Culture » Performing Arts

Theater League presents accessible Broadway favorite Kinky Boots

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Though we love and appreciate much about Broadway musicals — the incredible production value, unique stories, endlessly playable soundtracks, glamour and glitz — the matter stands that Broadway simply isn’t accessible to most folks, especially here in the Springs. Outside the Big Apple, we typically only see professional Broadway productions on theater marquees in the closest big city — Denver, for us.

Unless, of course, Theater League comes to town. For 42 years, Theater League, a national nonprofit organization, has brought touring Broadway performances to communities around the country that otherwise may not have the opportunity to see them, including our own. Along the way, they reach out to students of the performing arts and at-risk youth, providing some education alongside entertainment.

Previous Theater League productions at The Pikes Peak Center have included Dirty Dancing, Jesus Christ Superstar and, most recently, Motown: The Musical. And this week they’re treating us to another Broadway favorite: Kinky Boots.

Winner of six Tony Awards in 2013, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price, a young man who inherits his father’s failing shoe factory and finds an unlikely savior in a drag queen named Lola. She inspires a whole new line of shoes to save the factory (and her own feet), and helps Charlie find himself along the way. 
It’s a surprisingly heartfelt show, touching on themes such as acceptance, familial relationships, and personal sacrifice. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s without its comedy. The show’s success, in fact, comes from its balance.

This thematic balance reflects in the music as well, with a score written by pop star Cyndi Lauper. Far from simply sticking to an expected pop-showtune fusion, Lauper expands into funk, rock and more, with songs ranging in subject from “Sex Is in the Heel,” a fun (and funky) performance by Lola and her drag queen friends, to “Soul of a Man,” which provides Charlie with an intimate moment of introspection.

Not only is the show accessible for most ages and sensibilities, but thanks to Theater League, it’s accessible to most pocketbooks, too. Tickets to Hamilton on Broadway may have recently spiked above $1,000, but to see Kinky Boots this week, you don’t even have to break $50. We all deserve a little Broadway in our backyard.

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