With the original stars of Kinky Boots back in the Broadway company of the hit musical for a limited 15-week engagement, it’s no wonder the Tony Award-winning composer of the show Cyndi Lauper would take time to reflect and reimagine one of the most impactful songs in the show.
Via press release:
Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winning artist and activist Cyndi Lauper today released the poignant music video for “Not My Father’s Son,” the heartbreaking and inspiring song from her smash hit, Tony Award winning musical, Kinky Boots.
Lauper re-imagined the song, producing and arranging a new, acoustic version of the track, which features original cast members Billy Porter and Stark Sands, released today by Sony Masterworks Broadway.
The music video, which Lauper conceived and directed herself, features gives visual to one of the most important songs from the hit show – telling the story of two very different people from wildly different backgrounds who find common ground through their shared trauma. Exploring the pressure of growing up with a parent’s very narrow expectations, the song celebrates finding peace in your own skin. The video, shot in stark black and white on New York City streets, only leaps into color as the two men, who are on a physical as well as metaphorical journey, are reunited in their safe space.
“Now felt like the right time to do this,” Lauper explained. “I wanted to tell the story of two totally different men, from different walks of life, that come together to realize that it’s our differences that should bring us together. That’s inspiring. And I think we could all use some of that these days… It’s also a great way to welcome Billy and Stark back to Broadway!”
Porter and Sand continue in Kinky Boots on Broadway through January 7, 2018.
Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award winner Cyndi Lauper was honored at the 2017 Logo Trailblazer Honors earlier this week for her work on behalf of homeless LGBT youth as well as her overall commitment to equality.
Speaking to the crowd at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, “I never set out to be a trailblazer. I was a friend and family member who couldn’t stand on the sidelines anymore and be a bystander. I always felt that since I do have a big mouth, I might as well use it to help people who aren’t being heard.”
Also honored this year were Cleve Jones, Alvin Ailey, and Will & Grace creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan.
LGBT ally, music icon, Grammy®, Emmy® and Tony®-winning singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper’s takes a “detour” on her celebrated musical journey with DETOUR, her 11th studio album, which finds the pink haired diva putting her signature spin on a dozen classic country songs.
DETOUR showcases Lauper’s unmistakable voice on country classics from the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s and features guest appearances from county music stars Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, and Willie Nelson. Lauper recorded the album in Nashville alongside a band comprised of the city’s top session players.
For the album, Lauper duets with several special guests, including country music royalty: Emmylou Harris (on the title track), Willie Nelson (“Night Life,” a song he wrote over 50 years ago), Vince Gill (Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty’s “You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly”) and Alison Krauss (Dolly Parton’s “Hard Candy Christmas.” Jewel also makes an appearance on DETOUR, showcasing her prodigious yodeling skills on “I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” which was the first country song by a woman to sell one million copies.
In a statement to JoeMyGod, Grammy/Emmy/Tony Award winner Cyndi Lauper announced today she will play her scheduled concert in North Carolina on June 4th in Raleigh (in support of her new country album DETOUR), and donate all profits to Equality North Carolina’s effort to repeal HB2.
“Sadly, once again, the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have been trampled on with the recent passage of HB2 in North Carolina. Me and my team at the True Colors Fund have been closely monitoring the situation in North Carolina and support the efforts of the Human Rights Campaign, Equality North Carolina, and others to repeal HB2 in the upcoming legislative session. The pressure to repeal HB2 is building and it is beautiful.
“In the dark haze of such oppression, people and companies are stepping up to fight back against this unjust law and ensure that all North Carolinians are treated with dignity and respect, especially the transgender community. I have seen time and time again what can happen when people join together to do what is fair and the effort to repeal HB2 is the right and fair thing to do. I am hopeful that all of the current efforts to repeal HB2 will be successful and the True Colors Fund and I will continue to do all that we can to help.
“In that vein, the best way I know how to make a difference is what I have strived to do my whole life and that is show up for my family, friends, and fans in the LGBT community. So, for that reason I think the best way I can do my part is to turn my show in Raleigh on June 4th into an entire day to build public support to repeal HB2. I will be donating all of the profits from the show to Equality North Carolina’s efforts to repeal HB2 and I am proud of my manager and agent for joining me in this effort by donating their commissions from the show to this vital effort. I look forward to coming to North Carolina and standing up for equality and fairness.
“If we truly want an inclusive society, we all have to include ourselves in the effort to make that happen. This is the best way I know how to include myself and urge you to join me in the best way you know how.”
It’s hard to imagine a more simpatico creative pairing than Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein.
Lauper, the award-winning (Grammy, Emmy and Tony) pop icon whose rainbow-colored hair and anthemic “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” single made her a hero among fiery female teens in the 1980s, has long established herself as a staunch humanitarian and leading advocate for LGBT rights. Fierstein, the gravel-voiced actor-cum-playwright who rose to fame with such landmark Tony award-winning triumphs as “Torch Song Trilogy” and “La Cage aux Folles,” is a preeminent human-rights activist who was openly gay at a time when almost nobody in the entertainment industry was.
