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“Kinky Boots” strutting onto stage at IU Auditorium



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"Kinky Boots” will be performed Oct. 24 and 25 at the IU Auditorium. The musical follows Charlie Price, who struggles to keep his father’s shoe factory running after his father’s death with help from Lola, a drag queen. Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

The sole proprietor of a shoe factory gets a little help from a drag queen in the pop musical “Kinky Boots.”

“Kinky Boots” will be performed Oct. 24 and 25 at the IU Auditorium. Tickets start at $17 for students.

Based on a true story and a 2005 indie film of the same name, the story follows Charlie Price, a son struggling to keep his father’s shoe factory, Price & Son, running after his father’s death. Things look up when he meets Lola, a drag queen who becomes his business partner in a new shoe-based venture. The story deals with inclusion, overcoming differences and cooperating with others in a community.

"‘Kinky Boots’ also brings to the spotlight a powerful lesson about acceptance and has been praised for its inclusion and celebration of drag culture and the LGBTQ+ community,” according to a press release from the IU Auditorium.

The music and lyrics of “Kinky Boots” were written by activist and singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper, who wrote '80s hits such as “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “True Colors.” The book was written by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein, who acted and voiced in movies such as “Independence Day” and “Mulan.”

Songs such as “Take What You Got” deal with whether to challenge destiny or to accept one’s lot in life. Other songs, like “Charlie’s Soliloquy” deal with loneliness and not fitting in. Many of the numbers play like conventional 2000s pop songs, with acoustic guitar, piano, electronic drums and pop string sections, all with a Broadway grandness to the lyrics and scope.

“The show’s themes center around being true to ourselves and the idea that if we open ourselves up to others whom we may not necessarily encounter in our day-to-day, the world could be changed one friendship at a time,” Maria Talbert, managing director of IU Auditorium, said.

Since its Broadway premiere in 2013, “Kinky Boots” has been nominated for 12 Tony Awards, and has won six, including "Best Musical," "Best Score" and "Best Choreography." It also won a Grammy Award for “Best Musical Theater Album” in 2014. It’s been produced across the world in places such as Korea, Australia, Toronto, Sweden and London.

The production is high energy, uplifting, fun and quite touching, Talbert said.

“Kinky Boots is not only a spectacular musical—it’s a celebration of being true to who you are,”  Doug Booher, executive director of IU Auditorium, said, according to the same press release.

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