Dallas Summer Musicals
Director – Jerry Mitchell
Musical Director—Roberto Sinha
Scenic Designer – David Rockwell
Lighting Designer—Kenneth Posner
Sound Designer – John Shivers
Costume Designer – Gregg Barnes
Hair Designer—Josh Marquette
Make-Up Designer—Randy Houston Mercer
CAST (in reviewed performance)
Mr. Price—Tom Souhrada
Young Charlie—Elliot Fishman
Young Lola—Christian Mullins
Simon Sr.—Gavin Gregory
Charlie Price—Curt Hansen
Angels—Joseph Anthony Byrd, Tony d’Alelio, John J. Dempsey, Ian Gallagher Fitzgerald, Xavier Reyes, Andy Richardson
Richard Bailey—Ciaran McCarthy
Milan Stage Manager—Mary Mossberg
Ensemble—Joseph Anthony Byrd, Tami Dahbura, Tony d’Alelio, John J. Dempsey, Madge Dietrich, Ian Gallagher Fitzgerald, Gavin Gregory, Ciaran McCarthy, Julia McLellan, Mary Mossberg, Xavier Reyes, Andy Richardson, Casi Riegle, Andrew Scanlon, Tom Souhrada, Dan Tracy, Sam Zeller
Reviewed Performance 3/29/2017
Reviewed by Genevieve Croft , Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
Based on the 2005 Miramax motion picture (and loosely based on a true story), Kinky Boots is one of Broadway’s newer musicals, premiering in 2013. With a book by Tony-winner, Harvey Fierstein, music and lyrics by Tony, Emmy, and Grammy-winner Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots (inspired by true events) tells the story of Charlie Price, a man who inherits a shoe factory from his father. To save the business, Charlie forms an unlikely partnership with cabaret performer and drag queen, Lola. With Lola’s help, Charlie produces a line of high-heeled boots in hopes to enter an “underserved niche market” of sales and popularity. Throughout the course of the story, Charlie and Lola discover they are not so different after all. With upbeat music and lyrics by Lauper, and a humorous book by Broadway favorite Fierstein, audiences are guaranteed to be entertained, and what modern Broadway musical would be complete without flashy costumes, sparkly and “out of this world” kinky boots, and of course, drag queens?
Director Jerry Mitchell brought together an ensemble cast which worked well together, and collaborated with a dedicated crew intricately knit together scenery, lighting and costumes that enhanced the story told by these eccentric characters. Mr. Mitchell wonderfully delivers in the role of director, and choreographer for this production-the choreography was wonderfully dynamic.
It was fabulous to see such intricate choreography in “Sex Is in the Heel,” and the Act I finale, “Everybody Say Yeah” was one of the most enjoyable parts of the entire show. This number really brought the audience’s energy up. I was very impressed with the syncopated movements on the factory conveyor belts in this number. During the entire number, I was completely blown away. Some people can hardly walk on a moving walkway, but, to see Mitchell’s (obviously complicated) choreography move seamlessly from one moment to the other was absolutely fascinating. It created some lovely stage pictures, and was very powerful to watch.
It is hard to pick out a favorite number, as they are all so catchy and staged with such care. The entire time I was very much pulled in by the spectacle and enthralled by the musical talent and the impressive choreography. I was also very impressed with some of the unique choreography and stage movement in “In This Corner.” The slow-motion movements were very well executed, and were very reminiscent of an actual boxing match. It provided the audience with some awe-inspiring stage pictures. I can only imagine how many hours of work went into staging the choreography of this production. It was exactly what one would expect from a dramatic, and flashy production.
From the moment the production starts, the energy was enthusiastic, upbeat and strong. Audiences could feel the positive energy ruminate from the stage. From the moment the Price and Son Shoe Factory opens its doors, you will be blown away by the level of excitement that remains consistent through this production.
Sets were designed by David Rockwell. There was many surprises that came along with the set and overall design. I was most impressed with the overall first impression of the outside of Price and Sons Shoe Factory. It was lovely to see the exteriors scenes as the first impression, and as the story progressed, the scenic changes were executed with such a grand effect, but, also, with simplicity. Scenes transitioned seamlessly, allowing the pacing of the production to move quickly. I also enjoyed the many uses of the ladder, and the different ways it was manipulated to create different playing areas of the stage, and different locations in the setting. I felt that Broadway had been brought to the Music Hall at Fair Park on Wednesday evening. The sets were created, designed, and executed with great care, detail and precision.
