• Lillie Burke

Change the world when you change your mind with “Kinky Boots”

The perfect pair of sleek high heels can make any woman confident enough to take on the world, but sometimes it takes a man in a pair of Kinky Boots to change it.

“Kinky Boots” is the amazing, uplifting story of Charlie, a man trying to save his family’s shoe factory. In an act of desperation Charlie partners with Lola, a popular drag queen, and begins to design a line of high heeled boots for men.

Together Charlie and Lola inspire everyone to accept the good in people, no matter how different they may be.

Broadway’s hit musical “Kinky Boots” received a thunderous standing ovation for its opening night performance on Tuesday at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

The exceedingly talented cast had audience members enthralled from the opening line – a witty reminder to silence cellphones – all the way to the explosive final encore, where music and an explosion of color combine to engage the audience in the celebration.

Amazing cast chemistry was apparent in every sassy, sarcastic quip and perfectly highlighted both the dry, witty humor of the show and the meaningful moral message behind the comedy.

The relationship between the actors portraying Lola, J. Harrison Ghee, and Charlie, Steven Booth, was especially intriguing and relatable as the two frustrated and pushed each other as only best friends can do.

While comedy was certainly a huge part of the production, especially in the hilarious renditions of “Sex is in the Heel” and “The History of Wrong Guys,” the humor doesn’t detract from the intensity and importance of the show’s promotion of acceptance and tolerance.

This message is highlighted best in the relationship between Lola and Don, a factory worker that does not agree with or tolerate Lola’s flamboyant lifestyle.

Don is one of the characters who experiences the most dynamic change over the course of the show and Joe Coots played the role magnificently. Coots’ brutish portrayal of the rough character in the beginning was entertaining and witty, but he absolutely stole the show in the encore, “Raise You Up/Just Be.”

Although the opening night was met with some challenges, like a faulty microphone, the cast handled each challenge beautifully and delivered a fantastic night of entertainment. “Kinky Boots” wittily and engagingly teaches everyone that “you can change the world when you change your mind.”

“Kinky Boots” can be seen at TPAC every night through Sunday with matinees on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for the performances can be purchased at TPAC’s website, www.tpac.org.

Belmont students can receive a special discount by using promo code “BELMONT” when purchasing tickets.

Additionally, a limited number of student rush tickets will be made available to Belmont students 90 minutes before each show. Students need only present a valid student I.D. at the box office to get a $25 student rush ticket.

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