Kinky Boots to stop in Kingston on North American tour

Broadway production comes to small cities to spread message of acceptance

Cast of Kinky Boots. 
Credit: 
by Matthew Murphy

This April, Kingston theatre fans get the rare opportunity to see a Broadway production, without even leaving the city. 

On April 24 Kinky Boots is coming to Kingston’s Leon’s Centre for one night only as part of their national tour. 

Produced by Troika Entertainment and True North Touring, the show’s tour allows the play to appear in smaller cities all over North America. 

Based on true events, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price, who inherits his father’s shoe factory after his death. 

Soon, he discovers that the factory is failing and facing possible closure. The workers’ jobs are put at risk, but Price sets out to find a solution. 

Meeting drag queen, Lola, they come up with a plan to start making “kinky boots,” heels made specifically for drag queens. These boots are what will save the factory. 

In an interview with The Journal, Mitchell Matyas, who’s part of the ensemble of factory workers, said that touring has been an incredible experience. This rare opportunity gives people the chance to see a Broadway production without having to go to Manhattan.

“It’s great, audiences have been receiving the show so well,” Matyas told The Journal. “We do the same show every night that the Broadway cast does, so no matter if you’re seeing it on Broadway or you’re seeing us in Kingston Ontario, you’re seeing the same show and the audience still loves it.” 

The play is the same, but they’re moving to a new city for each performance, with only one night being in Kingston. 

This constant unpacking and repacking of sets and costumes, travelling, and starting up again in an unfamiliar theatre hasn’t affected the quality of their performance, Matyas said. 

“No matter where we are, whether we’re there for one night or seven nights, we always give the same show and it’s always a blast to do every night,” Matyas said. 

The creative team is made up of Tony award winners, including Gregg Barnes for costume design and John Shivers for sound design. 

Set to a soundtrack of songs written by Cyndi Lauper, the music in the show is fun and upbeat, “like a party on stage every night,” Matyas said. 

His favourite song of the show is “Everybody say yeah,” because it comes at the end of Act 1 when they’ve figured out a solution to save the factory. 

The workers sing together with the drag queens—called “angels”—from Lola’s club. The scene shows that the solution was only possible through collaboration and open-mindedness. 

It highlights the theme of acceptance through the workers’ eager willingness to convert their men’s shoe factory to a drag queen high heel boot-making factory. 

With scenes like this, the actors have fun on stage, and Matyas said that the audience will enjoy it too. 

“The music is so fun and there’s so much dancing, the costumes are amazing, and I think the message of acceptance is just so clear,” Matyas told The Journal. 

“It doesn’t matter the colour of your skin, whether you’re big or small, male or female or neither, you’re still a human being and I think whoever you are is enough and worth celebrating.”

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