Cyndi Lauper Hub




'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.


Cyndi Lauper And Adam Lambert Belt Out 'Mad World:' VIDEO

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Cyndi Lauper and Adam Lambert took the stage to sing Tears for Fears' classic "Mad World" at the holiday fundraiser for Lauper's True Colors campaign, a movement aimed at combating LGBT homelessness.

Watch Andy Cohen introduce Lauper and Lambert, who then do their thing, AFTER THE JUMP.

[Video via JMG]

Continue reading "Cyndi Lauper And Adam Lambert Belt Out 'Mad World:' VIDEO" »


Cyndi Lauper Launches National Program for Homeless LGBT Youth

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Cyndi Lauper today launched the Forty to None Project, a national program to educate the public and support homeless LGBT youth. The project's name comes from the disturbing number of LGBT homeless youth. With up to 1.6 million youth who are homeless each year, 40% identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Lauper wants that number to be "none".

Watch her speak out in the organization's first PSA, AFTER THE JUMP...

40Writes Lauper in a message about the project:

Five years ago, on the Christopher Street Pier in New York City, my eyes were opened.I was doing a photo shoot for Interview magazine and thought it was important to include some gay and transgender youth to reflect my work with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.  My goal was to send a message of inclusion and acceptance, but what I realized after talking to these kids was just how different my vision was from what they had experienced in their own lives.

The youth on the pier that day told me story after story of exclusion, of rejection and of pain. As a mother, I can’t ever imagine throwing my child away. I can’t imagine kicking a kid out of my house. I can’t imagine rejecting a person who is, literally, a part of me.

LgbtyouthBut for the kids of the pier, that rejection wasn’t something unimaginable. It was their reality. Anybody can end up on the street. Homelessness knows nothing of age or race or gender. It can happen to anybody.But when statistics show that as many as 40% of the nation’s homeless youth are gay or transgender, compared to 3-5% of the overall youth population, we have to acknowledge that we’re facing a crisis. The disparity suggests that gay and transgender youth stand a much higher chance of becoming homeless because of abuse, neglect and familial rejection due to sexual orientation or gender identity that drive them to the streets.The kids on the Christopher Street Pier that day, and the other gay and transgender youth living on the streets who make up the 40% have done nothing wrong, other than being born the way they were supposed to be.  And because of who they are, these kids have been forced to leave their homes, subjected to abuse or worse.

Lauper says she has done her homework on the issue while raising awareness through her True Colors Fund, which has produced video and print campaigns like The Give a Damn Campaign, which featured celebrities discussing the issue.

FortytononeAdds Lauper of Forty to None:

We traveled the country, visiting shelters, drop-in centers, outreach programs and advocacy organizations. We talked to community leaders, service providers, government officials and the kids themselves. We held meetings in 10 cities, from Washington to New York to San Francisco to Minneapolis. We looked for the holes in the system, and we’ve developed a five-year plan to make significant changes happen.

In our first five years, Forty to None will work to drive down the number of gay and transgender youth on the streets through a campaign that includes: education and awareness to raise the visibility of these young people and the direct service providers who work with them; advocacy at the state and federal levels; strengthening the network of services, advocates, community leaders and others working on the issue; training service providers to be more inclusive and understanding of the issues specifically affecting these kids; and empowering homeless gay and transgender youth themselves with valuable resources and information.

Watch Cyndi speak in Forty to None's first PSA, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Cyndi Lauper Launches National Program for Homeless LGBT Youth" »


The OXD Mirror: New Music for 6.15.12

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BY OCCUPY THE DISCO / RU BHATT

The OXD Mirror is a weekly music column brought to you by the boys of OCCUPY THE DISCO (OXD), a New York City based movement created by three music lovers, Ru Bhatt, Josh Appelbaum, and Tadeu Magalhães, who want to share their love for disco, house and dance music with the world. 

 

Florrie - To the End

Florrie, a UK based model/drummer/singer/songwriter has been wowing us since 2010's 'Call 911' which was reworked by the disco mastermind Fred Falke. The remix was such a hit that Falke teamed up with the pop starlet and produced a few more tracks including last year's favorite 'I Took A Little Something.' After a series of EPs, Florrie is back with her final independent release, Late, which features four disco-influenced gems that are quite different from anything she's done before. The EP’s final track, aptly titled 'In The End’ is a clear standout. Though it starts soft, Florrie takes you on a piano-laden journey while she beckons, "I will only give you happiness," as the song quickly escalates to an epic level that remains rooted to the dancefloor.

 

Van She - Jamaica

The Sydney-based electro-pop band known as Van She hit the music scene back in 2008 with their first album, V, which helped shape the so-called “new rave” scene alongside with bands like Klaxons and New Young Pony Club.  Their sound is influenced by 80s new-wave, electro and also incorporates elements of rock; this created a very accessible pop music style that was embraced by younger crowds around the world almost immediately. 'Jamaica,' the second single off their new album, Idea of Happiness, brings their sound to a tropical level with echoes of steel drums that create the perfect summer track.

 

Citizens! - True Romance (Gigamesh Remix)

Citizens!, a pop act hailing from the UK, hit the scene earlier this year with 'True Romance,' their debut single produced by Franz Ferdinand & Alex Kapranos. The song's cheerful melodies rise amongst synths as vocalist Tom Burke chants flirtatious lyrics that are bound make the lovers happy. Gigamesh, the alter-ego of American producer Matt Masurka, brings an almost effervescent feel to the infectious song with his signature sound. Both artists are signed to French label Kitsuné, which is known for their unearthing similar electro, synth-pop and nu disco artists. Gigamesh recently released his second EP, All My Life, which includes the popular dance track  'Your Body'. Citizens! full length album, Here We Are, is available now.

MORE NEW TRACKS, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The OXD Mirror: New Music for 6.15.12" »


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