Theater

Kinda Kinky, Boots and All: KINKY BOOTS comes to Theatre by the Sea

Luke Hamilton (Charlie Price), Julian Malone (Lola/Simon) and Audrey Belle Adams (Lauren) in KINKY BOOTS playing at Theatre By The Sea thru September 11, 2022. Photo by Mark Turek

Happy 89th birthday to Theatre By The Sea! The 300-seat converted barn theater opened on August 7, 1933 with a production of Strictly Dynamite. The tradition of providing local audiences with exhilarating energy, joy and laughter continues with KINKY BOOTS!

“It’s hard to believe we are opening the final production of our 2022 season,” said TBTS owner and producer Bill Hanney, “and what better way to close out our first full season back after the shutdown than with an uplifting, positive musical that’s fresh, funny, and a great night at the theater. Though the title is a bit cheeky, the show has a huge heart and delivers the universal message about how opening your heart and mind can change your life and the lives of those around you.”

Entertaining AF, this fun, feel-good musical struts its stuff with nonstop laughter throughout the show. KINKY BOOTS has been called the “freshest, most fabulous, joyous musical” and has been the winner of every major award, including the 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical. With songs by Grammy- and Tony-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, and book by Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein, this dazzling, sassy and encouraging musical takes you from the assembly line of a men’s shoe factory to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. KINKY BOOTS is based on a true story about Steve Pateman and the attempt made to save his family-owned shoe factory (W.J. Brooks Ltd. in England). As they say, “sometimes the best way to fit in is to stand out!” 

Enter Lola. Don’t be confused by the Kinks’ lady of the evening here– there’s no connection. However, this Lola/Simon, portrayed by Julian Malone, goes above and beyond to entertain their audience! There has never been a more perfect marriage between character and actor. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry—and everything in between—but mostly you’ll be in awe when Malone opens his mouth and shows that winning smile! Malone says the message of this show is to “Just be,” and we are all allowed to do just that by the end of the performance. Lola quotes Oscar Wilde as saying, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken!” and even gives us her six steps to success and happiness! 

The chemistry among the entire cast is electric. There’s a symbiotic relationship you can feel as characters transition onstage that keeps a rhythmic flow. Sometimes the actors forget they’re portraying English folk, but you can easily excuse the accent faux pas when you hear the beautiful vocals lent by each and every performer. You’ll be impressed by everyone’s sheer talent, especially when Luke Hamilton’s Charlie vents his grief. Audrey Belle Adams (Lauren) will also surprise you with not only her vocal savvy, but her comedic timing as well!

Kyle Dixon creates intricate set designs to set the scene that hosts fabulous dancing (sweet surprises here!) choreographed and directed by Producing Artistic Director Kevin P. Hill. Kinky’s original costume designs by Gregg Barnes ‘light’ the stage with the help of  Lighting Designer Jose Santiago. Musical direction by Jacob Priddy completes the experience with euphoric sounds that’ll make you want to jump out of your seat. I swear, I saw a member of the light crew bopping in the rafters during a song belted out by Lola! You’ll walk away feeling touched with a sense of heart-warming happiness that this jubilant exulting show delivers.

TBTS will be showcasing KINKY BOOTS through September 11. For more info, visit www.theatrebythesea.com/kinkyboots.

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