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Kinky Boots
Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots
Ford Oriental Theatre
Aug 30 - Sep 4, 2016

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Show Information

Ford Oriental Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Highly Recommended

"...It's back in Chicago in a short touring run that mostly honors the warmth and generosity of the story — which, it should be noted, is inspired by real events, no matter how generic it may feel in the light of similar underdog-Brit tales ("The Full Monty," "Billy Elliot," et al). Fierstein's book takes some liberties from Geoff Deane and Tim Firth's film script, mostly to punch up the disappointed dads/striving sons subtext."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...It’s won six Tony awards since it first stepped into town in 2012, but the flashy, sassy “Kinky Boots” has lost none of its heartfelt strut. Winningly scored by pop songstress Cyndi Lauper and helmed by director-choreographer Jerry Mitchell, the story of an shoe factory on its last legs and the fabulous drag queen who becomes its salvation is a jubilant, bedazzled ode to celebrating your true colors."
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Catey Sullivan

Chicago Reader- Recommended

"...The factory's straight-arrow owner teams up with Lola to expand into high-end fetish footwear. The premise may be relevant to our shitty economic moment, but don't look for any austerity in this glitter-clogged, Broadway-bound show. Adapting a 2005 movie, Harvey Fierstein supplies a script that oscillates between cornpone and one-liners, while Cyndi Lauper's score bullies you into self-acceptance with one empowerment anthem after another. Be yourself or else."
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Zac Thompson

Windy City Times- Highly Recommended

"...Textual improvements made manifest include a more detailed set-up for the pivotal boxing scene between Lola and an anti-gay tradesman ( which gets its own song in this revision ) and for Charlie's stress-fueled rant nearly derailing the goodwill generated by the full-cast "Everybody Say Yeah" dance on industrial conveyor belts just before intermission. The multitalented Kyle Taylor Parker leads a squad of antelope-agile ( and steel-ankled ) chorines wearing stiltwalker heels that make the most of Jerry Mitchell's athletic choreography, while Steven Booth, Lindsay Nicole Chambers and bear-boy extraordinaire Joe Coots exude enough earthy charm to spur exhilarated Yankee playgoers to consider booking a vacation to the English midlands."

Mary Shen Barnidge

Centerstage- Recommended

"...All in all, however, Mr. Fierstein's book beautifully tells the story with plenty of heart. Ms. Lauper's score may be one of the strongest I've heard recently. Jerry Mitchell's direction and choreography is masterful. Yet the show belongs to Mr. Porter as Lola, fully in command at all moments, with a signing voice that will leave you breathless. If you want to get a look at a legitimate Tony Award contender, head down to the Bank of America Theater before November 4."

Joseph Bowen

Time Out Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...Director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell stages the show with admirable creativity; the first-act closer "Everybody Say Yeah" makes more dynamic use of the factory's conveyor belts than an OK Go video. Porter, meanwhile, gives a powerhouse performance as Lola, channeling Whitney Houston in his stunning musical numbers. It's a shame his character feels a bit sanitized in his nonmusical scenes opposite the factory workers and Charlie, as compared to Chiwetel Ejiofor's more jagged Lola in the film, but that's something the creative team can still work on. Appealing everyguy Sands and Annaleigh Ashford, as Charlie's love interest, do fine work in comparatively thankless roles (Ashford comes delightfully close to derailing the whole show with her comic number "The History of Wrong Guys"). There's refining yet to be done, but these Boots were made for strutting."
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Kris Vire

ShowBizChicago- Highly Recommended

"...Kinky Boots, the show resulting from the artistic marriage of Tony Award Winning playwright Harvey Fierstein and Grammy and Tony Award Winning rock icon Cyndi Lauper, is now back in Chicago for a limited run at the Cadillac Palace. In fact, this show swept the 2013 Tony's winning for Book, Score, Direction, Choreography and Sound Design after making its pre-Broadway debut at the Bank of America Theatre."
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James Murray

Stage and Cinema- Somewhat Recommended

"...Shortfalls lurk throughout the story: Why is there no attempt to explore and celebrate the common ground of hard luck and social prejudice that could bond the shoe company workers with the drag queens who descend on their factory? (Something like, "The Workers and the Drag Queens Should Be Friends," maybe?) Why should we get from the start that Charlie's girlfriend will dump him ("So Long, Charlie") and why does that pushy girlfriend suddenly show up at the Milan fashion show (the flamboyant ending) when she and Charlie parted company long before? Why does so much of this feel like it was NOT based on a true story?"
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Lawrence Bommer

