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Tony Nominees Billy Porter and Stark Sands Perform 'Kinky Boots' on Location at a Shoe Maker: VIDEO

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Billy Porter and Stark Sands sing "Not My Father's Son" from Kinky Boots in a new series from the New York Times in which Tony nominees perform scenes on location in NYC. Cyndi Lauper wrote the music and lyrics to the musical.

This performance was shot at the shoemaker T.O. Dey.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Our theatre critic Naveen Kumar predicts a win for Lauper this Sunday. See his other predictions HERE.

Continue reading "Tony Nominees Billy Porter and Stark Sands Perform 'Kinky Boots' on Location at a Shoe Maker: VIDEO" »


Cyndi Lauper Gets Surprise Music Video for 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' Anniversary: VIDEO

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The cast and producers of Broadway's Kinky Boots unleashed a surprise on Cyndi Lauper to celebrate the 30th anniversary of her chart-topping hit "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by enlisting the cast and crew along with friends like Mika Brzezinski, Katie Couric, Lilla Crawford, Paige Davis, Christina DeCicco, Rebecca Faulkenberry, Kathie Lee Gifford, Whoopi Goldberg, Samantha Hill, Hoda Kotb, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, and other Broadway notables in a video lip dub of the track.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Said Lauper to People: ""It's so sweet, I'm crying. The Kinky Boots cast is so funny, and all the other shows participating is the sweetest thing I've ever seen."

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Continue reading "Cyndi Lauper Gets Surprise Music Video for 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' Anniversary: VIDEO" »


Cyndi Lauper Talks 'Kinky Boots' with Jay Leno: VIDEO

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Last night Cyndi Lauper appeared on The Tonight Show to talk about her new musical Kinky Boots (read our theatre critic Naveen Kumar's review HERE if you missed it) as well as a new tour she's doing in which she'll sing the entire She's So Unusual album beginning to end to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Cyndi Lauper Talks 'Kinky Boots' with Jay Leno: VIDEO" »


'Kinky Boots' Opens On Broadway: REVIEW

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BY NAVEEN KUMAR

Who better to help boost a stumbling economy than a brazen troupe of fabulous drag queens in high-heels? They’re just the divas for the job in Kinky Boots, the uplifting and heartfelt new musical with book written by Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, which opened on Broadway last Thursday at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

Kinky_Boots_Broadway_19_email_1Loosely based on the 2005 film of the same name, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price (Stark Sands), whose father dies, leaving him in charge of the family’s floundering shoe factory. Through an unlikely alliance with a wry drag queen named Lola (Billy Porter), Charlie hatches a plan to save the family business by producing stiletto boots sturdy enough to support a man’s weight, and fierce enough to satisfy his outer diva.

Of course, this is not just a tale of economic triumph. Ultimately, it’s a story about courage, pride, and accepting others for who they are—all lessons which drag queens are perfectly suited to teach the world.

Kinky Boots is also a musical very much about family. Charlie and Lola share a bond in overcoming the disappointment of not living up to their fathers’ expectations. Yet for all the characters on stage here, family bonds stretch beyond bloodlines. For Charlie, saving his father’s factory means saving his lifelong friends and neighbors from unemployment. And aside from a fraught relationship with her ailing father, Lola’s band of limber back-up Angels is the only family she knows.

Kinky_Boots_Broadway_17_email_1With direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell, it’s hard to think of a creative team whose talents are more fit for telling a story as campy as it is sincere. Here Fierstein appropriately combines his experience writing musicals about economic underdogs (Newsies) and saucy show queens with a soft side (La Cage Aux Folles). 

Lauper’s music is buoyant, layered with synth, and provides a conducive vehicle for belt-heavy star vocals. Like the pretensionless, unabashed brand of pop she pioneered in the 80’s, Lauper’s songs are scattered with hooks and straightforward in their sentiment. From full cast dance numbers to confessional ballads, and an eleven o’clock number that Porter slays as Lola, every feeling is spelled out with a sugared clarity amplified by repetition.

Kinky_Boots_Broadway_71_email_1Both top-notch performers, Sands and Porter bring charisma and talent to their halves of the story’s central odd couple, including voices that soar over the rafters. Annaleigh Ashford is delightfully funny as Charlie’s hapless admirer and dedicated employee, though developing romantic subplots is not the show’s strongest suit. Charlie’s relationship with his fiancée dissolves mostly unseen, and Lola né Simon is actually meant to be straight as well—a holdover from its source material that this production wisely underplays.

If Kinky Boots wears its heart on its sleeve (lyrics in the closing song actually spell out its lessons in a numbered list), it’s a full heart beating with a passionate and important message worth spreading. That changing minds really does change the world is an equation we’re counting on. 

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Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos:matthew murphy)


Cyndi Lauper Rips Racist Donald Trump for Anti-Gay Remarks, Hideous Buildings, Sh*t-Stirring

Cyndi Lauper, whose new musical Kinky Boots is set to open on Broadway next month, talks to Next magazine about its development, and also her True Colors Fund, which advocates on behalf of LGBT homeless youth.

LauperShe also takes a shot at her former Apprentice "boss" Donald Trump:

"I’m not going to kiss ass with somebody like that...I felt that what he said about the gay community was disappointing because a lot of gay people work for him. It’s just sad. I thought he could have done better for his country than just go to the lowest common denominator and stir up the crap. It’s our country, it’s not wrestling. If you try and make our president fail, it doesn’t matter who he is, you make our country fail. And if you really are a patriot, if you really give a sh*t about our country, you don’t do stuff like that. First of all, you’re an entertainer, and you make ugly buildings, and you’re famous for it. And you have a reality show with very high ratings. Don’t step into the forum like that. Become educated with facts. Don’t just be a sh*t-stirrer. Our country is in trouble and he keeps wanting to make [Obama] fail. Let’s call a spade a spade. The guy’s a black man and that’s your issue? What kind of idiot are you? Come on.”


Cyndi Lauper Speaks Out for LGBT Youth in 'Rolling Stone', Demands Lawmakers Protect Them

Cyndi Lauper continues her advocacy for LGBT youth with a new editorial in Rolling Stone, condemning congressional deadlock on budget policy:

Cyndi_lauperWhile some members of Congress have recognized that this budget issue is a matter of life or death for many Americans, including LGBT youth, the House majority continues to hold onto their vows to protect the wealthiest Americans from tax increases. I am one of those Americans, and I do not need protecting. I am fully prepared to pay my fair share to ensure our country gets back on track. And by the way, these are the same House leaders who last summer required the same type of wholesale cuts set to go into effect in return for raising our nation's debt ceiling.

So, while this budget standoff may sound like a problem just for Washington bureaucrats, it is actually much bigger than that. It impacts every person, every community, all of us – gay and straight, young and old. And we need to do something about it.

We need to cut through the abstract jargon and tell Congress to set aside partisan differences and adopt a sustainable plan that protects life-saving services for LGBT youth and other marginalized populations, including senior citizens, people of color and women. If they can't do that by the end of the year, then a short-term agreement delaying budget cuts should be put in place to give the next Congress a chance to agree on a long-term fiscal solution.

Visit Lauper's True Colors Fund HERE.


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