‘Kinky Boots’ Star Talks Broadway Drag in New Cyndi Lauper, Harvey Fierstein Hit

Bootsy Colleen

Singin’ Out

When a small town British shoe factory owner sees his business going down the tubes, he does what any sensible businessperson would and takes on a flamboyant drag queen as designer and liaison to male impersonators who just want a pump that fits right.

Or a boot.

Kinky Boots, based on the 2005 film, recently made its Broadway debut and critics and audiences seem to think Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper have a hit on their hands (feet)?

Which shouldn’t surprise many. The writer/lyricist duo aren’t exactly known for their duds.

But the show might eventually be. Sparkles and sequins and drag queens (oh my!) will undoubtedly make for a musical beloved for its big heart as well as its big style.

At the center of Kinky Boots is drag queen-turned-designer Lola, the glittery gal who saves the day, played by Billy Porter.

Porter recently sat with HuffPo to discuss the role and what it means to be headlining on the Great White Way as a black gay man performing in drag.

Though drag queens have been cropping up on Broadway of late (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Fierstein’s La Cage aux Folles), Porter says his race makes him something of a trailblazer.

“First of all, Lola is black and Lola is the lead, and that has never happened on Broadway,” he said.

Porter, who hasn’t been seen on Broadway since appearing in Miss Saigon, couldn’t be more thrilled with his newest role. And he’s open about the long road he took to get there.

“People don’t see me in traditional roles,” the 43-year-old Pittsburgh native told HuffPo. “It’s unbelievable to have this role and this show come along now, and literally make the last 25 years of life make sense.”

We’re super excited for Porter and it’s great that more and more eclectic, diverse roles are showing up in a world dominated by Disney sweetness and little singing orphans.

Let’s hope for even more in the future.

For now, read the full interview with Porter, and find out why he calls Kinky Boots “a bromance between two men with daddy issues,” on the Huffington Post’s Gay Voices.

Kinky Boots opened April 4 at New York’s Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Visit the official show website to listen to some of the Cyndi Lauper-penned songs and get a free download.



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