Kinky Boots
This Tony-winning hit will lift your spirits to high-heeled heights!
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Show Essentials
+ Ensemble

Full Synopsis


Don enters talking on his cell phone. He notices the audience; he tells his friend on the phone that he has to go to work, so he has to turn off his phone, no texting, no vibrating, nothing. He looks pointedly at the audience, then enters the factory.

Act One

In the Price & Son Shoes factory, workers praise the product that they are making ("Price Son Theme"). Mr. Price enters with his seven-year-old son, Charlie. He explains to Charlie that the most beautiful thing in the world is a shoe; Charlie is not convinced. Meanwhile, a young Lola, also a seven-year-old boy, tries on a pair of red, high-heeled shoes. He dances in a reverie towards the heels, but then his father, Simon, Sr., appears and yells at him to take the shoes off. Time shifts forward as the adult Charlie finds his fiancée, Nicola, admiring a very expensive pair of shoes. She tells him that, before they get married, he needs to buy her these shoes for their new life in London. As Charlie leaves for London, his dad disapproves, saying that he belongs at the factory. Everyone around him sings about their love of shoes, but Charlie does not get it; they're just shoes ("The Most Beautiful Thing in the World").

In London, Nicola is excited to start their new careers, but Charlie is just happy not to be making shoes. Suddenly, Charlie gets a phone call that his father has died. The factory workers mourn Mr. Price's passing ("Price & Son Theme – Funereal"). George, the factory manager, assumes that Charlie will take over for his father, but Charlie has no such intention. He gives a half-hearted speech to the factory employees. Pat, the office manager, tells Charlie to come quickly – the entire spring shoe order has been returned. The factory is clearly in trouble, and Charlie is expected to step up, but he doesn't want to do so and he wouldn't know where to start. George mentions that Charlie's father had a plan, but rushes off without further details.

In a local pub, Charlie watches his old friend, Harry, play in a band. After the set, Charlie and Harry drink. Harry explains that he is able to survive his life as a discount shoe salesman by having other things in his life. Charlie begs Harry to buy his overstock. Eventually, Harry agrees but not before telling Charlie that this is a temporary solution; he has to figure out what he's going to do with the failing factory now that his father is gone ("Take What You Got").

After leaving the pub, Charlie sees a woman being attacked by hooligans. He rushes to her aid, but she doesn't need much defense – she accidentally knocks Charlie out in the process of fending off her assailants. Charlie wakes up backstage at the Blue Angel Club, where the woman, Lola, is actually a cross-dressing man and the star act. She invites Charlie and everyone else to leave expectations behind ("Land of Lola").

In Lola's dressing room, Charlie offers to fix the heel to Lola's boot that got broken in the fight. He notes that the boots are cheaply made. Cheaply made, but very expensive, Lola points out. It is hard to find high heels that can stand up to her rough use. Lola goes out for her second show, which splits the stage with Charlie back at the Price & Son office the following day. He is giving two-weeks notice to his employees, who are not happy about it. Lauren suggests that, if nobody wants what Charlie is making, he should make something that they want. Meanwhile, Nicola pressures Charlie to leave the factory and come back to London so that they can plan their wedding. As they argue about the specialty shoes that she wants, a light bulb goes off for him ("Land of Lola – Reprise").

Lauren and Charlie go to visit Lola at the club. Charlie convinces Lola to let him design boots for cross-dressing men, that she will wear. Lola says that she will pick the boots up at the factory, despite Charlie's protests that he'll bring them to her in London. Since he doesn't want her coming to Northampton, that's exactly what she intends to do. Lola exits, telling Charlie to make the boots red.

