‘Kinky Boots’ national tour to prance onto State stage
“Kinky Boots” prances its way to Easton’s State Theatre for the Arts, 2 and 8 p.m. April 6.
The Tony Award-winning musical is inspired by a true story. The show’s book is by four-time Tony Award recipient Harvey Fierstein. Songs are by Cyndi Lauper, who became the first woman, without a writing partner, to receive a Tony Award for best score.
In the musical, Charlie Price is torn between pursuing his dream of London city life or saving his late father’s bankrupt shoe factory in Northampton, England.
Price stumbles upon Lola, a drag queen with the physique of a prizefighter, who is longing for some steadfast stilettos capable of supporting her solid stature. The two have more in common than one might think and create a niche in the shoe business: just the answer for Price & Son Shoe Factory.
“The audience can expect to feel lots of love and joy and to laugh a lot,” says Kelsee Sweigard, who plays Pat, a prim and proper office manager until she meets Lola, who she describes as “such a happy, lovely essence.”
Fierstein originally wrote Pat to be Lola’s love interest. Though extremely subtle, Lola and Pat have a very special relationship and Lola brings out the fun, wild side in Pat, just as she does with everyone she encounters.
“It’s an emotional, feel-good story. There are some hardships but in the end you’ll go home with so much joy and happiness,” Sweigard says of the show in a phone interview.
Sweigard, born in Harrisburg but whose family is from Bethlehem, is making her national tour debut with “Kinky Boots” since December when it opened in Paducah, Ky. The tour, now in its fifth year, is scheduled to conclude June 13 in New Orleans.
Sweigard and company have traveled to 19 states and three Canadian provinces in three months. The Broadway run of “Kinky Boots” ends April 7.
The musical is based on the 2005 British film, with a screenplay by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth. The Broadway show opened in 2013.
Leading the tour is Connor Allston (Charlie Price), Kenneth Mosley (Lola), Karis Gallant (Lauren), James Fairchild (Don), Ashley North (Nicola) and James May (George).
Jordan Archibald, Derek Brazeau, Ryan Michael James, Andrew Norlen, Jacob Paulson and Ernest Terrelle Williams play the Angels.
The tour features, in addition to Sweigard, Geoff Davin, Lynda DeFuria, Stephen Foster Harris, Chris Kane, Kirby Lunn, Andrew Malone, Julian Malone, Rebecca Mason-Wygal, Mitchell Matyas, Shaun Nerney, Andrew Poston, Jenny Liz Taylor and Kim Truncale.
The Troika Entertainment creative team for the tour includes Tony Award nominee David Rockwell, scenic design; Tony Award recipient Gregg Barnes, costume design; Tony Award recipient Kenneth Posner, lighting design; Tony Award recipient John Shivers, sound design; Josh Marquette, hair design; Brian Strumwasser, make-up design; DB Bonds, associate director; Rusty Mowery, associate choreographer; Roberto Sinha, musical supervision, and Grammy Award recipient Stephen Oremus, arrangements and orchestration.
Sweigard and her cast members enjoy wearing their own custom-made boots. T.O. Dey, a midtown Manhattan custom shoe shop, made Barnes’ boot designs a reality,
“You change the world when you change your mind” is Sweigard’s favorite line in the show.
“The idea behind that is it’s beneficial to walk through life with an open mind. Just because something is different doesn’t mean it’s bad,” says Sweigard,
Tickets: State Theatre Center for the Arts box office, 453 Northampton St., Easton; statetheatre.org; 1-800-999-7828; 610-252-3132