Home Entertainment Kinky Boots Has Hot Star But Otherwise Not Much Of A Kick

Kinky Boots Has Hot Star But Otherwise Not Much Of A Kick

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Kinky boots
Lola struts his stuff in Kinky Boots (Photo by Matthew Murphy of an actor earlier in the run.)

Contrary to some opinions, critics are human, too. So, feeling decidedly blue Tuesday, I went into the national tour of Kinky Boots  wanting this reportedly boisterous, life-affirming and joyful romp-with-a-message to lift me out of “a siege of the sads” as they say in Pippin.

It didn’t. The droll story of a drag queen rescuing a failing shoe factory by switching its focus to thigh-high boots favored by cross-dressers was, indeed, a well-polished evening of musical comedy with soulful ballads and glitzy production numbers.

But this construction, which swept six 2013 Tony Awards, felt so manipulative, so by-the-numbers as if it, too, came off a factory production line. Most of the people in the audience not coping with seasonal depression seemed to have an entertaining time, but it felt like junk food that doesn’t stick your ribs, brain or heart. It ain’tHamilton.

The show could almost be heard encouraging the audience to congratulate themselves for going to see a show about drag queens like a senior citizen center’s “daring” field trip and finding, “Why, Mildred, they’re just like us in many ways!”

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By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, for  SouthFloridaReporter.com, Mar. 3, 2016

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Bill Hirschman maintains a daily, comprehensive, website about theater in south Florida. It includes a calendar listing, reviews of current productions, Q&A with some of the actors, directors and producers of shows. Bill was formerly the Sun-Sentinels Theater Reviewer. His arts coverage has appeared in Variety, American Theatre magazine, Playbill.com, A&E magazine, the Miami Herald among many other outlets.