Today is the last day for Kinky Boots at the Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa before they say goodbye to the West Coast and head to Detroit. The cast is taking a party across America of accepting each other for who we are with a, “Welcome men, woman and those who haven’t decided yet,” from Lola.
The story moves fast. The father dies, which is a bit cliché, but it gets the story to where it needs to be. Charlie played by Steven Booth reluctantly takes over his father’s shoe factory. He has a problem with going along with what everybody else wants since he doesn’t know what he wants. He had moved to London with his fiancé because of her. Trying to save a woman on the street being attacked by two men changes everything. The woman, Lola played by Kyle Taylor Parker, saves Charlie in many ways. Lola’s broken heel on her boot gives Charlie an idea. I didn’t see Charlie having the idea coming. I thought it would be Lola who comes up with the idea to save Charlie’s business. There are a couple of turning points that made me cry. I won’t tell it all, but at one point Charlie and Lola realize they both didn’t want to follow in their fathers’ footsteps.
The bantering of words goes very fast. I had to pay attention closely to catch every word. Singing by Booth and Parker are passionate. Unfortunately, during Booth’s big solo it was difficult to hear all his words. It seemed to be the sound at the Segerstrom Hall. The speakers aren’t able to handle the sound level. One of the songs has synthesizer in parts. During that part it would blast through the speaker near us on occasion probably meant to sound like pulsing. A live band with some orchestra instruments sit in the orchestra pit. It must be exciting for Steven Booth to stand over the musicians’ accompaniment while he sings. Kyle Taylor Parker sings “Hold Me in Your Heart” like a Diva in a beautiful white gown that drapes on the floor for a touching moment in a retirement home.
Music and lyrics are by Cyndi Lauper. She talked about Harvey Fierstein, who wrote the book, at the concert she opened for Cher last year. During the bar scene when Charlie goes to see his friend in a band, there is a guitar number that sounds has the sounds of Cyndi Lauper. I can picture her with a guitar or piano at times sitting down writing for the musical. The synthesizer parts bring out a little of the eighties Cyndi.
The dancing is simple and not overly sexy, but so much fun when the Drag Queens come out so to speak. The choreographer and director is Jerry Mitchell with associate choreograper Rusty Mowery. The Angels, I think they are called, dance with high energy in six inch heels, bustiers, short skirts, large wigs and makeup. Costume designer Gregg Barnes dresses them in outfits to represent different countries on the runway in Milan. They make being a girl look like fun. And it is!
Wear your favorite heels to the show! Dress the way you want because Lola says in a deep sultry voice, “Be yourself because everyone else is taken!”
Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. 714.556.2787. SCFTA.ORG