Alone in his office, Charlie wonders what he's gotten himself into and if he can really save the factory this way ("Step One"). Triumphant, Charlie creates a burgundy boot with a chunky block heel. When Lola sees the boot, she is not impressed. Charlie doesn't understand what's wrong with the boot. Lola tries to explain that burgundy is boring, and red is sexy. She asks the women in the factory if they would wear this shoe, and they respond that they would not. Lola explains that anything that they won't wear, she won't wear. Don comes onto Lola but, when he realizes that she is a man, he gets very angry. Lola, joined by her angels – the backup dancers from the club – tries to explain to Charlie where he has gone wrong ("The Sex Is in the Heel"). Lola designs a variety of boots that are sleek and sexy. Charlie protests, saying that they cannot make a stiletto heel for men, but George disagrees.

When Charlie realizes that they can make the shoe, he asks Lola to come design for him. Lola is unsure; small-minded men like Don are why she moved to London to begin with, and she doesn't want to come back. Charlie manages to convince her, explaining his plan to debut their boots at the fashion show in Milan.

After Charlie explains the plan to the factory workers, he thanks Lauren for helping him and promotes her off the production line, so that she can help with the Milan show. Lauren realizes that she is getting a crush on Charlie, much to her chagrin ("History of Wrong Guys").

Don and some of the other workers complain to George about being harassed for making these new kinds of kinky boots. George tells him that they should be grateful to be making shoes and keeping the factory open. Lola appears for her first day of work wearing men's clothing; after being made fun of by Don, she retreats to the bathroom. Charlie comes to find her. They realize that they have a lot of in common, each one trying unsuccessfully to live up to his father's expectations. Lola's father had wanted her to be a champion boxer, as he had been, but that wasn't her path ("I'm Not My Father's Son").

Charlie finds Nicola with her new boss outside of the factory. He is excited to tell her about his plan to save the factory but, instead, learns that his father was planning to sell the Price & Son building and have it turned into condos. The implication is that Mr. Price didn't have enough faith in Charlie to take over the factory. Just then, Lola has completed her first pair of thigh-high, shiny, red boots, and they are exactly what Charlie was hoping for. Together, they get the whole factory excited for their kinky revolution ("Everybody Say Yeah").

Act Two

As the houselights fade, the Price & Son factory gets made over to reflect its new product ("Price & Son Redux").

Inside the factory, Charlie criticizes Lola for not wearing proper working attire. It is clear that he is panicking about the Milan show. Don confronts Lola about her outfit, as well, and Lola tells him that he is jealous because Lola gets all of the attention from the women in the factory for what she wears. Don and Lola argue about what it means to be a real man ("What a Woman Wants"). Lola challenges Don to write down what he thinks would make her a real man, and she will agree to do that as long as he does the same.

Lauren alerts Charlie that Don has challenged Lola to a boxing match. Charlie is concerned; when Lauren says that Lola can stand up for herself, Charlie explains that he's worried about Don. Lauren and Charlie arrive at the pub just in time to see the boxing match ("In This Corner"). At the end of the fight, Lola lets Don win. When he asks her why, she explains that she didn't want him to walk back into the factory and feel disrespected. She then gives Don her challenge: to accept someone for who they are, anyone at all.

In the factory office, Charlie realizes that they don't have enough money to go to Milan. Lola suggests that they cut costs by using her angels instead of professional models, but Charlie scoffs at this idea. He wants to be taken seriously at the fashion show. He also criticizes Trish and the other workers for not building the shoes right. Nicola arrives, furious with Charlie for mortgaging their flat without asking her, so that he can pay for the Milan trip. Ultimately, it is clear that she and Charlie are on different paths, and she leaves. Then, Charlie tells Lola that they need to show the shoes on women. This was not the plan. Lola is furious, and Charlie further insults her. After berating the factory workers, as well, everyone leaves Charlie alone with his half-done shoes. Alone in the factory, Charlie is completely defeated ("Soul of a Man").

Lauren finds Charlie and reminds him why he is doing all of this – because it is his father's legacy. He turns to find the factory all lit up; confused, he goes inside to find his employees back at work, making the boots. It turns out that Don took Lola's challenge and accepted Charlie for who he really is and got everyone to come back. Don also gives Charlie back last week's paychecks, so that they will have enough money to go to Milan. Charlie sees the finished boots, and they are finally right ("The Sex Is in the Heel – Reprise").

