Kinky Boots (musical)
Chicago preview promotional poster
by Geoff Deane
|Premiere||October 2, 2012: Bank of America Theatre, Chicago|
Based on the 2005 British film Kinky Boots, written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth and mostly inspired by true events, the musical tells the story of Charlie Price. Having inherited a shoe factory from his father, Charlie forms an unlikely partnership with cabaret performer and drag queen Lola to produce a line of high-heeled boots and save the business. In the process, Charlie and Lola discover that they are not so different after all.
Following the show's conception in 2006, the creative team was assembled by 2010. The original production of Kinky Boots premiered at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago in October 2012, with both direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell, and starring Stark Sands and Billy Porter as Charlie and Lola, respectively. It made its Broadway debut at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on April 4, 2013, following previews that began on March 3, 2013. The musical began a US tour in 2014. The musical then ended on April 7, 2019.
Having initially been less well received by theatre critics and at the box office than another 2013 Broadway production, Matilda the Musical, Kinky Boots entered the 2013 awards season as an underdog. However, less than a month after opening, Kinky Boots surpassed this rival with audiences in weekly box office gross and later enjoyed a post-Tony boost in advance sales. The production earned a season-high 13 nominations and 6 Tony wins, including Best Musical, Best Actor for Billy Porter and Best Score for Lauper in her first outing as a Broadway songwriter, making her the first woman to win alone in that category. The musical's cast album premiered at number one on the Billboard Cast Albums Chart and number fifty-one on the Billboard 200 chart. Making its West End debut in 2015, in 2016, it won three Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical.
Background and creation
Kinky Boots is based on the 2005 British film of the same name, which was in turn inspired by a 1999 episode of the BBC2 documentary television series Trouble at the Top. It followed the true story of Steve Pateman, who was struggling to save his family-run shoe factory from closure and decided to produce fetish footwear for men, under the brand name "Divine Footwear". Daryl Roth, a Tony Award-winning producer, saw the film at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and fell in love with its "heart and soul". She felt that its themes resonated and thought that the story had potential as source material for a musical. Independently, Hal Luftig saw the film in London and agreed "that its heart and humanity (and bigger-than-life leading 'lady') would translate well to musical theatre." Within a year, Roth secured the rights to adapt the film to the stage and partnered with Luftig, a Tony and Olivier Award-winning producer.
By mid-2008, Roth and Luftig were in discussions with a potential director, Jerry Mitchell, but they still had not found writers. When Roth sent Mitchell the DVD of the film, he was enthusiastic about it. Roth and Luftig hired Mitchell to direct and Harvey Fierstein to write the book. Mitchell knew that Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper were friends, and he thought they would make a good team to create the musical. Fierstein agreed and eventually approached Lauper to write the songs because he "saw in the adaptation an opportunity to work with someone with a big musical range, 'somebody who could write club music,' ... along with show tunes." Lauper joined the creative team in June 2010. Lauper's last project before Kinky Boots had been the album Memphis Blues, while Fierstein was working on Newsies when he began Kinky Boots. The work marked Lauper's debut as a musical theatre songwriter, although she had some theatrical experience, having performed on Broadway in the 2006 Roundabout Theatre Company production of The Threepenny Opera. Among Fierstein's prior experiences were works about drag queens: La Cage aux Folles and Torch Song Trilogy. Lauper has said that she identifies with drag queens.
Fierstein and Lauper had both gained previous critical acclaim and honors in their respective fields. Fierstein had won four Tonys: acting and writing awards for Torch Song Trilogy, an acting Tony for Hairspray, and one for writing the book of La Cage; Lauper is a chart-topping singer-songwriter and actress who had won Grammy, Emmy and many other awards for her songs and performances. Fierstein noted a change in focus between the film "about the saving of a factory" and the musical, which include "drag queens singing as they pass along the assembly line." He said the main difference is that the musical is, "at its core, about two young men who come from seemingly opposite worlds who figure out that they have a lot in common, beginning with the need to stand up to their dads." Lauper's inspirations ranged from the musicals South Pacific and West Side Story to Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring and pop singer Lana Del Rey. In a broadcast interview with Patrick Healy of The New York Times, Lauper and Fierstein said that, in adapting the film, they stressed themes of community and the universality of the father-son bond as vehicles to explore the issues of tolerance and self-acceptance.
Kinky Boots was given a reading on October 6, 2011. Lauper was actively engaged in refining the material once the cast began readings. In January 2012, Roth announced that the show would be workshopped that month, and that Stark Sands and Billy Porter had been cast in the starring roles. In August 2012, the producers announced the Broadway opening date of April 4, 2013.
Charlie Price grows up as the fourth-generation "son" in his family business, Price & Son, a shoe manufacturing company with its factory in Northampton. Another young boy, growing up in London, is as fascinated by shoes as Charlie is bored by them. But in this case, it is a pair of red women's heels that have attracted his attention, aggravating his strict father. Years pass. Charlie's father is aging and hopes that Charlie will take over the factory, but Charlie is eager to move to London with his status-conscious fiancée, Nicola, and pursue a career in real estate ("The Most Beautiful Thing").
Charlie has barely made it into his new flat in London when his father dies suddenly. Charlie hurries home for the funeral, where he finds the factory near bankruptcy. The factory makes good quality men's shoes, but they are not stylish and not cheap, and the market for them is drying up. Charlie is determined to save the factory and his father's legacy, though he has no desire to run Price & Sons himself. The workers, many of whom have known Charlie his entire life, do not understand why Charlie had moved away in the first place, and many are hostile and skeptical of the new management.
Returning to London, Charlie meets his friend and fellow shoe salesman, Harry, in a pub to ask for help with the factory. Harry can only offer a temporary solution and advises Charlie not to fight the inevitable ("Take What You Got"). Leaving the pub, Charlie witnesses a woman being accosted by two drunks. He intervenes and is knocked unconscious. He comes to in a seedy nightclub, where the woman he attempted to rescue is revealed to have been the club's drag queen headliner, Lola, who performs with her backup troupe of drag dancers, the "angels" ("Land of Lola"). Recuperating from his ordeal in Lola's dressing room, an uncomfortable Charlie notices that the performers' high-heeled boots are not designed to hold a man's weight, but Lola explains that the expensive and unreliable footwear is an essential part of any drag act.
