It’s fun, it’s entertaining, it carries an important sociopolitical message – but, inversely, Cyndi Lauper’s Kinky Boots confirms that the musical is, personally, my least favourite of the stage genre.
The story is based on true events – Charlie Price inherits his family’s Northampton shoe-making business and, in attempting to avoid bankruptcy, makes an unlikely alliance in the making of ‘shoes for women worn by men.’
As drag queen Lola, Callum Francis (understudy in the original West End production) is captivating and likely to give the Broadway and West End stars a run for their money. The showstopping Not My Father’s Son and Hold Me in Your Heart are standouts, with Lola belting them out like the best of them. But sadly, the rest of the energetic Australian cast struggle with the material. They certainly try hard and their enthusiasm is undeniable. But it’s all just a little too try hard.
Enjoyable at the time, listening to the soundtrack a few days later left me, with a couple of exceptions, unmoved – a telltale sign!