Kinky Boots prances in step to delightful beats and sassy humour

Wong Casandra
Senior Reporter
Lola (centre) flanked by her Angels on 5 October, 2018, at the Sands Theatre. (PHOTO: Sebastien Teissier/Kinky Boots)

Based on a 2005 film inspired by true events, Kinky Boots the musical follows the journey of Charlie Price, reluctant heir to a British shoe factory, and his unlikely relationship with sassy drag queen Lola.

After the untimely death of his father, Price (played by Lance Bordelon) inherits the family business, Price & Son, in Northampton. There is one stumbling block: he has just moved with his fiancee to London. And he is about to discover that the business is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Desperate to live up to his father’s legacy and save the business, Price enlists the help of Lola (played by Jos N Banks) and proposes a ludicrous – but ingenious – idea: create a line of smashing heels for drag queens. Or in Price’s own words: “Making lady boots for women who are men.”

The Tony-Award winning musical with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper is a comedic riot infused with the same vivacity of the 80s’ pop sensation’s signature hit “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

While Kinky Boots does not boast the grandeur of top musicals such as Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera, it is an exhilarating spectacle filled with high-energy performances, precisely choreographed dance moves, and witty humour.

The first half of the two-hour-long musical is somewhat draggy, but picks up pace with catchy numbers such as “Land of Lola” and “The Sex is in the Heel”, belted by Banks and her group of sexy drag queens (“Angels”), who can perform deft splits and backflips in six-inch heels.

Adorned in sequined and spandex glory, Lola is undoubtedly the star of the show as a true drag queen who never skips a beat with a riposte for every occasion. But she is not one to be messed as she also happens to be a former amateur boxer.

A highlight of the first act is the pop tune “Everybody Say Yeah” where the ensemble dances on an assembly-line belt with the musical’s signature red boots making a grand entrance.

As Kinky Boots eases its pace during the second act, Price and Lola exude tenderness and vulnerability when they croon the power ballad “Not My Father’s Son”. Or when Lola belts a heartfelt rendition of “Hold Me in Your Heart” at a nursing home, where her wheelchair-bound and dying father resides.

The show is not without its flaws – the “love triangle” subplot of Price being caught between an uppity fiancee and an employee, who suddenly develops a crush on him, as well as the conflict between the male leads were somewhat out of step. Ultimately, it effortlessly glides through the narrative without missing a beat.

Kinky Boots resonates with the audience for its upbeat message about finding your passion, embracing yourself and accepting others.

In Lola’s words, citing Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Kinky Boots runs from now to 14 October at the Marina Bay Sands’ Sands Theatre. Tickets range from $65 to $185. Follow Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore on Facebook.

Other Singapore stories:

Nas Daily will be back in town for Singapore Media Festival in December

Singapore’s first zombie film ‘Zombiepura’ hits screens in October

Taiwanese singer Fei Yu-ching announces he will retire after 2019 tour