Broadway’s ‘Kinky Boots’ Announces End Of 6 Year Run

Billy Porter in ‘Kinky Boots’ (image via Facebook)

After six Tony Awards (including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Choreography), a Drama Desk Award, a Grammy Award and many more honors, the hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots has announced the production will bring down the curtain for the last time April 9, 2019, notching 2,507 performances at the Al Hirschfeld Theater.

The musical, which tells the world “You change the world when you change your mind,” has been celebrated on the Great White Way, in London, across the United States and around the world.

“The ideal big Broadway experience!” – The New York Observer

“This smash-hit struts its stuff with sparkle, stilettos and heart! – Time Out New York

Here’s the synopsis via the official website:

Based on the 2005 film and inspired by a true story, KINKY BOOTS follows Charlie Price (Tony nominee STARK SANDS), an aspiring young businessman who is forced to give up his dreams of living the London city life in order to save his late father’s family business in Northern England. When Charlie suddenly inherits his father’s bankrupt shoe factory, he finds unexpected inspiration in the form of Lola (BILLY PORTER) a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. As Charlie and Lola work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… and discovers that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

From the beginning of the show’s genesis, the creators’ message to audiences has been to learn to not only accept others for who they are, but to learn to love ourselves.

Original stars Billy Porter and Stark Sands (photo: Matthew Murphy)

The show guide for Kinky Boots, provided to school groups who attend the show, underscores the importance of children learning to “let me be me.”

If you look at all of the influential people in the world, many of the most spectacular people were probably also highly unique individuals when they were younger. Could you imagine Lady Gaga at your high school prom or havingMark Zuckerberg sit at your lunch table? What’s funny is that what is often considered cool in school actually becomes average in the real world, whereas those students, who don’t quite fit in, may turn out to be shining stars when they grow-up.

Playing the outrageous drag queen with a heart, out actor Billy Porter’s stunning performance as “Lola” won him a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award and a Grammy.

Porter’s star continues to rise thanks to his breakout role in the acclaimed FX series Pose (which boasted the largest LGBTQ cast in the history of television), and will be featured the new season of American Horror Story: Apocalypse.

Porter has also used his elevated celebrity status to raise his voice on behalf of the LGBTQ community every chance he gets.

Billy Porter as “Lola” in Kinky Boots (photo: Matthew Murphy)

Throughout the show’s run, stars from all corners of the celebrity spectrum have lined up to don those sexy, thigh-high red boots.

The list of past/present stars includes out pansexual lead singer of Panic at the Disco! Brendon Urie, American Idol winner David Cook, out lead singer for Neon Trees Tyler Glenn, TV host Wayne Brady, YouTube star Todrick Hall, out pop star Jake Shears, Dancing with the Stars‘ Mark Ballas, and Grammy Award winner Kirstin Maldonado of Pentatonix.

“When you’re watching something that is so based in joy, you just can’t deny it,” gushed Glenn when he joined the Broadway cast.

“When we first set out to make this show, we never could have imagined the success it would have here on Broadway and around the world,” said Harvey Fierstein (book) and Cyndi Lauper (composer) in a joint statement. “We speak on behalf of the entire company when we say how grateful we are to the fans who have embraced our work across four continents, and counting!”

Cyndi Lauper became the first solo female Broadway composer to win a Tony thanks to Kinky Boots

“I’ll never forget the very first performance of this show, back in Chicago in the fall of 2012,” shared Tony Award winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell. “It was one of those magical nights in the theater, when the material connects with its audiences in exactly the way you hope for. It felt like a gift from the theater gods then, and it still does to this day.”

“In the years since, we have witnessed attitudes towards gender non-conformity start to change all across America in ways we couldn’t have begun to imagine in 2012,” Mitchell added. “It’s never easy saying farewell to a beloved production, but knowing that Kinky Boots is leaving a more accepting world than the one it was born into is hugely gratifying for everyone involved.”

If you haven’t seen the show yet, head down to the Al Hirschfeld Theater before April 9.

You can check out the Tony Award winning performance by the cast of Kinky Boots below.

News Round-Up: November 10, 2017

Alex Abramov likes Autumn

Some news items you might have missed:

• Woofy Instahunk Alex Abramov (above) is enjoying NYC’s autumnal weather. I’m enjoying the view.

• A new study of 21,000 children shows no increased emotional or psychological difficulties among children raised by gay or lesbian parents.

• One of the gay men who was refused a marriage license by anti-LGBT Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis says he may run against her in the 2018 election.

• A survey of more than 5,000 Attitude Magazine readers shows 71% of gay men say they are turned off from dating another if they have shown signs of femininity; 41% said that effeminate gay men give the gay community a bad image or reputation.

• Former Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears has announced he’ll be joining the cast of the hit Broadway musical, Kinky Boots.

• I’ll close out this round-up with some Friday Superfruit “Fantasy,” the new music video from OUT100 2017 honorees Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi.

The video features a make-believe pool party, a trip to Paris, plus a cameo by K-pop star Amber Liu and some blue-wigged dancers. The tune, from the duo’s debut album Future Friends, is totally bopping. Dance into the weekend with Superfruit below.

Billy Porter In Concert: Kinky Boots Medley – “Land of Lola/Sex Is In the Heel/Just Be”

Billy Porter performs a medley of songs from his Broadway hit show, Kinky Boots
Billy Porter in concert

I’ve known Tony Award winner Billy Porter since the early 90s when we both were beginning our careers in New York City theater. I’ve been proud of him every day for his unvarnished, raw passion and talent that he brings to bear on every project he takes on.