As the team gets ready to go to London, Lola is nowhere to be found. Charlie calls her repeatedly to apologize, but with no success. Meanwhile, we find Lola performing in the Clacton Nursing Home ("Hold Me in Your Heart"). When the show ends, it turns out that her father – in a wheelchair and wearing an oxygen mask – was in the audience.

Backstage in Milan, Charlie is all alone and prepared to go on to model the boots himself. Lauren and George sit in the audience, ready to cheer him on; Lauren is even more impressed by him ("History of Wrong Guys – Reprise"). Charlie tentatively takes the runway, but before he can embarrass himself too much, Lola and her angels appear and take the stage. They dazzle the runway ("Raise You Up"). With everyone celebrating the triumph of the kinky boots, Charlie asks Lauren out. The stage is flooded with all of the factory workers wearing the boots, including Don! As the lights change, Young Charlie and Young Lola enter alongside Mr. Price and Simon, Sr. The two boys hug their fathers. Then, adult Charlie and Lola hug. They step forward and tell the audience their secret to success ("Just Be").

← Back to Kinky Boots
Cast Size: Medium (11 to 20 performers)
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Heavy

Character Breakdown

Charlie Price

A bit confused, a bit unfocused, a hero hiding under a victim's mantle.

Gender: male
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: C3
Young Charlie

Charlie as a seven year old boy. Lost, quiet, reflective.

Gender: male
Age: 7 to 7
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: G4

A prize fighter's physique draped in satin. A talented drag queen with a killer voice and winning ways.

Gender: male
Age: 30 to 35
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: E3
Young Lola/Simon

Lola as a ten year old boy who already knows he's destined to wear high heels.

Gender: male
Age: 10 to 10
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: G3

Charlie's long-term girlfriend. Driven, uncompromising.

Gender: female
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: F#5
Vocal range bottom: E3

Beautiful and strong working class girl.

Gender: female
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: F#5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3

Lola's nemesis. Burly hypermasculine bear of a factory worker. Sings up to D5 for the finale.

Gender: male
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: A2

Officious office manager who will let loose her wild side when allowed. Lola's love interest.

Gender: female
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: F#5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3

Factory worker with a husband and kids to worry over.

Gender: female
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3

Factory manager keeping up traditions. Reserved.

Gender: male
Age: 30 to 50
Vocal range top: D4
Vocal range bottom: G#2
The Angels

The drag performers who populate The Blue Angel Nightclub.Tenor Back Up Singers up to C5, Featured Angel singers up to C#5

Gender: male
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: C#5
Vocal range bottom: C5
Mr. Price

Charlie's father.

Gender: male
Age: 50 to 80
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: G2
Simon Sr.
Lola's father. An unforgiving tower of anger.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 50

A contemporary of Charlie's but his opposite. Successful, self aware and confident.

Gender: male
Age: 25 to 40
Vocal range top: F#4
Vocal range bottom: F#3
Richard Bailey
Nicola's boss. An overtly attractive and successful man.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 50
Hooligans, Factory Workers, Pub Patrons, Photographers, Club Patrons
Full Song List
Kinky Boots: Prince and Son Theme
Kinky Boots: The Most Beautiful Thing in the World
Kinky Boots: Take What You Got
Kinky Boots: The Land of Lola
Kinky Boots: Step One
Kinky Boots: Sex is in the Heel
Kinky Boots: The History of Wrong Guys
Kinky Boots: I'm Not My Father's Son
Kinky Boots: Everybody Say Yeah!
Kinky Boots: What a Woman Wants
Kinky Boots: In This Corner
Kinky Boots: Charlies's Sad Soliloquy/Soul of a Man
Kinky Boots: Hold Me in Your Heart
Kinky Boots: Raise You Up
Kinky Boots: Just Be

Show History


Tony-winning producer, Daryl Roth, saw the film, Kinky Boots, at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and resonated with it, feeling that its heart and soul gave it the potential for a musical adaptation. Producer, Hal Luftig, saw the film separately in London and had similar feelings, deciding to partner with Roth on her efforts. Roth soon secured the rights, and the creative process began. They brought aboard renowned director, Jerry Mitchell, and hired Harvey Fierstein to write the book.

