Wayne Brady gives Kinky Boots on Broadway the life it needs |

Wayne Brady gives Kinky Boots on Broadway the life it needs

Kinky Boots has been on my radar since it first opened on Broadway back in 2013. Who doesn’t love a fierce drag queen doin’ her thang? Finally, I got me some tickets through TodayTix and checked it out, mostly because Wayne Brady recently reprised his role as the lead, Lola, and will be pe playing her now through April 26th, 2018.

Jake Shears, of the Scissor Sisters, played the opposite lead, Charlie Price. Jake’s stint in the role is temporary (January 1st through April 1st). On April 3rd, American Idol’s David Cook will take over the role of Charlie Price.

It seems more and more common that TV Personalities, Celebrities, Musicians (people with a fanbase not necessarily tied to Theater) are stepping in for temporary stents in popular broadway shows. I recently saw Kandi Burruss (one of Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of Atlanta) in Chicago.

Overall, I thought the show was a lot of fun. A bit kitschy in parts and corny in others, it was pretty apparent that the music was written by Cindy Lauper, with her trademark 90s flare. And with all that, I couldn’t help but feel like the show was outdated. I had to remind myself that it only came out in 2013, fighting the thought that kept creeping into my head: “yeah, I could see how this was groundbreaking in the 90s…. Oh, wait.”

With today’s drag scene so prominent in our pop culture (i.e. RuPaul’s Drag Race), I felt like that umph that probably made Kinky Boots spectacular and fresh when it first came out, has been eclipsed by the popularization of Drag Superstars and “YAS QUEENS”.

It’s interesting to note how culture has shifted to include and fetishize the LGBTQ community in just these past few years — which is wonderful. It is also interesting to observe how a show, that at some point might have been revolutionary, can so quickly be outgrown by the culture surrounding it. Not to say Kinky Boots itself didn’t help with that shift – I believe it has certainly helped keep that progress moving forward with inclusion and acceptance, especially to audiences who travel from smaller cities and watch it.

Kinky Boots had a fun finale number that had the entire audience roaring. It was great. Though I feel some minor rewrites to the ending could help keep Kinky Boots up-to-date with where we are with inclusion, I thought the show was definitely worth seeing. Especially with Wayne Brady bringing LIFE to those Kinky Boots.

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Kai
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