Charlie returns to the factory and begins reluctantly laying off his workers. Lauren, one of the women on the assembly line, explodes at Charlie when given her notice, and stubbornly tells him that other struggling shoe factories have survived by entering an "underserved niche market". This gives Charlie an idea ("Land of Lola" reprise), and he invites Lola to come to the factory to help him design a women's boot that can be comfortable for a man ("Charlie's Soliloquy"/"Step One").
Lola and the angels arrive at the factory, and she is immediately unsatisfied with Charlie's first design of the boot. Quickly getting the women of the factory on her side, she draws a quick design of a boot, explaining the most important factor is by far the heel ("The Sex is in the Heel"). George, the factory manager, realizes a way to make her design practical, and an impressed Charlie begs Lola to stay until a prestigious footwear show in Milan in three weeks' time, to design a new line of "kinky boots" that could save the factory. Lola is reluctant, since she is already receiving crass comments from Don, the factory foreman and some of the other factory workers but is flattered by Charlie's praise, and finally agrees.
Charlie announces that the factory will be moving ahead with production on the boots. He thanks Lauren for giving him the idea and offers her a promotion. She accepts and is horrified but thrilled to realize she is falling for him ("The History of Wrong Guys").
The next day, Lola shows up in men's clothes and is mocked by Don and his friends. An upset Lola takes refuge in the bathroom, and Charlie attempts to comfort her. Lola explains that her father trained her as a boxer, but disowned her when she showed up for a match in drag. The two discover their similarly complex feelings toward their fathers, and Lola introduces herself by her birth name: Simon ("Not My Father's Son").
Nicola and her boss Richard Bailey arrive from the city of London and present Charlie with a plan for the factory that Richard has drawn up: closing it and converting it into condominiums. Charlie refuses but is shocked to discover that his father had agreed to this plan before he died, presumably because Charlie was not there to run it. He refuses to sell, and soon the workers are celebrating as the first pair of "kinky boots" is finished ("Everybody Say Yeah").
Some of the factory workers are not enthusiastic about the radical change in their product line. Some of them, especially the intimidating Don, make Lola feel very unwelcome. Lola taunts him back, enlisting the help of the female factory workers to prove that Lola is closer to a woman's ideal man than Don ("What a Woman Wants"). Lola presents Don with a unique wager to see who is the better "man": Lola will do anything that Don specifies if Don will do the same thing for her. Don's challenge is for Lola to fight him in a boxing match at the pub. Charlie, remembering Lola's background, is horrified. Lola easily scores against Don in the ring but ultimately lets Don win the match ("In This Corner"). Afterward, in private, Don asks why she let him win, and Lola replies that she could not be so cruel as to humiliate Don in front of his mates. She gives him her part of the challenge: "accept someone for who they are."
Charlie is pouring his own money into the factory to ensure it will be ready in time for Milan, and he is getting frantic that the product is not right, angrily forcing his staff to redo what he considers to be shoddy work. Nicola arrives, fed up with Charlie's obsession over the factory, and breaks up with him. Lola has been making some decisions about production and preparations without consulting Charlie. When he discovers that she has decided to have her angels wear the boots on the runway rather than hiring professional models, an overwhelmed Charlie lashes out at her, He humiliates her in front of the other workers. Lola storms out, and the factory workers go home. Alone, Charlie struggles with the weight of his father's legacy and what it means to be his own man ("Soul of a Man").
Lauren finds Charlie and tells him to come back to the factory. It is revealed that Don has persuaded all the workers to return to work and to sacrifice a week's pay to ensure the boots can be finished in time for Milan. Charlie is astonished and grateful and asks if Don has paid up on his wager by accepting Lola. Lauren explains that the person that Don has accepted is Charlie himself.
As he heads to the airport for Milan, Charlie leaves a heartfelt apology on Lola's voicemail. Meanwhile, Lola performs her act at a nursing home in her home town. After she leaves the stage, she speaks to her now wheelchair-bound father, who is dying in the home, and reaches a sense of closure ("Hold Me in Your Heart").
Charlie and Lauren arrive in Milan. But without models, Charlie is forced to walk the runway himself. Lauren is thrilled by his dedication ("The History of Wrong Guys (Reprise)") but the show threatens to be a disaster. Just as all seems lost, Lola and her angels arrive to save the day. Lauren and Charlie share their first kiss, and the whole company celebrates the success of the "Kinky Boots" ("Raise You Up/Just Be").
In Lauper's first effort at writing for the stage, she found that it required a sustained effort to write songs for the different characters. Lauper joked about the difficulty of writing her first score: "How much of a stretch is it for me to write songs about fashion, funny relationships, people changing their minds and shoes?" The first song that Lauper wrote was the opening number, which included a wide range of voices. Her process was to conceive a song and sing it into her iPhone, and orchestrator Stephen Oremus would write it down. Oremus would then "'blow up' the vocal line into harmonies, create the incidental music that linked scenes and songs" and orchestrate the material. The songs range in style "from pop to funk to new wave to tango, with highly personal lyrics". New York Times critic Melena Ryzik wrote: "Though there are plenty of hooky, rousing numbers, the emotional heart of Kinky Boots is several ballads about the weight of parental expectations." The musical uses a twelve-piece orchestra consisting of keyboards, percussion, bass, guitars, reeds, violin, viola, cello, trumpet, and trombone.
On August 30, 2017, songwriters Benny Mardones and Robert Tepper sued Cyndi Lauper for lifting elements from their song “Into the Night” for Kinky Boots’ final song “Raise You Up.” The judge referred the case to a mediator, but no settlement was reached.
- ‡Song not included on original Broadway cast album or West End cast Recording.
Another reprise of Charlie's Soliloquy was added for the West End production in between "Not My Father's Son" and "Everybody Say Yeah."
