the means to save the company, stilettos for men.

But the six-time Tony award-winning musical “Kinky Boots” launching its three-week run at the 5th Avenue Theatre this week is so much more, Fierstein said in a recent interview with the LA Times.

“‘Kinky Boots’ is about two guys who had fathers that wanted their sons to turn out a certain way — and neither son wanted to take that path,” he told the newspaper.

Craig Waletzko, who plays George, the factory foreman and former right-hand man to Charlie’s father, told The Bellevue Reporter the parallels between Charlie and Lola’s lives showcase similarities many audience members aren’t expecting.

“The drag is almost besides the point,” he said. “The father-son theme is central to the story, and a lot of audience members are expecting another ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ or ‘Pricsillia Queen of the Desert’ and that’s not this show. There’s so many unexpected moments where the audience goes ‘oh.’ Especially for the men who may not be big theater folks. There’s a story arc they can relate to. It’s a common struggle.”

Charlie and Lola have both spent their lives running from their father’s visions of who they should be, Waletzko said. Charlie never realized how vital the shoe factory is to the community, its employees or himself, until it’s almost too late. For Waletzko, George fills a fatherly role for Charlie and as such gets to take a transformative journey throughout the show.

“I love how Harvey (Fierstein) wrote that,” he said. “I get to go on this great journey every night from when Charlie meets Lola to when he has to come out of his comfort zone to save the business he loves.”

He also said the friendship between Charlie and Lola, as opposed to writing some kind of romantic tensions between them, allows the audience access to a deeper, more meaningful story.

“It’s more interesting to see them bond as friends, than romantically,” he said. “Harvey touches on it then dissolves it and allows us to see their relationship grow without questions of romance. It shows that although you can be completely different from someone else, you can still find common ground together.”

The show runs from Oct. 7, through Oct. 26.For ticket information and pricing, visit www.seattle-theatre.com or order by phone by calling 1-855-705-7419.

Josh Stilts: 425-453-4290; jstilts@bellevuereporter.com

 

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