Kinky Boots: A Bunch of Big-Hearted Drag Queens Remind Us Of The Golden Rule

The cast of 'Kinky Boots.'

The cast of ‘Kinky Boots.’

As Lola, the extravagant drag queen who is half the protagonist team in Kinky Boots, says in her splashy opening number, “No need to be embarrassed: I like being looked at, and you like to look!” She’s right: We really do like to look, and we’ll be liking to look for another two hours at this big, splashy musical that has so much heart, it’s almost overflowing from the stage.

That’s half the point of the Cyndi Lauper/Harvey Fierstein show that is in town at the Forrest Theatre. Underneath all the makeup, the sequin shoes, and the wigs, these queens reinforce the musical’s main message: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…and love yourself while looking fabulous, too, damn it! Read more »

Getting Kinky With Kinky Boots Star Steven Booth

Steven Booth, left, with the 'Kinky Boots' cast.

Steven Booth, left, with the ‘Kinky Boots’ cast.

When I asked Steven Booth, who is starring as the very straight Charlie in the drag-infused musical Kinky Boots, if audiences come “dressed” to the show, he replied without hesitation: “Oh, yeah!”

Booth admitted that although there haven’t been a ton of folks who have donned the show’s signature knee-high red boots while taking in the Broadway tour of the Cyndi Lauper musical, it’s pretty amazing when folks do show up dressed, but it’s even more amazing when the cast sees a transformation in the not-so-outlandish audience members. Read more »

GIVEAWAY: Win a Pair of Tickets to Kinky Boots Worth $225

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Broadway sensation Kinky Boots is about to clip-clop into town for its big Philadelphia debut starting April 28th, and we’ve got a super-nice pair of tickets to give away.

The six-time Tony winner—featuring several tunes penned by gay icon Cynci Lauper—concerns Charlie Price, a down-on-his luck chap who’s having trouble keeping his inherited family business, a shoe factory called Price & Sons, afloat. Just as the clouds start rolling in, Lola, a sassy cabaret star/drag queen, comes in looking for a new pair of stilettos. The boots they create turn out to be the ticket that saves the business, and things just get all kinds of crazy fabulous from there.

The tickets we’re giving away are a pair worth $225. To win, sign up for our weekly enewsletter in the box below between now and next Thursday, April 23rd. At that point we’ll draw one of those names at random and voila, they’re going to see Kinky Boots. Good luck!

Kinky Boots runs April 28th through May 10th at the Forrest Theater. More information and tickets can be found here.

Our Revealing Chat With Philly-Bound Singing Legend Jennifer Holliday

Holliday Header

“I’m feeling really great these days,” Jennifer Holliday told me during a phone conversation this week. “My life is finally working now. It’s kind of like when Glinda told Dorothy that she always had the power to go home by clicking her heels. Girl, I’ve had those red shoes on for years!”

There’s no doubt Ms. Holliday has lived through a career of ups and downs. She was discovered in her church choir when she was 17 and soon after starred in the Broadway musical Your Arms Too Short to Box with God. A year later, the singing actress got her big break in 1982’s Dreamgirls by playing what many consider to be the definitive interpretation of Effie White, a role that, according to her, she didn’t even audition for (“They just came and got me,” she said). Her performance won her Tony, Drama Desk, and Grammy Awards, and the anthem “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” became all but hers. Read more »

Broadway Bares Returns to Fire Island Pines

Philly’s gay summer beach goers fall into three very specific categories: Rehoboth, P-Town and Fire Island Pines. Those who fall in the latter group will be getting a treat this spring, when the ultra-sexy Broadway Bares hits up The Pines for a Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS charity show.

Directed by Michael Lee Scott, the modern-day burlesque features striptease performances from stars of The Great White Way. According to the event page, audiences can expect “dancers performing on a runway jutting into the audience.” After the show, performers will do a little freestyle dance for extra donations from the audience.

If you’re not a Fire Island regular, now’s the time to start hitting up your friends who have homes there. There are two Fire Island performances scheduled on May 30th, at 7 and 9 pm. For more information and to purchase tickets to Broadway Bares, go here.

Gillian Abbott’s Advice to Young Performers: “You Are Enough”

Gillian Abbott Header

Dirty Dancing fell in my lap. It never was on my radar.”

That’s what the multi-talented Gillian Abbott told me when we started chatting about her role as Frances “Baby” Houseman in the movie-turned-musical headed to the Academy of Music at the end of March. Abbott is a classically trained dancer, a graduate of Juilliard, a former Cirque du Soleil performer (she signed on when she was 17), recently made her Met Opera debut in their epic production of Prince Igor, and starred in several independent films. Clearly, she has a performer’s spirit; that was evident during our time together where we talked about Dirty Dancing, her training, and two injuries that, if anything, progressed Abbott’s performance evolution.

Read more »

Broadway Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center Announces 2015-2016 Season

The Broadway League estimated that the 2013-14 Broadway Philadelphia season brought $100 million in revenue for local businesses. That’s no chump change, and speaks to the importance of Broadway touring productions on Philadelphia’s economy. Lucky enough for the city, the 2015-16 Broadway Philadelphia season features 11 productions, many of which are making their Philadelphia touring debuts, plus the epic return of the smash Philly hit The Book of Mormon. Read more »

Meet the Man Who Trained the Four-Legged Star of Annie

William Berloni

William Berloni

“I’ve seen more young actresses who play Annie pee on stage than dogs who pee on stage.”

That’s William Berloni‘s answer when I ask him the question everyone wants to know: How does the Tony Award-winning theatrical animal trainer control his loving, furry crew from having an accident while performing on Broadway?

“Honestly, if [Annie] hasn’t taken a break to pee, that poor thing will explode when she’s in that red dress at the end of the show.” Read more »

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