Principal roles and original casts
|Character||Original Broadway Cast||Original US Tour Cast||Original Toronto Cast||Original London Cast||Original Australian Cast||Original UK Tour Cast|
|Charlie Price||Stark Sands||Steven Booth||Graham Scott Fleming||Killian Donnelly||Toby Francis||Joel Harper- Jackson|
|Lola||Billy Porter||Kyle Taylor Parker||Alan Mingo Jr.||Matt Henry||Callum Francis||Callum Francis|
& Kayi Ushe
|Lauren||Annaleigh Ashford||Lindsay Nicole Chambers||A.J. Bridel||Amy Lennox||Sophie Wright||Paula Lane|
|Nicola||Lena Hall||Grace Stockdale||Vanessa Sears||Amy Ross||Teagan Wouters||Helen Ternent|
|Don||Daniel Sherman||Joe Coots||Dan Williston||Jamie Baughan||Joe Kosky||Demitri Lampra|
|George||Marcus Neville||Craig Waletzko||James Kall||Michael Hobbs||Nathan Carter||Adam Price|
|Pat||Tory Ross||Bonnie Milligan||Kristin Peace||Chloe Hart||Samm Hagen||Lizzie Bea|
|Trish||Jennifer Perry||Amelia Cormack||Nicola Dawn||Gillian Hardie||Emma Powell||Niki Evans|
|Harry||Andy Kelso||Mike Longo||Patrick Cook||Paul Ayres||Jake Speer||Joshua St. Clair|
|Mr. Price||Stephen Berger||David McDonald||Sandy Winsby||Alan Vicary||Glenn Butcher||Andy Watkins|
|Simon Sr.||Eugene Barry-Hill||Horace V. Rogers||Jaivaro Smith||Robert Grose||Eric Rasmussen||Fred Smiley|
|Richard Bailey||John Jeffrey Martin||Ross Lekites||Justin Stadnyk||Michael Vinsen||Matthew Predny||Daniel Conway|
|Milan Stage Manager||Adinah Alexander||Anne Tolpegin||Cleopatra Williams||Verity Quade||Denise Devlin||Scarlet Gabriel|
|Maggie||Caroline Bowman||Blair Goldberg||Erika Peck||Sophie Isaacs||Hilary Cole||Charlie Allen|
|Young Charlie||Sebastian Hedges Thomas||Anthony Picarello||Arden Couturier
|Young Lola||Marquise Neal||Andrew Theo Johnson||Isaiah Slater
- Charlie Price: Killian Donnelly, Brendon Urie, Jake Shears, David Cook, Tyler Glenn, Mark Ballas, Conor Maynard
- Lola/Simon: Wayne Brady, Todrick Hall
- Lauren: Taylor Louderman, Kirstin Maldonado
- Don: Tiki Barber
West End replacements
- Charlie Price: David Hunter, Oliver Tompsett
- Lauren: Verity Rushworth, Natalie McQueen
- Don: Alan Mehdizadeh
On February 6, 2012, the Chicago Tribune reported that Kinky Boots' producers were considering taking advantage of an incentive program from the State of Illinois for out-of-town tryouts for Broadway shows. The October 2012 pre-Broadway Chicago tryout was announced on February 22, 2012. On June 28, 2012 the full Chicago cast was announced. The production was rehearsed at the New 42nd Street Studios in New York City in September 2012. The show began its pre-Broadway run at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago, on October 2, 2012, which continued until November 4, 2012. The show was directed and choreographed by Mitchell; scenic design was by David Rockwell, costumes by Gregg Barnes, lighting by Kenneth Posner and sound by John Shivers. The music director and orchestrator was Stephen Oremus. The director and design team had gained previous critical acclaim and theatre or music awards. Mitchell had won a Tony Award for choreographing the 2005 revival of La Cage aux Folles; Barnes and Posner had won Tonys; and Rockwell had been nominated for Tonys and other theatre awards.
Mitchell and Rockwell had previously collaborated on Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can and Legally Blonde. Mitchell told The New York Times that the "Everybody Say Yeah" scene, in which the cast celebrates the creation of the first pair of Kinky Boots with a choreographed celebration on conveyor belts, required repeated innovations and adjustments like the eventual addition of safety rails and actor controls for the apparatus. Designer Derek McLane commented that it is not uncommon for repeat choreographer/set designer collaborations to result in intriguing innovation like the conveyor belt dance scene in Kinky Boots. McLane was impressed with the "series of conveyor belts that came apart, moved around, and fit the context of the story" in order to accentuate the choreography of "a troupe of men in four-inch heels". With respect to the conveyor belts, he said, "They've never been used as dynamically as this, creating a series of surprises, with the kind of wild athleticism that actually looks dangerous. It's one of the more thrilling combinations of stage design and choreography that I can recall."
After the tryout, the team went back to work, adding a new musical number for Charlie and a second song in the drag club, removing another song, and revising the book. The Broadway debut started previews on March 3, 2013 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, with the official opening on April 4, 2013. Both the Chicago and original Broadway casts starred Billy Porter as Lola, Stark Sands as Charlie and Annaleigh Ashford as Lauren. Porter, in particular, was singled out for critical praise.
The New York Times noted that in the 2012–13 season, most of the new Broadway musicals were "inspired by movies or books". The paper found the show timely for its treatment of problems that paralleled those at the time of its production, including "chronic unemployment, financial distress and the collapse of manufacturing". Prior to the June 9, 2013 Tony Awards, Kinky Boots had trailed its box office competitor, Matilda the Musical, in advance sales. However, less than a month after opening, Kinky Boots surpassed this rival in weekly box office gross. Kinky Boots won a season-high six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The next day, the show sold $1.25 million tickets, and its advance ticket sales for future dates became a hot commodity. In the weeks following its Tony wins, the show became so popular that in the beginning of July a special ticket lottery system was created to keep fans from camping outside the theatre. Kinky Boots set a new box-office record at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, and "recouped its $13.5 million capitalization in a relatively quick 30 weeks of performances", which was "faster than any big budget musical in recent history." In October 2013, Kinky Boots had the second highest premium-price tickets on Broadway behind only The Book of Mormon. After its six-year run (closing on April 7, 2019), the show had grossed $319 million. Following Christopher Balme’s commodification paradigm, one could suggest Kinky Boots’ unprecedented financial power is a consequence of the musical’s ability to “tap into aspects of a society's ideological make-up”, such as issues regarding financial strife and LGBTI discrimination.
