Getting kinky, in boots

The award-winning "Kinky Boots," based on a true and slightly out-there story, is coming to Shanghai.


“Just be who you wanna be.”

The dazzling and emotional Broadway musical "Kinky Boots" will make its debut in China at the Shanghai Culture Square in July.

Based on a true story, the musical focuses on a shoe factory inheritor named Charlie who lost his father unexpectedly and is struggling to save his family business.

Lola, a drag queen whose birth name is Simon, has trouble finding sexy heels in his size and thus gives Charlie a wildly exciting idea — changing the product from men’s shoes to high-heeled boots for bigger feet — which helps him revive the dying business.

“‘Kinky Boots’ is a musical about having a great time and celebrating who you are,” says director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell.

Adapted from the film of the same name, the Broadway musical premiered in Manhattan in 2013 and opened in London in 2015.

The show celebrated 2,000 performances on Broadway and 1,000 in the West End this January. The blockbuster swept a number of awards, including six Tonys, a Grammy  and three Oliviers.

The incredible music by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, a Grammy and Tony winner, is one of the highlights of the musical, which features 16 original songs such as “Raise you up,” “The Soul of a Man” and “Hold Me in Your Heart.” The catchy songs spread a massage of acceptance and love.

Glittering, sparkling and snazzy, the red stilettos designed by Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes will thrill audiences. Walking in extremely high heels is exhausting enough, let alone dancing.

“It was terrifying,” Lance Bordelon, cast as Charlie, recalls of his first time wearing the high heels. “Even now I still get nervous when I wear them. I have so much respect for my colleagues who wear the boots for the whole show whilst I only need to do that for about 10 minutes.”

“Since the debut of ‘Kinky Boots’ on Broadway in 2013, we have had the idea of bringing the musical to Chinese audiences,” says Li Zhen, vice president of China Dream Live Entertainment, which presents “Kinky Boots” in China. “The acting is supported with energy. I am sure that audiences will feel joy from the show.” 

Shanghai is the first stop on its China tour, followed by Guangzhou in August and Beijing in September.

Performance details

Date: July 11-August 5, 2:30pm, 7:30pm
Tickets: 80-1,080 yuan
Tel: 6472-6000
Venue: SAIC Shanghai Culture Square
Address: 597 Fuxing Rd M. 

Ti Gong


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