Kinky Boots


Kinky BootsLeft – Callum Francis and the Angels. Cover – the cast. Photos – Matthew Murphy

Based on a true story, Kinky Boots is a wonderful tale that has been previously told through film and now comes to life on the stage. It deals with parental expectations and overcoming one’s own flaws to achieve something great. It has a strong message about being who you want to be and accepting others for who they are. The positive messages are strong and delivered not only through the plot but in the music and lyrics throughout the show. 

Kinky Boots has all the elements that make a great show. From the music and lyrics by Cindi Lauper, whose versatile career and musical talent is undisputed, to the brilliant costume design by Gregg Barnes. Add a cast with impressive resumes and you should have a hit on your hands. But it takes more than individual parts to make a show spectacular and somehow Kinky Boots the musical falls short.

There is a flatness to the show that weighs heavy on the high hopes and expectations for this heartfelt story. There were moments of humour that drew out giggles, snippets of heartwarming human connection that you genuinely felt, but these were few and far between.

One of these moments of greatness included the boxing scene between Lola, Callum Francis and Don, Joe Kosky. This incredibly choreographed fist fighting slow dance between the two rivals was perfectly complimented by the ensemble cast as the crowd of onlookers all moving in slow motion. The whole scene captured everything that makes a good musical. Costumes, set, performers, direction, all the elements working together to create a moment where audiences forget they are sitting in a theatre and are completely swept up in the scene.

However for every magic moment like this there felt like 10 mediocre moments. Voices that didn’t reach the notes, acting that felt shallow and performances that left you wanting. The saving grace of the show and reason to go and see it is standout Callum Francis. Francis plays Lola the drag queen who inspires the boots that save the factory. He is flawless in his portrayal of a human who is fighting to be accepted for who they are. His voice is magic, his stage presence dynamic and every time he enters the story Kinky Boots delivers. Francis’s performance is incredible and he dominates the whole production.

Joining Francis in the spot light are the Angels. A group of drag queens whose athletic dancing and fabulous costumes leave you in awe. They pack a punch with every musical number and keep the show from falling in on itself. They do things in high heeled boots that I can’t do in my sneakers.

You want to love Kinky Boots you really do. But disappointment lingers heavily as you leave the theatre.


Kinky Boots
book Harvey Fierstein | composer & lyricist Cyndi Lauper

Director Jerry Mitchell

Venue: Capitol Theatre | 13 Campbell Street, Haymarket Sydney NSW
Dates: from April 2017
Bookings: www.kinkybootsthemusical.com.au



  

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