Looking for a composer, Mitchell knew that Fierstein was friends with Cyndi Lauper and thought that they would make a good team to create the show. Seeing an opportunity to orient the score around "club music," as well as showtunes, Fierstein approached Lauper, who joined the creative team in June 2010.

Kinky Boots, a musical with book by Tony winner, Harvey Fierstein, and a score by pop star, Cyndi Lauper, is based on the 2005 film of the same name. The film itself is an adaptation of the true story depicted on a 1999 episode of the BBC documentary series, "Trouble at the Top." It focuses on Steve Pateman, a struggling shoe factory owner who ends up saving his company by producing footwear for drag queens.

In his book, Fierstein decided to take some focus away from Charlie and split it with drag queen, Lola. He decided to emphasize the notion of two men from completely opposite worlds coming together and finding something in common. Lauper had a range of inspirations from her score, from musicals like West Side Story to the songs of Aaron Copland and Lana Del Ray. Both the book and the score make sure to stress the themes of community and the father-son bond as a vehicle to explore tolerance.


Kinky Boots started as a reading on October 6, 2011. The next year, the producers opened a workshop production at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago on October 2, 2012. After the tryout, the creative team added a couple of more songs and revised the book. The musical then opened on Broadway on April 4, 2013, at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, featuring performances from Stark Sands, Billy Porter and Annaleigh Ashford.

While the Broadway production was still running, several additional productions were announced. A national tour of the United States began on September 4, 2014, in Las Vegas. The musical had its Canadian premiere at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in June 2015. On November 25, 2014, South Korea put up the first international production of Kinky Boots, followed by Jerry Mitchell's West End production in 2015.

Cultural Influence

  • Composer, Cyndi Lauper, is the only sole female composer to win a Tony Award for Best Original Score.
  • The Broadway production of Kinky Boots set a new box office record at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.


  • The Broadway production of Kinky Boots was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards in 2013, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Orchestrations. It was also nominated for nine Outer Critics Circle awards (including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, New Score, Book of a Musical, Choreographer and Director of a Musical), three Astaire Awards and two Drama Desk Awards.

Critical Reaction

"[Cyndi Lauper] has created a love- and heat-seeking score that performs like a pop star on Ecstasy. Try to resist if you must. But for at least the first act of this tale of lost souls in the shoe business, you might as well just give it up to the audience-hugging charisma of her songs."
– The New York Times

"A warm, likable, brassy, sentimental, big-hearted and modestly scaled Broadway musical, Kinky Boots updates the issues of La Cage Aux Folles, touts acceptance and tolerance, stands behind a fresh-and-zesty Cyndi Lauper score, rolls out some mighty fine drag queens (with none of Arthur Laurents' infamous female interlopers) and adds a dose of Billy Elliot-esque, Brit-style, emotional-industrial grit, only without the off-putting profanity and the raw politics. ...In her first Broadway score, the pop icon Lauper proves adept at the crafting of not only a hook-heavy, accessible, oft-danceable score, but also of a very viable song-suite that will surprise some on Broadway with its diversity of styles, its melodic fortitude and its lyrical audacity."
– The Chicago Tribune

"The very model of a modern major musical. ...The musical holds up for the same reason Price & Son's products do: solid craftsmanship and care. Lauper is a musical-theater natural, combining bright, infectious melodies with simple but effective lyrics. As each act progresses, the energy rises palpably."
– TimeOut New York

