Gary’s Ratings: 4.6/5

Main Cast: Callum Francis (as Lola), Christian Douglas (as Charlie), Danielle Hope (as Lauren), Brianna Stoute (as Nicola), Sean Steele (as Don), Marcus Neville (as George).

Running Dates: Example Previews from July 26, 2022, Opening August 25, 2022, Currently Running

Theater Location: Stage 42, 422 West 42nd Street, New York, NY

Running Time: 2 hours and 25 minutes (including one intermission)

Tickets: Prices from $59. Buy tickets here.

The Gary Score

Kinky Boots is by now a legendary Broadway show with a well-deserved stellar reputation. Now that it has gone off-Broadway, this musical has remained just as fresh and powerful as it was a decade ago.

The entertaining yet profound story told through colorful characters and Cyndi Lauper’s phenomenal songs makes Kinky Boots a prime candidate for one of my higher scores. All things considered, it should come as no surprise that this show got a 4.6 out of 5 from me.

What Is Kinky Boots About?

Kinky Boots Off Broadway Show New York

Kinky Boots is a story about preserving a legacy, coming together, and finding the person to go through life with in the least expected of places.

The story follows Charlie and Lola as the unlikely couple. At the beginning of the show, Charlie inherits a nearly bankrupt shoe factory from his father. Along with the family business, Charlie also receives the burden of keeping the factory afloat.

Just when it seems like Charlie can’t make heads or tails of his newfound responsibilities, he meets the person that will turn it all around. Lola comes to Charlie in search of the perfect pair of stilettos. Both of them find more than they expected, and soon develop a relationship that kicks off the show’s story.

All this happens with the help of the excellent soundtrack by Cyndi Lauper. Kinky Boots would function quite well as a straight-up movie – in fact, there’s a British movie version from 2005. However, the music gives the show an entirely new dimension.

How Complex Is the Show?

This show is a relatively straightforward story that hits all the vital plot points and twists. The language used is also uncomplicated. Naturally, this doesn’t mean the show’s simple. However, it is a musical, after all, and those don’t always match with heavy themes.

Kinky Boots is easy to get invested in and understand. At the same time, the show tells (or rather, sings) a profound story about bonding and overcoming challenges. Both represent universal themes anyone can relate to.

Set Design and Style

The set design in Kinky Boots is an ideal mix between classic Broadway musical and a minimalist approach. There’s plenty of color and excellent lighting, along with elevated set pieces, ramps, and curtains.

The show never goes overboard with props or furniture. There’s always just enough to get the point across and provide the necessary flavoring. I wouldn’t say that I love minimal set design exclusively – elaborate sets can function great too. But I am a big fan of good measure, and the Kinky Boots set has just that.

The costumes in the show are similar to the set design. The fabrics can be colorful, and certain pieces, particularly the titular boots, stand out. But nothing is there just for the sake of it. When a costume is jarring, it’s like that for a purpose. Similarly, when the style is more bland, there’s a reason for that too.

The overall style of the show explodes in Lola’s acts, when every element contributes to bringing the performance to life.

Similar Shows

Although the story line doesn’t bear many similarities to Kinky Boots, for some reason, the show reminded me of another legendary production: Chicago.

Chicago is a somewhat more cynical take on the story of struggling through a realistic life scenario. However, it features lively, relatable characters that you want to see grow and transform throughout the show. And of course, Chicago also has a smashing soundtrack.

Even better, like Kinky Boots, Chicago has a movie version. And if you’re feeling hungry for more of the same, there’s also a TV show to binge on.

If you’re up for something with more edge, you could see Rent. Both the movie and the musical tackle some rather provocative themes. The subjects of the show are delivered with expressive, eye-catching choreography and a rock score made to move every audience member.

A Review of the Reviews

Ever since it first opened in 2013, Kinky Boots has received almost nothing but stellar reviews. This is hardly surprising when you consider that the show won every relevant award, including the Tony, Olivier Award, and Grammy.

Most critics agree that the show is made exceedingly well, praising its cast, script, music, and overall atmosphere.

With a select cast and significant experience behind the production, there’s really not much to dislike about Kinky Boots. And this isn’t solely my opinion – reviews reflect the same impression. After all, when a production has spent so much time honing and improving an already excellent foundation, everything that makes it unique is bound to show.

Both critics and audiences have recognized that quality.

A Little About the Characters

Characters and Cast of Kinky Boots Review
CharlieThe heir of a family business, Charlie is overwhelmed with his new responsibilities. He starts off confused and without focus, all of which changes when he meets Lola.
LolaLola is a drag queen and an extremely talented performer. In contrast to Charlie, Lola has a winning personality and doesn’t feel threatened under pressure.
LaurenA tough, working-class girl, Lauren is both gorgeous and strong-willed. 
NicolaNicola is Charlie’s girlfriend of many years. She’s a very driven person who won’t compromise to get where she wants to be.
DonMassive and exceedingly masculine, Don is the main antagonist for Lola. He is a factory worker.
GeorgeGeorge is the manager of Charlie’s factory. Reserved and dedicated to tradition, he stands in the way of changing the course of the business, even if it means its ruin.

About the Theater

Stage 42 came to be in 2002 when it was known as the Little Shubert. The theater is built to provide ideal views of the stage from every seat. It can rival many theaters on Broadway in terms of stage and auditorium size, as well as accessibility.

Stage 42 is accessible for wheelchairs, with plenty of dedicated space and companion seats. The theater also has accommodations for vision- and hearing-impaired visitors. There are special listening devices available for every performance.

Four weeks after every show opens, captioning and audio description aids become available at no additional cost.

The theater is easy to reach due to its central location. It takes about five minutes to get to Stage 42 from the Port Authority bus terminal, and no more than nine minutes from Times Square.

Get Your Tickets

Kinky Boots is one of those shows you simply have to see if you love musicals. It’s not only a great show, but a groundbreaking one, counting among the most influential pieces in its genre.

There’s so much more to this show than its cultural significance. Kinky Boots represents the pinnacle of entertainment and everything that’s so beloved about musicals. With excellent performances and an engaging story, it will hold your attention for the full duration and leave you wanting more.

Don’t wait any longer to see this show that’s growing into a timeless classic. Get your tickets here and make sure to experience this piece of theater history.

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