CHARLES SYKES/INVISION/APHarvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper continue to celebrate their musical “Kinky Boots.”

Harvey Feirstein, Cyndi Lauper enjoy success of ‘Kinky Boots’

Even though Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein have a big hit with “Kinky Boots,” their 2012 musical about a straight shoe factory heir who joins forces with a drag queen, they’re not too busy to promote it on the road.

“We both get to perform,” they said in San Francisco a few months ago, gleefully talking with theater fans about the Tony Award-winning show, which opens at the Orpheum Theatre on Tuesday.

Friends since the 1980s, the writing pair seem perfectly matched for the project, which earned rock icon Lauper a Tony for her first Broadway score, which is set to theater veteran Fierstein’s (“La Cage aux Folles,” “Torch Song Trilogy”) touching book.

Their love of characters — drag queens in particular – formed the basis of the show, and they apparently didn’t experience too much angst creating it.

“How could I be nervous? I didn’t know anything,” says Lauper, who admittedly studied, drawing on references from Sylvester to “South Pacific” to “My Fair Lady.” She adds, “It’s like cooking. You do what tastes good.”

Fierstein’s take on the project, an adaptation of a 2005 movie dramedy of the same name: “If you can’t make it better, why do it?”

His choice to emphasize the two main characters’ lack of self-esteem and troubled relationships with their parents proved successful.

Their bond begins in a key number, “Not My Father’s Son,” in which drag queen Lola tells factory owner Charlie that his dad wanted him to be a boxer and his birth name is Simon.

Writing the song, Lauper says she hoped that it might prompt theatergoers who are parents to “go in the lobby and give their kids a ring” after the first act.

Lauper and Fierstein also are pleased with Kyle Taylor Parker’s casting as Lola in the show’s national tour, watching him go from the chorus to star, as he took over from Tony winner Billy Porter, who originated the role.

His journey, as well as that of “Kinky Boots” characters and followers, reflects the show’s inspirational message: “Celebrate yourself triumphantly.”

It’s a theme to which Lauper can relate. She says, “My fans, God bless ’em, have followed me through thick and thin. I tried to be like Prince and Billy Idol but I never was.”

IF YOU GO

Kinky Boots

Presented by SHN

Where: Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market St., S.F.

When: Opens Tuesday, 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays-Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays; closes Dec. 28

Tickets: $95 to $300

Contact: (888) 746-1799, www.shnsf.com

artsCyndi LauperHarvey FiersteinKinky Boots

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have taken different approaches to transit and infrastructure funding. <ins>(Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)</ins>
Bay Area transit has big hopes for a Biden administration

The best chance for local agencies to get relief may be a change in federal leadership

BART Ambassadors are being called on to assist riders in social situations that don’t require police force. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Unarmed BART ambassadors program formalized with a focus on community service

Public safety and police reform are key elements in campaigns of Board members Dufty and Simon

East Bay hills and Port of Oakland visible from Point San Bruno Park jetty. (Shutterstock)
East Bay agencies urge precautionary evacuations ahead of wind event

At least two East Bay jurisdictions suggested Sunday that residents in the… Continue reading

Nate Durand of Chug Pub created an election-themed cocktail which has several names: Biden Harris, Barris, Hiden, and/or Dem Juice. (Saul Sugarman/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Drink blue, no matter who

But bar parties aren’t planned for Election Day

Lee Vining and Inyo National Forest are excellent fall color tour destinations. (Matt Johanson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Gold Rush: Go now to see Sierra fall color

Maples, oaks, dogwoods, aspens glow in the next few weeks

Most Read