Lighting was designed by Kenneth Posner. Lighting, like the scenic design, was also very intricate, and executed in a very professional manner. The mood was clearly established as the audience was drawn into the world of the musical. It is apparent that there was quite a bit of time and talent devoted to creating the lighting of this production. The variety of bright, colorful lighting really accentuated the colorful personalities of these dramatic and larger than life characters. Lighting was also high energy, and powerful. There were some lovely silhouettes cast of simple items (such as high-heeled shoes and boots) that added a visually pleasing, and creative touch to the lighting. With each scene change, I was fascinated with how quickly the lighting was changing to accentuate each scene. Lighting was truly dazzling, and just as glitzy as the thigh-high Kinky Boots worn by Lola and her Angels.
Costumes were designed by Gregg Barnes. Barnes designed costumes that also worked well with the scenic and the lighting designs. The costumes were very appropriate to the story, and were also full of spectacle and color. Each actor from the principal actors to those in the ensemble had unique and special details that enhanced their character and importance to the story. Barnes did a phenomenal job of collaborating with the other areas of design, and created a visually pleasing, and a complex design for each character in this production. It was most impressive to see the massive amount of costume changes throughout the production, especially those of Lola and her entourage of Angels. In every scene, Lola would come out in something outlandish and eccentric. Costumes were full of texture, color, and had some amazing patterns and prints.
Timothy Ware was phenomenal in the role of Lola. Through facial expressions, an impressive and powerful voice, and a strong presence on stage, Ware convincingly portrayed the flashy Lola. Audiences will certainly laugh along with the over the top line delivery, on stage persona, and fantastic delivery of comic timing. Standout musical numbers of Mr. Ware include the “Land of Lola,” “Sex Is in the Heel,” and the touching “Hold Me in Your Heart.” Each musical number demonstrated Mr. Ware’s versatility as a performer, and each had something different about them. There was never a moment when his stellar performances were the same.
Another standout performance was Curt Hansen, in the role of Charlie Price. Hansen was the representation of normalcy in the world of eccentricity. Hansen also provided quite a bit of humor to the story, and had some excellent chemistry with co-worker, Lauren, beautifully portrayed by Rose Hemingway. Hemingway wonderfully portrayed the comic foil amidst the group of factory workers. It was pleasant to see her express herself in “The History of Wrong Guys,” as she summons up her courage to cast aside her shyness and express her romantic feelings for Charlie.
Perhaps the one of the best takeaways from this production is the simple and meaningful message, “accept someone for who they are.” In light of recent events, it was nice to hear this message radiate from the story. No matter what, we should try and always accept someone for who they are. Not only did I leave the theater seeing a fantastic production, but, I also left with an uplifted spirit, and some hope that everyone will be able to accept each other for who they are, not where they come from, what they look like, or any other designation that makes them “different” from everyone else. I see it as an opportunity to practice tolerance, and that seems to be something that is greatly missed in today’s society. After all, that is the job of performers and designers, to take audiences to another place and time, and to make their story relevant to audiences. Kinky Boots does just that, and does it with greatness.
Kinky Boots is definitely worth seeing. Audience members were buzzing with excitement as we exited the theater, one saying that this was the best production of this kind that they had seen since “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.” The meticulous and care for detail is evident in all aspects of the production, and makes for a wonderful experience at the theater. If you are looking for an opportunity to see a new musical, with all the glitz and glamour of Broadway, in the comfort of your backyard, I highly recommend Kinky Boots at the Music Hall at Fair Park. You have a short time to see Kinky Boots, and then, they will walk on by.
DALLAS SUMMER MUSICALS
THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK
909 1ST AVE.
DALLAS, TX 75210
Plays through April 9, 2017.
Thu., Mar. 30, 7:30pm
Fri., Mar. 31, 7:30pm
Sat., Apr. 1, 1:30pm
Sat., Apr. 1, 7:30pm
Sun., Apr. 2, 1:30pm
Sun., Apr. 2, 7:30pm
Tue., Apr. 4, 7:30pm
Wed., Apr. 5, 7:30pm
Thu., Apr. 6, 1:30pm
Thu., Apr. 6, 7:30pm
Fri., Apr. 7, 7:30pm
Sat., Apr. 8, 1:30pm
Sat., Apr. 8, 7:30pm
Sun., Apr. 9, 1:30pm
Ticket prices range from $26.00-$120.00, depending on day and seating. For groups of 10 or more, please call 214.426.4768 or email: Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.
For information and to purchase tickets, go to www.DallasSummerMusicals.org by phone at 1.800.745.3000 and at The Box Office, located at 909 1st Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75210 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Please note that the Preston Royal Box Office has closed.