The musical's economic clout empowers a shift in the American cultural climate, engendering acceptance of cross-dressing and transgender individuals. For example, on November 28, 2013, members of the cast performed the finale of the show in the nationally televised Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Many viewers commented that, in their opinion, the performance was inappropriate for a family program. By contrast, some spectators applauded the performance for sharing messages of “inclusivity” and “diversity”. This demonstrates how the musical's financial power has played a strong role in “starting a dialogue”, both support and criticism, facilitating the necessary steps to “open peoples’ minds” and hearts towards LGBTI Americans. Fierstein responded that the show's inclusion in the parade reflected decreasing prejudice and increased tolerance for LGBT people in society. The performance of August 26, 2015 marked the 1000th Broadway performance for the production. The Broadway production closed on April 7, 2019 after 34 previews and 2,507 performances.
The Toronto original cast, led by Alan Mingo Jr as Lola and Graham Scott Fleming as Charlie, began rehearsals with Jerry Mitchel and the Broadway creative team on May 4, 2015. It began previews on June 16, 2015 with its opening night coming on June 28 to critical acclaim.
Initially planned to run from June to September 2015 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, with a mostly Canadian cast, by the beginning of July, the run was extended to November. The run was later extended to January 3, to March 6 and finally to May 15, 2016, as the final show before the theatre closed for a major renovation.
The West End production began previews at the Adelphi Theatre in London, on August 21, 2015, with its official opening night on September 15. Tickets went on sale on March 2. Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry played Charlie and Lola respectively, with other cast members including Amy Lennox as Lauren, Amy Ross as Nicola, Jamie Baughan as Don and Michael Hobbs as George. The West End production became London's first paperless and mobile ticketing operation. Although the show is set in a British town, it took a concerted effort to remove Americanisms from the Broadway production. On July 8, 2017, Matt Henry departed from the role of Lola after 2 years and around 750 performances in the role. Kinky Boots closed on January 12, 2019 after over 1400 performances.
North American Tour
A US national tour began at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas on September 4, 2014. The role of Lola was set to be played by Kyle Taylor Parker. Porter took a week off from the Broadway production to perform with the national tour when it visited his home town of Pittsburgh from August 4 through August 9, 2015, at the Benedum Center. The tour closed at The Kentucky Center in June 2017.
The Japanese production ran in the New National Theatre in Tokyo from July 21 to August 6, 2016; the Orix Theater in Osaka from August 13 to 22, 2016; and the Tokyu Theatre Orb in Shibuya from August 28 to September 4, 2016. It starred Teppei Koike as Charlie and Haruma Miura as Lola. Miura won the Best Actor Award and Haruko Sugimura Award at the 24th Yomiuri Theater Awards for his performance, and the play had a second run in 2019 with the cast reprising their roles.
The Australian production opened on 12 October 2016, at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne. The cast included Callum Francis, from the London production, as Lola, and Toby Francis as Charlie. Joining them were Sophie Wright (Lauren), Daniel Williston (Don), Teagan Wouters (Nicola) and Nathan Carter (George). This production then toured to Sydney's Capitol Theatre and Brisbane's QPAC where it closed on October 22, 2017. A Filipino production, staged by Atlantis Theatrical, ran from June to July 2017, with Nyoy Volante as Lola and Laurence Mossman as Charlie Price. It was revived for a limited run in March 2018.
On July 7, 2017 a Polish production premiered at Teatr Dramatyczny in Warsaw, with Krzysztof Szczepaniak as Lola and Mateusz Weber as Charlie.
The show premiered at the Operettenhaus in Hamburg, Germany, in December 2017, with Gino Emnes and Dominik Hees leading the production as Lola and Charlie Price. It closed on September 30, 2018.
UK & Ireland Tour
In June 2019, St. Louis will be the first city to produce a regional production of Kinky Boots at The Muny (St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre). The original Broadway producers and team will oversee the production and development. The cast features Graham Scott Fleming as Charlie Price, J. Harrison Ghee as Lola, and Taylor Louderman as Lauren.
Upon its October 2012 Chicago opening, Chicago Tribune critic Chris Jones described the show as a "warm, likable, brassy, sentimental, big-hearted and modestly scaled" production. Another reviewer praised the score, book, direction and, particularly, Porter, before suggesting that, before opening on Broadway, it could use a more effective opening number, better pacing in Act 2 and "the budding romance between Charlie and coworker Lauren ... needs more lead-in. In other words, give Ashford, a clear crowd favorite, more to do".
The musical's Broadway debut received mixed to positive reviews. The show was awarded a "Critic's Pick" designation by The New York Times, Time Out New York and New York Magazine, and was included in Entertainment Weekly magazine's "Must See" list.
Ben Brantley of The New York Times gave a warm review, calling it "inspired" and comparing the work to other successful recent Broadway musicals: "Like The Full Monty (choreographed by Mr. Mitchell) and Billy Elliot the Musical, it is set in a hard-times British factory town, where jobs are in jeopardy and spirits need lifting. Like La Cage aux Folles and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, it presents drag queens as the show’s official spirit lifters. And like Hairspray, the musical this production most resembles in tone, Kinky Boots is about finding your passion, overcoming prejudice and transcending stereotypes." Brantley wrote that Lauper's "love- and heat-seeking score" wowed with her "trademark ... mix of sentimentality and eccentricity", and that the costumes and boots courtesy of Gregg Barnes made for "big red scene stealers". He also praised “Raise You Up/Just Be,” as "one of the best curtain numbers since 'You Can't Stop the Beat' sent Hairspray audiences dancing out of the theater.” Brantley, however, did not extend his praise to Fierstein's script, writing that his "sticky, sermonizing side" comes through in the second half, where "all the clichés stand naked before you."
The theatre critic for Time Out New York called the show "the very model of a modern major musical." The Associated Press termed it "a big ol’ sweet love story about sons, the families we make and red patent leather. ... Thank goodness for Harvey Fierstein – he spins theatrical magic", but despite criticisms of the script the “perpetual cheer-churning machine” that is Kinky Boots certainly serves an important end goal; to empower not just its central characters, but the entire audience, in the spirit of acceptance. According to Julie Grossman, Kinky Boots facilitates the retraining of the eye to gender conventions and “repositions the marginalised figure as central to the spectacle of mass theatre... enacting a shift in the perspective of the viewer”. The finale “Raise You Up/Just Be” epitomises the empowerment of the individual, empowerment to “Just Be” regardless of the “oppressive gender roles directly connected to patriarchal views of legacy and inheritance” under which Charlie and Lola initially suffer. Entertainment Weekly said "Cyndi Lauper's infectious score is cause for celebration." New York Magazine, The New York Post, The Washington Post and Variety all gave mostly favorable reviews.
