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Kinky Boots

I know. I know. I know. Still yet ANOTHER movie turned musical, where I know the musical far better than the movie, and will therefore spend the entire write up talking about that. My blog. My rules. Deal with it! When the musical in question is one of the most fun nights I've ever had at the theatre, why wouldn't I wanna talk about it?

The show followed the film beat by beat, even more so than some of the others I've talked about recently. Charlie Price inherits a failing shoe store from his father. His only hope to save the store is to find a niche market to sell to. He meets Lola, drag queen extraordinare. Turns out, being a queen ain't easy when you're constantly breaking your heels. Niche market found! Fun lines in the movie became even more fun songs. I saw the show with two other friends the week before the Tony Awards last year. The rush of the voting crowd had already died down, but we were a week away from Kinky Boots being crowned Best Musical, which is when the rest of the world would discover it. In other words, we actually managed to score tickets. All three of us had a total blast.

Talking about the show while we were waiting at the stage door (I had to stalk former American Idiot Stark Sands and inevitable eventual Tony winner Billy Porter), we realized we couldn't put our finger on one thing that made the show so spectacular. Everything was just perfect. The story was fun and original. The music was upbeat (hello, Cyndi Lauper!) and backed by some sweet and powerful voices (Stark Sands sounded even better on these songs than Idiot, and he sounded amazing in Idio). The cast was perfect. Besides our leading men, Annaleigh Ashford stole the show. There were songs I was just crazy about for weeks and months after. I still find myself dancing along with "Everybody Say Yeah" and singing with Step One and laughing (until I realize how much I identify) with History of Wrong Guys.

As incredible as the stage cast is, the movie cast is pretty impressive too. Lola made a Broadway star out of stage vet Billy Porter, but it was a stepping stone for future Academy Award nominee Chewetel Ejiofor. You might have seen him on screen this past year. Earned a lead actor nomination for 12 Years a Slave, which went on to win Best Picture. He is beyond fabulous here. Such charisma and presence, and I really do want to watch his Lola do a cabaret show. We've also got a softer turn from Joel Edgerton, usually known for more tough guy roles.

I had a few min to kill between the movie and tonight's DWTS (Latin night!) so I put on one of the special features. They were talking about the real shoe factory this was based on. Turns out, they even filmed there. All the equipment and settings (and even some of the extras) are completely authentic. I feel it just grounded the film so much more. The story is all about heart and determination, and that spirit really carries thru the factory walls.
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