The Parthenon

Broadway musical teaches lesson of acceptance

Lola%2C+played+by+Billy+Porter%2C+performs+with+the+iconic+red+leather+boots+during+the+first+half+of+the+Tony+award+winning+Broadway+production%2C+%E2%80%9CKinky+Boots.%E2%80%9D
Lola, played by Billy Porter, performs with the iconic red leather boots during the first half of the Tony award winning Broadway production, “Kinky Boots.”

Lola, played by Billy Porter, performs with the iconic red leather boots during the first half of the Tony award winning Broadway production, “Kinky Boots.”

Buffy Six

Buffy Six

Lola, played by Billy Porter, performs with the iconic red leather boots during the first half of the Tony award winning Broadway production, “Kinky Boots.”

Buffy Six, Reporter

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The Tony award winning Broadway production of “Kinky Boots” kicked off at the Keith Albee Theater as part of the Marshall Artists Series Thursday.

The musical, composed by Cyndi Lauper, invited Marshall University students and the Huntington community to experience a show about understanding oneself and those around.

Freshman Jesten Richardson said she thought the play was perfect for college students.

“I feel like a large part of college is finding out who you are and who want to be, and it can be a confusing time,” Richardson said. “But productions like ‘Kinky Boots’ show us that it’s okay to not know exactly who you are yet and things aren’t always concrete.”

Freshman Maggie Cutlip said she also thought the production spoke volumes to college students.

“As college students, we’ve left home and learn more about the world that we didn’t know or understand before, just like Charlie and the factory workers learn more about Lola become more accepting of her as they get to know her,” Cutlip said.

The show began by meeting Charlie Price, the son to a shoe factory owner who dies. At the expense of his father’s debt, Charlie must take over the failing shoe factory and save it. Charlie runs into drag queen Lola and finds the answer to saving the factory: kinky boots.

Lola becomes Charlie’s designer and shows herself as her born identity to Charlie. Lola is Simon, a professionally trained boxer. Both Charlie and Simon learn they are not who their fathers wanted them to be and they learn from one another that that is okay. Richardson said this was her favorite part of the musical because of the characters bonding over their similar stories and learning they are not much different.

Simon/Lola and Charlie race to finish a whole new line of kinky boots for drag queens to take to a fashion show in Milan when stress gets to them both and Charlie is left on his own. At the show, Charlie tries to model his own boots, but falls on his face. Lola shows up with her angels to save the day.

The final number, Cutlip’s favorite part of the performance, shows how acceptance allows Lola and Charlie to work together and save the factory.

“It was my favorite cause Charlie thought he was all alone and then his friends came back to make sure he did well and succeeded after he apologized and asked for their help,” Cutlip said.

Richardson said aside from the show being well-done, it was meaningful.

“Although there was a lot of humor, it also tackled some controversial topics and prompted the audience to think more deeply about subjects such as personal identity and tolerance,” Richardson said.

Buffy Six can be contacted at [email protected]

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