Los Angeles Times theater critic Charles McNulty criticized Lauper's "novice mistakes" with a score that "never establishes a compositional through line" and saying that while "Fierstein's heart is in the right place ... the show's earnestness sinks it", adding that "if [the show] weren't such a cheesy commercial mess, it might actually be fun". Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News wrote that while the "script has issues like a pair of shoes" that don't quite fit, "Mitchell's production moves lickety-split" and "Porter ... is a force of nature as Lola." But, he added, Lauper's "multicolored, surprising and fun" score outshines the fancy footwear and proves to be the "real star of this show". Writing for The Guardian, David Cote noted that the decision to use American actors for an adaptation that maintained the Northampton setting resulted in a disconcerting inconsistency in terms of accents. The Wall Street Journal gave the show a negative review, calling it "an imitation heart-warming British working-class musical with a gay angle and a maudlin ending. ... Kinky Boots is its own spoiler alert, the kind of musical in which you recite the dialogue a half-beat ahead of the actors. ... [the score] sounds like ... "Cyndi: The Deservedly Forgotten Late-'80s B-Sides." A review in The Bergen Record said that the show "sorely lacks is a dramatic commitment to what it's doing. Which is why a show that seems to make few false steps is so relentlessly tedious," calling it "dull" and "synthetic". Talkin' Broadway also gave the show a negative review. The Village Voice, AM New York, and NBC turned in lukewarm reviews.
In 2014, Kinky Boots began a United States national tour, which has also garnered mostly positive reviews. Democrat and Chronicle raved, “Flashy, funny and uplifting, Kinky Boots has appeal — and lots of it — for all ‘ladies, gentleman and those who are yet to make up their mind.’” BroadwayWorld Los Angeles offered “praise to the entire triple threat ensemble!“ The Republic countered, “Despite the fiery showstopper 'Sex Is in the Heel,' however, Kinky Boots is surprisingly short on sex appeal, and the cheerleaderish troupe of drag queens called Angels don't have any of the transgressive appeal of the Cagelles from Fierstein's earlier hit La Cage aux Folles." CBS Minnesota summed it up as “loud, proud and a tubular sensation.”
The London production received mostly raves, with the London Evening Standard writing, "The thigh's the limit for this high-kicking London musical," calling it "a glorious high-kicking romp," and adding that "...its energy is infectious." Time Out London called it "dazzling, fabulously sassy and uplifting," explaining "It's not all glitz and high-kicks...there are some grittier moments that give the show an edgier feel." And Digital Spy proclaimed it "hilarious, heartwarming, and a hell of a lot of fun," offering special praise for the show's star: "Matt Henry...truly steals the show...He is utterly commanding in the role, and you instantly root for him."
It has been argued that Kinky Boots has added to the public discourse of gender, and its flexibility and fluidity. The prevalence of drag culture in mainstream media has introduced a step of separation between femininity and being female.
Awards and nominations
Matilda had been the pre-awards season favorite, but as the season progressed, it became clear that Kinky Boots and the revival of Pippin would provide serious competition. Early in the 2013 awards season, Kinky Boots did well, receiving Drama League Award nominations for Distinguished Production of a Musical and Distinguished Performance, for both Porter and Sands, and winning for Distinguished Production. The show received nine Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, winning three, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, Outstanding New Score and Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Porter). The musical received only two Drama Desk Award nominations, however, and only one win: Porter for Outstanding Actor in a Musical. New York Times theatre writer Patrick Healy, however, reported that some Tony voters found Matilda "dark" and "a bit chilly", and accurately predicted that "while the cleverness of Matilda may be enough to win best book, the warmth of Kinky Boots will be enough to score an upset and take the top Tony for best musical."
Kinky Boots received a season-high 13 Tony Award nominations. Matilda, which The New York Times described as the "unalloyed critical hit" of the season, received 12 nominations, 11 of them in the same categories as Kinky Boots. In addition to its critical success, Matilda had won the Drama Desk Award for outstanding musical and had set a record by winning the most Olivier Awards in history. Nevertheless, Kinky Boots won a season-high six Tonys, including Best Musical, which the press described as an upset, and Lauper's win for Best Score made her the first woman to win alone in that category. The creative team are Americans, and reviewer David Cote, an American writing in The Guardian, judged that the show's win was a case of "the balance of love going to a homegrown American musical, Kinky Boots, over the British import Matilda." The other Tony wins were for best actor (Porter), sound design (Shivers), choreography (Mitchell) and orchestrations (Oremus). Fierstein, Sands, Ashford, Mitchell (as director) and the three other designers were all nominated but did not win. Kinky Boots also won the 2013 Artios Award for Outstanding Achievement in Casting in the Broadway musical category.
The West End production won the Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best New Musical, which was based on voting by the public at the 2015 Evening Standard Theatre Awards. The show earned seven nominations for the 2016 Laurence Olivier Awards, which was second to a revival of Gypsy, which earned eight nominations. Kinky Boots won three Olivier Awards: Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical and Best Costume Design, trailing only Gypsy's four awards.
A Broadway original cast album, produced by Lauper, Oremus and William Wittman was released on May 28, 2013. It premiered at number one on the Billboard Cast Albums Chart and number fifty-one on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the highest charting Broadway cast recording since The Book of Mormon's album was released two years earlier. Before the Chicago tryout, "Sex Is in the Heel" became the first Broadway song to reach the top 10 of the Billboard club charts in 25 years. "Land of Lola" was released as a dance remix by Wayne G. & LFB in June 2013. The album received a favorable review in Playbill from Steven Suskin and won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.
A West End Original Cast Recording was recorded live at the Adelphi Theatre and released April 1, 2016. The West End cast recording was nominated for a 2017 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.