Splash Magazine- Recommended

"...While "Kinky Boots" is certainly a much improved show from the messy tryout that premiered here almost three years ago, overall it's still a flawed, implausible, and utterly predictable show. Still, what makes this particular production worth seeing is the stunning cast who bring this show a level of energy and urgency which rises above the story's structural problems. This is the type of show that will require a huge suspension of disbelief in order to enjoy. If you can just accept it for what it is you'll love it."
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Justin LeClaire

ChicagoCritic- Recommended

"...Most people who are fans of Cyndi Lauper or Harvey Fierstein's other delightful musicals, like La Cage aux Folles and Newsies, should have fun at Kinky Boots. That Fierstein drew so heavily from Billy Elliott, another musical adapted from a British movie, and The Full Monty, which are both about the working class's struggle with queerness, is probably regarded by most audience members as giving them what they want. A large portion of the first part of the play feels mechanical; we all know what plot points have to be set up, but by the end of the show, its energy, positive message, and eye-popping costumes by Gregg Barnes and lighting by Kenneth Posner will have won most people over."
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Jacob Davis

Chicago Now- Recommended

"...While I'm sure the show will more charges before it bows on Broadway next spring, it is definitely worth seeing in its current state. It's a fun-time, feel good show and will have you on your feet at the end---and not just to leave the theatre."
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Richard Malone

Chicago Stage Standard- Highly Recommended

"...The audience clearly adored this Cyndi Lauper score, though I have a small quibble with Adam Souza’s musical direction: I like a few quiet reflective ballads mixed in with the highly produced rock numbers, especially when a character is having an epiphany. Everything in the show is full out , loud anthem on top of big production number: rock concert with a plot."
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Angela Allyn

Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...It’s back! The smash musical, that began in Chicago and then took Broadway by storm (Six Tony Awards including Best Musical) “Kinky Boots” has returned, but only for a short period of time (ends July 26th), so if you missed the Pre-Broadway run, I suggest you make it a point to catch this gem of a show. A marvelous ensemble recreates the magic of the original production of this glorious musical with a book by Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago- Somewhat Recommended

"..."Kinky Boots," at its best, is great fun. And my laundry list of reservations should not be seen as a vendetta against a wholesome good time, but as an appeal for a beating heart and a grounding soul in its eventual final product. As Fierstein has proven time and again, there is plentiful room for both fun and depth in an evening of theater. Though Lauper's toe-tapping score leaves much to be desired in the areas of tunefulness and plot integration and Jerry Mitchell's choreography is cluttered with ceaseless arm flagellations, the chief suspect here is Fierstein's set 'em up, knock 'em down book, more concerned with getting the laugh than building sympathetically believable characters. There is much work left to do, and these heavyweight talents have until April 4 to iron out the kinks."
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Johnny Oleksinski

Chicago Theatre Review- Recommended

"...Back for more high-kicking Folles de Footwear, “Kinky Boots” is enjoying a brief return to the city where it was originally cobbled. Since this joyous musical premiered in Chicago, a few changes have been made, creating a tighter, better focused show; however, all the glitz and glamour, heels and heart are still present in Jerry Mitchell’s entertaining production. The story is engaging, the characters appealing and the message is worthwhile. “Kinky Boots” absolutely kicks butt and demonstrates, once again, that “Sex is in the Heel.”"
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Colin Douglas

Huffington Post- Recommended

"...Aside from Porter and Lauper, the show has the added benefit of Jerry Mitchell's high-spirited direction and choreography. Mitchell, a dancer by trade, knows how to keep things fluid, fun and human-scale, which is essential for retaining the core of this fast-moving show. And I couldn't imagine a more perfectly suited book writer than Harvey Fierstein, who knows a thing or two about crafting heartfelt, theatrical stories involving queens, comedy and community."
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Bob Bullen

The Fourth Walsh- Highly Recommended

"...The show ends with what should be a universal anthem of acceptance in “Raise You Up/Just Be.” Lauper, known for her LGBTQ activism in her personal life, has composed a playful and meaningful score. It’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” meets “True Colors.” This is the best of Cyndi Lauper! I thoroughly enjoyed myself at this musical spectacle. And I left the theatre wishing all problems were with resolved with a kinky pair of boots."
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Katy Walsh