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

Fun Turning Back Time

Cher singing If I Could Turn Back Time at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, July 9, 2014. I had to walk down the stairs and take a lot of pics to get this one good one. Photo by M.C.
Cher singing If I Could Turn Back Time at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, July 9, 2014. I had to walk down the stairs and take a lot of pics to get this one good one. Photo by M.C.

Cyndi Lauper is known for telling off-the-wall stories. Well, she didn’t disappoint at the Honda Center in Anaheim on July 9, 2014. Making her point about being on time she said she was born on time, but her mom closed her legs on her. “But I was on time,” she says in a New York accent wearing a curly, long reddish-orange wig, combat boots and pink crinoline on the back of her jacket.

She sang True Colors, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and ended with a passionate At Last (Written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren that Etta James made famous.) Her voice is Olympic and better than ever. The bell tones are beautiful, amazing range and clear. (Whoever did the sound did a great job. I could hear Cyndi and Cher as they spoke and sang.) Cyndi also graciously walked into the audience singing and dancing with no body guard—I was impressed. People were right next to her, but they didn’t touch her just took photos. She still twirls around rocking out.

She talked about Cher a lot. She said Cher called her up in the eighties to give her a song she had written. I don’t remember what song, but she sang it. Anyway, she said Cher and her mom are friends and that’s how Cher got Cyndi’s number. Also, Cher and Cyndi’s moms used to hang out with Stevie Wonder’s mom.

Cher enters in amazing costumes, better than I expected. I had previously watched her concert on YouTube and the costumes aren’t the same. In person is so much better even though I sat in the “Sky Box” area “… Where the rich people sit,” Cher joked. She said she is 68 years old “… What’s your granny doing tonight?”

Cher singing Half-breed
Cher singing Half-breed. Photo by M.C.

For Half-bread Cher walks through a carnival booth in a pastel headdress from head to toe. The dancers perform a skit as carnival actors, such as, an acrobat balancing on one hand and a bearded lady. The dancers are more than dancers as two men suspend in the air on ropes as another change for Cher. In the same carnival set she sings Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.

Cher sings Just Like Jesse James even though she says she doesn’t like the song. A guy in the audience says, “Then why do you sing it?” She replies jokingly, “Because, people like it asshole.” I love the song too.

Cher walking out of a Trojan horse. Photo by M.C.
Cher walking out of a Trojan horse. Photo by M.C.

She sang Believe with a disco theme, walked out of a Trojan horse and sang If I Could Turn Back Time in the end with a very similar infamous costume. I don’t think the lingerie is the original, but it looks close. I should mention she looks fabulous and thin in every costume. Her voice too is amazing.

Surprisingly the tickets in the nose-bleed section are in the fifties which isn’t bad for a concert these days. This is Cher’s Dress To Kill (D2K) Finale Tour so you should see all the costumes, stage sets, dancing and of course hear the great singing.