- Hetrick, Adam (October 17, 2012). "Cyndi Lauper-Harvey Fierstein Musical Kinky Boots Opens in Chicago Oct. 17; Broadway Is Next". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- "Kinky Boot Factory". BBC Two. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Ferri, Josh (March 16, 2013). "Fetish Footwear, Acclaimed Film & Rockin' Broadway Musical: Explore the Many Steps of Kinky Boots". Broadway.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- "Daryl Roth". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- Jones, Kenneth (July 8, 2008). "Kinky Boots, the Musical, Walking Toward Broadway". Playbill. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
- Gerard, Raymond (January 7, 2013). "Kinky Boots: A New Musical is Born". BroadwayDirect.com. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "Hal Luftig: Producer, Production Crew". The Broadway League. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
- Jones, Kenneth (July 8, 2008). "Kinky Boots, the Musical, Walking Toward Broadway". Playbill. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- Jones, Chris (September 27, 2012). "Cyndi Lauper Working Out The Kinks In Kinky Boots". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- Healy, Patrick (August 15, 2012). "Kinky Boots Sets April 4 Broadway Opening". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Ryzik, Melena (March 14, 2013). "So Unusual For A Theater Tunesmith". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "Cyndi Lauper Walks Into Creative Team for Broadway-Bound Kinky Boots". Broadway.com. June 23, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- Brantley, Ben (April 21, 2006). "Threepenny Opera Brings Renewed Decadence to Studio 54". The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- Parsi, Novid (September 26, 2012). "Harvey Fierstein – Interview: Fierstein's New Musical, Kinky Boots, Stars A Man In A Dress". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- Henderson, Kathy (October 1, 2012). "Why Kinky Boots Composer Cyndi Lauper Is Like a Drag Queen and More Juicy Tidbits From Her New Memoir". Broadway.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Hetrick, Adam (July 11, 2012). "Cyndi Lauper Musical Kinky Boots May Stomp Broadway's Al Hirschfeld Theatre". Playbill. Archived from the original on January 5, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- "Kinky Boots Chicago Premiere: Cyndi Lauper, Harvey Fierstein Musical Begins Pre-Broadway Run". The Huffington Post. October 2, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- Gardner, Elysa (March 29, 2013). "Kinky Boots Fits Lauper and Fierstein to a T". USA Today. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- Healy, Patrick (March 18, 2013). "TimesTalks - Kinky Boots: Preview" (video). The New York Times. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- "Cyndi Lauper, Harvey Fierstein's Kinky Boots Receives 10/6 Reading". Broadwayworld.com. August 16, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- Jones, Kenneth (January 11, 2012). "Stark Sands and Billy Porter Will Try On Broadway-Bound Kinky Boots, With Songs by Cyndi Lauper". Playbill. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- Healy, Patrick (January 11, 2012). "Leap of Faith Hopes to Land on Broadway This Spring". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- Peeples, Jase (May 14, 2013). "Cyndi Lauper: She's Still So Unusual". The Advocate. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- Reich, Ronni (March 17, 2013). "Livingston Native Stephen Oremus Learns 'Lauper-ese' For Kinky Boots". NJ.com. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- "Kinky Boots". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- "Inside the Playbill: Kinky Boots Opening Night at Al Hirschfeld Theatre". playbillvault.com. Playbill. p. 4. Archived from the original on September 19, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- Reynolds, Matt (August 31, 2017). "Songwriters Sue Cyndi Lauper Over 'Kinky Boots' Finale". Courthouse News Service. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Hershberg, Marc (April 4, 2019). "'Kinky Boots' to Keep on Kicking in Court". Forbes. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- After previews, a song called "What Else Can I Do?/Bad Girl" was replaced by "The Land of Lola" (reprise)."Kinky Boots". Playbill. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
- "US National Tour Cast Announced". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- "Kinky Boots | Mirvish | The Official Source For Tickets". www.mirvish.com. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
- "Kinky Boots the Musical". Kinky Boots the Musical. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
- Ferri, Josh (July 16, 2013). "From Celina Carvajal to Lena Hall: The Kinky Boots Rocker Explains Her Recent Name Change". Broadway.com. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
- "Killian Donnelly to Lead Kinky Boots on Broadway!".
- "American Idol Winner David Cook Making Broadway Debut in 'Kinky Boots': Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
- Bote, Joshua. "Mark Ballas Steps Into Kinky Boots Broadway Cast as Charlie Price". Billboard. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- "YouTube Star Conor Maynard Makes His Broadway Debut in Kinky Boots". Broadway.com. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
- Cox, Gordon (August 13, 2015). "Wayne Brady to Star in Broadway's Kinky Boots". Variety. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Gans, Andrew (August 16, 2016). "Todrick Hall Will Join Broadway's Kinky Boots — Watch Video of His Lola Here!". Playbill. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
- Jones, Chris (February 6, 2012). "Honeymoon In Vegas Picks Toronto, Kinky Boots Eyes Chicago". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- "Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper's Kinky Boots to Get Pre-Broadway Premiere in October". Broadwayworld.com. February 22, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- Healy, Patrick (February 23, 2013). "Artsbeat; Kinky Boots Musical Has Tryout in Chicago". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- Jones, Chris (June 28, 2012). "Kinky Boots Announces Full Cast". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- Gordon, David (September 12, 2012). "Harvey Fierstein, Cyndi Lauper, Billy Porter, Stark Sands Preview Kinky Boots". TheaterMania.com. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
- Simon, Lizzie (March 13, 2013). "Curtain Raisers: The Belts Match the Boots". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- Piepenburg, Erik (April 3, 2013). "Anatomy of a Number: Kinky Boots" (video). The New York Times. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- "Kinky Boots". The New York Times. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- Isherwood, Charles (February 21, 2013). "Hard Times Come Again, With Song". The New York Times. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- Dziemianowicz, Joe (April 4, 2013). "Kinky Boots: Theater Review: Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein's Musical About A Struggling Shoe Factory Is Tuneful And Joyful". Daily News. New York. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
- Bullen, Robert (October 19, 2012). "Delightful Kinky Boots Kicks Up Its Heels in Pre-Broadway Engagement". The Huffington Post. huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Matilda opened on Broadway on April 11, 2013, one week after Kinky Boots.