Decades later, the two artists and longtime friends finally came together to write and score the 2013 Tony Award-winning musical “Kinky Boots,” an achievement for which on April 11 they will receive adjacent stars — hers for recording; his for live theater — on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a plum spot located in front of the Pantages Theater where “Kinky Boots” is gearing up for its April 13-24 Los Angeles rerun.
“I’d wanted to work with Harvey for a really long time and when this opportunity came up I was very excited to take it,” says Lauper of her inaugural foray into Broadway musicals. “Harvey kind of protected me and walked me through the experience. Basically, he was my mother.”
Cyndi Lauper pens this essay on LGBT youth homelessness for The Advocate:
It’s an election year and there’s a lot of talk about what our nation’s priorities need to be for the next four to eight years. What we have to make sure is not forgotten is the epidemic of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth homelessness. Up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT, yet fewer than 7 percent of kids nationwide are LGBT. That discrepancy is outrageous, and it’s something we can’t ignore. That’s why, on April 27, 2016, we will raise our voices for #40toNoneDay: a national day organized by the True Colors Fund to raise public awareness about LGBT youth homelessness.
While family rejection is the most commonly cited reason for LGBT youth homelessness, it’s just one piece of the puzzle — a very big puzzle. We need to make sure we’re seeing the whole picture.
People often think that because they don’t work at a homeless shelter, they don’t have a role to play. The reality is: everyone can make a difference! Think of it this way: Kids experiencing homelessness come into contact with more than just the good folks working at shelters. They also go to coffee shops and libraries. They ride the bus. They’re on the Internet. You may interact with them on a regular basis without even realizing it. We all need to put our heads together to make sure these young people can get support wherever they go — and be themselves when they get there.
Right now people all across America are making a difference. A 24-hour diner owner in North Carolina is giving kids a place to stay when they have nowhere else to go. A library in Indiana is letting kids without a permanent address use computers to access lifesaving resources. In Minnesota police officers are using an app developed by the community to help kids find shelters with available beds. There are many more possibilities that have yet to be explored. That’s why we need to keep the conversation going.
Youth are our future, but they’re also our present. We need to make these kids our priority now. If we don’t, where will they be in five, 10, 20 years? Where will our country be? Even if we all agree that ending LGBT youth homelessness needs to be a priority, how can we rise above the noise and make our message heard? Our voices are stronger when we say something together. Last year, #40toNoneDay reached more than 17 million people. How many more can we reach this year?
CYNDI LAUPER is a Tony-, Emmy-, and Grammy-winning writer, actor, and musician. She is also the cofounder of the True Colors Fund, which combats LGBT youth homelessness.
Music icon Cyndi Lauper adds to her vast history of memorable holiday classics with her new cover of “Hard Candy Christmas.”
This is officially my favorite thing today.
Famously recorded by Dolly Parton and written by Carol Hall, the song originated in the play and film The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas.
Says Lauper about the recording: “It’s very hopeful,” Lauper says of her choice. “As you look around New York City, there’s a lot of people really not doing that well. I just thought that it was one of those songs that can give you strength. Somehow even if you freakin’ put up a candy cane and one little Christmas light, it can make you feel better. It’s such a wonderful song.”
The track will be available at all digital download and streaming outlets this Friday, December 11.
Tom Viola, director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS – who I’m proud to have known for over 25 years – writes this:
I had the pleasure of dropping by the stage door of the Hirschfeld Theatre this week to join the cast of Kinky Boots in presenting Cyndi Lauper with a “big check” representing the $150,000 donated to True Colors Fund by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS from the more than $1.2 million in resources raised by the show since it opened in April 2013.
Broadway Cares salutes Cyndi and True Colors Fund for everything they have done to advance equality for all and, in doing so, helping to end homelessness for gay and transgendered youth. “You change the world when you change your mind!” But our voices are stronger and the change embraces us all when we stand together.
Cyndi Lauper is the Tony Award winning composer of the hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots and the founder of the True Colors Fund, which works to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, creating a world in which young people can be their true selves.
TODAY’s Hoda Kotb teamed up with Cyndi Lauper and Sara Bareilles, who mashed up their hits ‘True Colors’ and ‘Brave’ to create a song to raise money for the fight against pediatric cancer.
At this writing over $285,000 has been raised – keep it going.
Check out Hoda’s fundraising page and if you can, please donate. All proceeds will go to grants for pediatric cancer research via the American Cancer Society.
If not able to donate (times can be tough, trust me I know), go visit some kids in the hospital and incite some fun.
The music video for “Truly Brave” features young cancer patients from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
You haven’t seen ‘brave’ until you’ve seen kids kick cancer’s ass. Regular readers know about my personal cancer journey in 2009, which is why this touches my heart so powerfully.
So, since the kids here are doing the bald thing, let’s call this a “Throwback Tuesday” thing. Check the last pic, my bald 2009 self with “Bumpy the Chemo Pump.” Although, I gotta say the kids in this music video have a whole lot more spirit than I did. They rock.