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Friday 2 December 2016

President Putin would like my drag queen show Kinky Boots, says Cyndi Lauper

Published 14/09/2015 | 18:14

Cyndi Lauper's musical Kinky Boots is opening in the West End, London
Cyndi Lauper's musical Kinky Boots is opening in the West End, London

Singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper has said if President Putin were to see her musical Kinky Boots, "he'd like the fashion".

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The show, which opens on Tuesday night at the Adelphi Theatre in London after transferring from Broadway, features a drag queen named Lola, his "girls", and a failing shoe factory in Northampton which switches to making "kinky boots" for cross-dressers.

"Putin would definitely benefit from seeing Kinky Boots," agreed director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell of the Russian president, who takes a notoriously hard line on lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender issues.

He added: "Every world leader could benefit from seeing Kinky Boots... It's important to remember that musicals are about collaboration, just like countries and world leaders. They only way to get anything done is to learn to collaborate with people."

The feel-good musical stars Matt Henry as drag queen Lola and Killian Donnelly as Charlie Price, who inherits his father's shoe factory and must find a way to save it from closure, as well as live up to the image of his late father.

A chance meeting with Lola gives him the idea of making stiletto boots which can bear the weight of a man, and brings Lola to Northampton as a shoe designer. But Charlie and Lola must both fight for acceptance within the factory - each in their own ways.

"Change your mind about someone you think you know because a lot of times you don't know them," Lauper, who composed the songs and music for the show, advised. "I would say the heart of the show is about wanting to accept yourself, and learning that you have all these 'holes' in you - because you have all these expectations from your parents, and everybody has them, and that's the humanity of it.

"And you have two men who are totally opposite and that was what the interesting thing to me was, because the commonality no matter how different you all are, is the same."

Donnelly and Henry revealed that Lauper had been very attentive to the stars of her show, giving them individual singing lessons and making sure they looked after themselves.

Henry said: "After the preview I got a taxi home, was at home having a cup of tea, and my phone buzzes, and it says Cyndi Lauper. And it just says: Have you taken a bath?"

"She goes, 'how's your voice today?' She goes, 'did you steam?' Like a mammy," Donnelly said. "I got out of the shower and there was a missed call, Cyndi Lauper. But there was a voicemail and it goes: 'I'm just checking in to hope everything was okay tonight. Make sure you warm down.'

"I was like: 'I'm never deleting this voicemail'."

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