- Healy, Patrick (June 11, 2013). "Tony Win Gives Box Office Boost to Kinky Boots". The New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
- "Broadway Box Office Grosses". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
- Hetrick, Adam (July 3, 2013). "Tony-Winning Musical Kinky Boots Announces New Ticket Lottery Policy". Playbill. Archived from the original on November 9, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- Meadows, Megan. "Broadway Grosses: Kinky Boots Fans 'Say Yeah!' at the Box Office, Break Record". Broadway.com. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
- Healy, Patrick (October 3, 2013). "These Boots Are Made for Walking to the Bank: Kinky Recoups Its $13.5 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
- "Tony-Winning Kinky Boots Recoups on Broadway in 30 Weeks!". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
- Gans, Andrew (October 3, 2013). "Tony-Winning Musical Kinky Boots Recoups Initial Investment". Playbill. Archived from the original on November 9, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "Playbill Vault". Playbill. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- Balme, Christopher (March 2005). "Selling the Bird: Richard Walton Tully's "The Bird of Paradise" and the Dynamics of Theatrical Commodification". Theatre Journal. 57 (1): 1–20. doi:10.1353/tj.2005.0002.
- Ishwerwood, Charles (February 21, 1013). "Hard Times Come Again, With Song". New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Alexander, Bryant (2015). "Introduction: Performative Rhetorics of Desire, Resistance, and Possibility". QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking. 2 (1): 109–111. doi:10.14321/qed.2.1.0109.
- "Twitter Erupts Over Kinky Boots Performance on NBC". Broadwayworld.com. November 28, 2013. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- Beard, Lanford (November 28, 2013). "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2013: EW's Minute-by-minute Rundown". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- Page Six Team (November 30, 2013). "Kinky Boots Walks Tall in Macy's After Parade Controversy". New York Post. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Page Six Team (November 30, 2013). "Kinky Boots Walks Tall in Macy's After Parade Controversy". New York Post. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Gans, Andrew (August 26, 2015). "Kinky Boots Celebrates Landmark Broadway Performance – Here's How You Can Get Free Tix!". Playbill. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- Gans, Andrew. "Tony-Winning Best Musical 'Kinky Boots' Ends Broadway Run April 7" Playbill, April 7, 2019
- Morrow, Martin (June 29, 2015). "Cyndi Lauper's Kinky Boots: A High-kicking, High-spirited Llesson In Acceptance". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- Crawford, Trish (July 2, 2015). "Kinky Boots Toronto run extended to Nov. 8". Toronto Star. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- "KINKY BOOTS Extends Again in Toronto; GASLIGHT, with GAME OF THRONES Stars, Moves Venues". BroadwayWorld.com. November 5, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
- "KINKY BOOTS Extends Toronto Run Through May 2016". BroadwayWorld.com. January 25, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
- Knelman, Martin (May 5, 2016). "Exclusive: Royal Alex to shut this month for $2.5 million facelift and reopen in November". Toronto Star. Toronto. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
- "Kinky Boots Musical Comes To London". bbc.co.uk/news. BBC News. February 6, 2015. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
- "Kinky Boots Sets Preview and Opening Dates at London's Adelphi Theatre". playbill.com. Playbill. February 6, 2015. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
- "Kinky Boots' West End Cast". whatsonstage.com. April 23, 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- Shenton, Mark (August 14, 2015). "West End's Kinky Boots To Be the First London Show To Offer Paperless Mobile Ticketing, via TodayTix". Playbill. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- Webber, Imogen Lloyd (February 27, 2015). "Odds & Ends: Kelly Clarkson Eyes Broadway, Lena Hall's Next Gig, Stark Sands' Big TV Role & More". Broadway.com. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- Hetrick, Adam (December 20, 2013). "Kinky Boots Tour Plans September 2014 Las Vegas Launch". Playbill. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014.
- Cling, Carol (August 28, 2014). "Tony-Winning Musical Kinky Boots Launches National Tour At The Smith Center". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
- Blank, Matthew (August 5, 2015). "Watch Billy Porter Take a Bow in His Hometown as He Joins the National Tour of Kinky Boots!". Playbill. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- Clemons, Taylor (June 14, 2017). "BWW Review: KINKY BOOTS at The Kentucky Center For The Arts". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
- Gans, Andrew (December 29, 2018). "North American Tour of Kinky Boots Begins Performances December 29". Playbill. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
- "뮤지컬 <킹키부츠> 캐스팅 오디션". CJ E&M. CJ &M. Archived from the original on March 10, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
- Tanaka, Nobuko (July 14, 2016). "Teppei Koike and Haruma Miura strut proudly onto the stage in 'Kinky Boots'". The Japan Times. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
- "「第24回読売演劇大賞」贈呈式、大賞の堀尾幸男が笑いで喜び表現". Natalie (in Japanese). February 27, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- "三浦春馬、3年ぶりのドラァグクイーンに自信「今回は美を追求した」". Oricon (in Japanese). April 15, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- Tongue, Cassie (July 10, 2015). "Confirmed: Kinky Boots is coming to Australia!". AussieTheatre.com. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- Tongue, Cassie (April 30, 2016). "KINKY BOOTS Australian premiere cast announced". AussieTheatre.com. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
- Tongue, Cassie (April 30, 2016). "KINKY BOOTS Australian premiere cast announced". AussieTheatre.com.au. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
- Gioia, Michael (February 1, 2017). "Kinky Boots Will Play Germany". Playbill. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- "Kinky Boots". Stage Entertainment. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- Gans, Andrew (November 1, 2017). "Kinky Boots Will Launch U.K. Tour in September 2018". Playbill. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- "Norwegian Encore Entertainment Revealed | NCL Travel Blog". www.ncl.com. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- Lefkowitz, Andy. "The Muny to Produce First Regional Staging of 'Kinky Boots'; 2019 Season Will Also Include 'Matilda', '1776'" broadway.com, October 17, 2018
- Gans, Andrew. "Caroline Bowman, John Scherer, More Will Join J. Harrison Ghee and Taylor Louderman in Muny 'Kinky Boots'" Playbill,
- Jones, Chris (October 17, 2012). "Kinky Boots Kicks Up Its Colorful Heels In Pre-Broadway Premiere". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
- DidHeLikeIt.com (August 7, 2015). "Did he like it". DidHeLikeIt.com. Retrieved August 7, 2015.[dead link]
- "Kinky Boots Musical Website". Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Brantley, Ben (April 4, 2013). "High Spirits, Higher Heels: Kinky Boots, the Harvey Fierstein-Cyndi Lauper Musical". The New York Times. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
- Feldman, Adam (April 4, 2013). "Kinky Boots". Time Out New York. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Brantley, Ben (December 27, 2015). "'Kinky Boots' With Wayne Brady as a Cross-Dresser You Could Take Home to Mother". New York Times New York. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
- Grossman, Julie (2015). Literature, Film and Their Hideous Progeny. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 136–141.