The phrase “force of nature” seems the perfect way to describe Billy and his art.

Billy shared this video today, a medley of songs from the Broadway hit musical Kinky Boots for which he won his Tony honor, performed this summer while touring in concert.

Via Facebook:

So as I’ve stated in the recent past, my return to Ms. Lola and The Boots That Are Kinky is about the gift of love. The gift of grace and acceptance that we are blessed to share with the world 8-times-a-week.

I had the pleasure of touring this summer with my new album Billy Porter Presents: The Soul Of Richard Rodgers. It was exhilarating and humbling to be reminded of a part of my ministry that I had buried. My music! My personal voice. Standing in front of my band, as ME, and spreading the message of unconditional love.

As many of you know I am VERY political. It’s all over me. It’s in everything that I do. Every choice I make. The only thing I’m interested in is telling the truth. Sometimes that goes well and sometimes some folk get their panties in a wad because I don’t ascribe to the “shut up and sing” silencing rhetoric that has permeated out culture as of late through the very vocal minority who think they are running shit.

My music is my life. I have been reborn. And I’ll will be on the front lines fighting for what I know is right till the end of time.

With that said, this post of the KINKY BOOTS MEDLEY is the first installment of many to come from the culmination of my summer concert tour. Spread the love! Resist y’all!

Earlier this year, I interviewed Billy about his latest album, Billy Porter presents The Music of Richard Rodgers, for my podcast. As always, he was an awesome interview: candid, authentic, unfiltered and fearless.

Watch Billy perform a medley of songs from Kinky Boots below, and you can listen to my interview with him here.

Broadway: Toderick Hall Dons His “Kinky Boots” November 1st

After a sold-out national tour of his show Straight Outta Oz and over 400 million views on YouTube, Todrick Hall will be putting on his thigh-high, candy red “Kinky Boots” as he takes on the role of “Lola” in the Broadway smash hit musical.

Hall has previously appeared on the Great White Way in Memphis and The Color Purple.

Kinky Boots producers Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig said in a statement, “We’re so thrilled to have Todrick join the company and get to show off his incredible talent to Broadway audiences.”

The musical, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell with a score by Cyndi Lauper and book by Harvey Fierstein, won six Tony Awards in 2013 including one for leading man Billy Porter in the role of “Lola.”

A Bathroom Break At Broadway’s KINKY BOOTS

Harvey Fierstein, Cyndi Lauper, and the cast of Broadway’s Tony Award-winning “Best Musical” Kinky Boots shares this upbeat rewrite of the show’s finale – “Just Be” – weighing in on the current rash anti-transgender bathroom laws. #JustPee

In related news, Lauper performs tonight in Raleigh, North Carolina. According to reports, the proceeds from her concert will be donated to the campaign seeking to repeal the state’s HB2 bill; word is her concert rider requires the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts must have a gender-neutral bathroom.

Harvey Fierstein & Cyndi Lauper Get Neighboring Stars On “Hollywood Walk Of Fame”

From Variety:

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.”


Tony Award-Winner Billy Porter Takes His Final Bow In KINKY BOOTS

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Billy Porter’s final bow as Lola. We will always hold him in our hearts! ✨
Posted by Kinky Boots on Broadway on Friday, November 20, 2015

Regular readers of The Randy Report will remember when I interviewed Billy Porter (who I’ve known for over 20 years) for The Candi & Randy Show back in the summer of 2012 when I was choreographing a production of Sweet Charity in Oklahoma and Billy was appearing as our “Daddy Brubeck.”

Billy had just finished the first workshop of Kinky Boots and was headed to Chicago for the out-of-town tryout. He knew then the possibility that was ahead.

You can listen to the interview below.

Congrats Billy on a triumphant run! xoxo

Wayne Brady To Succeed Tony Award Winner Billy Porter In Broadway’s KINKY BOOTS

BroadwayWorld has confirmed that Emmy Award-winner and Grammy Award nominee Wayne Brady will take over the coveted role of ‘Lola’ in the Tony Award®-winning musical Kinky Boots at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 West 45th Street) on November 21, 2015.

Brady will succeed Broadway’s original (and current) award-winning ‘Lola,’ Billy Porter. Porter has played over 800 performances in the role and won both a Tony Award and a Grammy Award for his work in the production. His final historic performance in Kinky Boots will be November 20, 2015.

Kinky Boots will mark Brady’s return to Broadway after more than a decade. After making his Broadway debut in 2004 as ‘Billy Flynn’ in Chicago, Brady also played ‘Collins’ in the 2010 Neil Patrick Harris-directed Rent at the Hollywood Bowl and last year starred in Pasadena Playhouse’s trailblazing production of Kiss Me Kate.

In 2003, he won both a Primetime Emmy Award for “Whose Line Is It Anyway” and a Daytime Emmy Award as host of his own talk show, “The Wayne Brady Show.” He currently hosts the CBS game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” which has earned him six Daytime Emmy Award nominations.

Read more at BroadwayWorld.com.

Broadway Cares Presents Cyndi Lauper With $150K For True Colors Fund

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.

Sneak Peak: Billy Porter “Live At Lincoln Center”

Taking a few months off from his Tony Award winning role as “Lola” in the hit Broadway show Kinky Boots, Billy Porter recently knocked out two fab concerts for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series.

The performances were taped for a PBS special set to air on April 3rd – “Live From Lincoln Center” – and we get a sneak preview.

Check out Billy, the Broadway Inspirational Voices AND Billy’s now famous thigh-high Kinky Boots in this performance of “Luck Be A Lady” from his latest CD Billy’s Back On Broadway.