"Lauper's first Broadway score is, like her, multicolored, surprising and fun. Songs trek from pop and English pub to R&B, soul and rock and beyond. They pack heart and hooks, add shading to characters and nudge the story forward."
– New York Daily News

"A well-fitted, well-staged toe-tapper in the contemporary big-Broadway idiom."
– New York Magazine

"The fact that [Cyndi Lauper's] infectious spirit shines through every number in her first Broadway musical score is unquestionably the chief asset of Kinky Boots. ...From the Price and Son radio jingle heard intermittently to the disco anthems of Lola and her leggy drag sisters... the toe-tapping songs show an impressive range of styles and are smoothly integrated into the story."
– The Hollywood Reporter

"Sweet, colorful and a little naughty! ...A big ol' love story about sons, the families we make and red patent leather. ...Harvey Fierstein spins theatrical magic!
– The Associated Press

"It's why the word fabulous was invented! ...Big Broadway in the best way! A splashy, bouncy, smart show with a heart, beltable songs and hilarious numbers."
– The Philadelphia Inquirer

Outer Critics Circle Award

2013 - Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Nominee (Annaleigh Ashford)
2013 - Outstanding New Broadway Musical, Winner (Kinky Boots)
2013 - Outstanding New Score, Winner (Cyndi Lauper)
2013 - Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Nominee (Billy Porter)
2013 - Outstanding Book of a Musical, Nominee (Harvey Fierstein)
2013 - Outstanding Choreographer, Nominee (Jerry Mitchell)
2013 - Outstanding Costume Design, Nominee (Gregg Barnes)
2013 - Outstanding Director Of A Musical, Nominee (Jerry Mitchell)
2013 - Outstanding Featured Actor in a Muscial, Nominee (Daniel Stewart Sherman)

Tony® Award

2013 - Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Nominee (Kenneth Posner)
2013 - Orchestrations, Winner (Stephen Oremus)
2013 - Best Original Score, Winner (Cyndi Lauper)
2013 - Best Actor in a Musical, Winner (Billy Porter)
2013 - Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Nominee (David Rockwell)
2013 - Best Actor in a Musical, Nominee (Stark Sands)
2013 - Sound Design of a Musical, Winner (John Shivers)
2013 - Best Musical, Winner (Kinky Boots)
2013 - Best Book Of A Musical, Nominee (Harvey Fierstein)
2013 - Best Choreography, Winner (Jerry Mitchell)
2013 - Best Costume Design of a Musical, Nominee (Gregg Barnes)
2013 - Best Direction of a Muscial, Nominee (Jerry Mitchell)
2013 - Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Nominee (Annaleigh Ashford)

Drama Desk Award

2013 - Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Winner (Billy Porter)
2013 - Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Nominee (Annaleigh Ashford)


See Kinky Boots on Broadway and in a City Near You:


Based on the Miramax motion picture of the same name, written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth


You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Licence Agreement, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on house-boards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind. You agree to supply to the Licensor full details of all such material for Licensor’s approval prior to printing and distribution and supply two (2) copies of the program after printing.
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Book by
Harvey Fierstein
Music and Lyrics by
Cyndi Lauper
Original Broadway Production Directed and Choreographed by Jerry Mitchell
Based on the Miramax motion picture Kinky Boots 
Written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth
The credit to the original director/choreographer shall appear directly below the Owner's credit and directly above the credit to Miramax and the screenwriters and shall appear whenever and wherever the Authors are credited.
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Cyndi Lauper wishes to thank her collaborators:
Sammy James Jr., Steve Gaboury,
Rich Morel and Tom Hammer, Stephen Oremus
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Original Broadway Production Produced by
 Daryl Roth    Hal Luftig
James L. Nederlander, Terry Allen Kramer, Independent Presenters Network,
CJ E&M, Jayne Baron Sherman, Just For Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams,
Yashuhiro Kawana, Jane Bergere, Allan S. Gordon & Adam S. Gordon,
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