- Grossman, Julie (2015). Literature, Film and Their Hideous Progeny. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 136–141.
- Geler, Thom (April 9, 2013). "Stage Review: Kinky Boots (2013)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Bonanos, Christopher (April 4, 2013). "Kinky Boots: Critics' Pick". New York Magazine. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Vincentelli, Elisabeth (April 5, 2013). "You'll Get a Kick Out Of Kinky Boots". New York Post. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Marks, Peter (April 4, 2013). "Lauper's Boots Were Made For Broadway". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Stasio, Marilyn (April 4, 2013). "Legit Review: 'Kinky Boots'". Variety. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- McNulty, Charles (April 4, 2013). "Review: Kinky Boots Is Unsteady In Its Broadway Walk". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
- Cote, David (June 10, 2013). "Tony Awards 2013: Matilda Left Wanting As Kinky Boots Dances To Victory: Tony Voters Stuck To The American Side Of Broadway – Even If Kinky Boots Came With An English Pedigree". The Guardian. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
- Teachout, Terry (April 4, 2013). "The Who-Cares Test". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- Feldberg, Robert (April 5, 2013). "Theater Review: Kinky Boots". The Bergen Record. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- Murray, Matthew (April 4, 2013). "Kinky Boots". Talkin' Broadway. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- Feingold, Michael (April 10, 2013). "Kinky Boots Kicks Up Some Familiar High Heels". Village Voice. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- Windman, Matt (April 4, 2013). "Theater Review: Kinky Boots – 2.5 stars". AM New York'. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- Kahn, Robert (April 5, 2013). "Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein Don Their Kinky Boots". WNBC-TV. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- "Review Roundup: KINKY BOOTS on Tour!". Broadway World. August 10, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
- Morphy, Marcia (May 13, 2015). "Review: 'Kinky Boots;". Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
- Grigware, Don (November 13, 2014). "BWW Reviews: Pantages shows off KINKY BOOTS". Broadway World. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
- Lengel, Kerry (September 17, 2014). "Theatre Review: Kinky Boots at ASU Gammage". AZ Central. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
- Fraser, Katie (July 29, 2015). "'Kinky Boots' is a loud, proud, tubular sensation". CBS Local. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
- "Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre review: Thigh's the limit for this high-kicking London musical". The London Evening Standard. September 16, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
- Grover, Natalie (September 16, 2015). "The best musical set in a British factory since 'Made in Dagenham'". Time Out London. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
- Eames, Tom (September 16, 2015). "The Voice UK's Matt Henry is your new West End hero". Digital Spy. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
- McNamara, Catherine (2009). The Constitution of Transgender Masculinities through Performance. Queen Mary, University of London. pp. 137–151.
- Healy, Patrick (June 7, 2013). "Curtain's Up On A Real Race". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Gans, Andrew (April 25, 2013). "Nominees Announced for 79th Annual Drama League Awards". Playbill. Archived from the original on April 26, 2013. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
- Gans, Andrew (May 17, 2013). "Kinky Boots, Pippin, Vanya and Sonia, Virginia Woolf and More Win Drama League Awards". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- Gans, Andrew (May 13, 2013). "Pippin Is Big Winner of 2012-13 Outer Critics Circle Awards". Playbill. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
- Hetrick, Adam (May 19, 2013). "Billy Porter, Andrea Martin, Pippin, Matilda, Vanya and Sonia Win Drama Desk Awards". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
- Purcell, Carey (June 9, 2013). "Kinky Boots, Vanya and Sonia, Pippin and Virginia Woolf Are Big Winners at 67th Annual Tony Awards". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- Healy, Patrick (April 30, 2013). "It's Kinky Boots vs. Matilda in Tony Nominations". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- "Matilda Musical Breaks Olivier Awards Record". BBC. April 15, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- Healy, Patrick (June 10, 2013). "Kinky Boots Dances To The Top Of The Tonys". The New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
- "Artios Awards". Casting Society of America. Archived from the original on May 2, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
- Masters, Tim (November 23, 2015). "Nicole Kidman and James McAvoy win at Evening Standard Theatre Awards". BBC News. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- Cox, Gordon (February 29, 2016). "'Kinky Boots' and Kenneth Branagh Rack Up Nominations for London's Olivier Awards". Variety. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- Catton, Pia (April 4, 2016). "Backstage Buzz: 'Kinky Boots' Walks Away With Olivier Awards: Plus: A tribute to Ethel Merman and Broadway box office hits and misses". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
- "Kinky Boots Cast Album Coming Soon!". masterworksbroadway.com. Masterworks Broadway. March 8, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- Hetrick, Adam (May 28, 2013). ""Everybody Say Yeah": Kinky Boots Broadway Cast Album Released May 28". playbill.com. Playbill. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- "Kinky Boots Broadway Cast Album Debuts at #1 on Billboard Chart". playbill.com. Playbill. June 7, 2013. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- "Kinky Boots Debuts At No 1 On Billboard Cast Album Chart". top40-charts.com. Top 40 Charts. June 7, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- Hetrick, Adam (June 28, 2013). "Kinky Boots' "Land of Lola," With Billy Porter, Released as Dance Remix". Playbill. Archived from the original on November 9, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- Suskin, Steven (August 4, 2013). "On the Record: The New Broadway Cast Album of Kinky Boots and Audra McDonald's "Go Back Home"". Playbill. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- Hetrick, Adam (January 26, 2014). "Kinky Boots Wins Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
- "Kinky Boots to release West End cast recording". whatsonstage.com. What's On Stage. March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
- Viagas, Robert. " 'Waitress' and 'Bright Star' Cast Albums Among Grammy Award Nominees" Playbill, December 6, 2016
- "The co-branded pop-up store of Kinky Boots and Mellower Coffee has come to the end, Mellower comprehensively promotes brand globalization strategy". providenceheadlines.com. Retrieved August 14, 2018.