Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots sign. Photo by M.C.

Kinky Boots sign. Photo by M.C.

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.

Kinky Boots stage for Price and Sons shoe factory. Photo by M.C.

Kinky Boots stage for Price and Son shoe factory. Photo by M.C.

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!”

View from Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, CA. Photo by M.C.

View from Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, CA. Photo by M.C.

Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. 714.556.2787. SCFTA.ORG

Disney Shows

Tiki

The Enchanted Tiki Room. Photo by M.C.

Disneyland was so busy during the holidays that a flyer with tips was passed out at the parking lot on how to best enjoy the park. The shows were the biggest suggestion. We saw shows I’ve never seen and I found out a new one is coming January 11, 2015!

The Enchanted Tiki Room feels like a room with tiki furniture and tropical plants. You sit down for a sing-along. A cast member will ask you to wake up Jose, one of the birds. He comes alive with a Mexican accent to sing with other birds from around the world. Then the flowers sing a song and then the tikis sing a song. It’s entertaining and a good place to get away from weather or crowds. The show isn’t a must see, but it’s worth visiting.

The Golden Horseshoe. Photo by M.C.

The Golden Horseshoe. Photo by M.C.

Around the corner is The Golden Horseshoe where they serve fish and chips so it’s easy to forget there is a show in there. It is really funny. The Mayor wants the Sheriff to marry is ugly daughter who is a man dressed as a woman. They bring in audience members to play the banker and the town drunk.

Belle in The Royal Theatre. Photo by M.C.

Belle in The Royal Theatre. Photo by M.C.

The Royal Theatre presents the tale of Belle with the help of Renaissance Vaudevillians. Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones are funny as they pretend to be the other characters of Beauty and the Beast, but it gets a bit too silly for me. There is a sing-along with the movies theme song. I’m happy they are going to change this show. It is going to be FROZEN! Fake smile. I’m not a fan, but it’s something different. I still want to see the show. It comes down to the singing and acting. If the performances are good then it will be worth seeing. On January 11, 2015 look for the new Frozen show at The Royal Theatre, but wait a while for the lines to calm down. California Adventure has Frozen Fun in Hollywood Land which I haven’t seen. It promises dancing with a DJ, snow and a sing-along. I believe they moved Elsa and Anna here from Fantasyland. It sounds like the Mad T Party section has been taken over by Frozen.

The best show is Mickey and the Magical Map at Fantasyland Theatre. The choreography, dancing and singing are what would be expected from Disney. Mickey tells you to use your imagination then takes you through songs from different animated Disney movies. The lady who sings as Pocahontas is my favorite. Tiana, from The Princess and the Frog appeared once. I’m not sure if that is a new permanent change. Stitch from Lilo and Stitch is part of a dance that is very Disneyesque. The crowd goes wild for this show, almost like they know the performers. If you go to see any show this would be the one to see.

Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Photo by M.C.

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Photo by M.C.

My second favorite show at Disneyland is Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Before you walk all the way through there are photos with Disneyland secrets. The show is partly the Gettysburg Address with an amazing animatronic Lincoln. There is a bit of art, history and technology mix together.

Main Street Cinema is a small theatre we always pass. There are six small screens in a circle showing old black and white Mickey Mouse cartoons. There isn’t any seating, but there is a middle platform where parents sat on the floor with their baby and rested. It’s quiet in there too away from the crowd. Otherwise, skip this one.

Now that the holidays have passed crowds should go back to comfortable levels. Still, avoid Friday nights. There are lots of new hotels going up around Disneyland which I have mentioned in the past. Last year 34.4 million people came through LAX. I’m sure a few million of those people went to Disneyland. It’s only going to get busier with so many new attractions coming. If you haven’t been in a while, now is a good time to visit. And you can come through the John Wayne airport in Santa Ana which is close to Anaheim (Not in LA. It’s the OC.)

Pack a backpack with snacks. Don’t overload the stroller. Some guy did that and ticked off the bus driver. All strollers must be collapsed for the bus ride. Another thing I learned over the holidays at Disneyland is that the behind the scenes isn’t that interesting. We were directed to walk behind the buildings of Main Street to escape the crowd for the holiday parade. Not that magical. Very clean though.

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Happy 2015! And may all your dreams come true!