This is very much in the mold of musicals like Hairspray and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – both shows in which Kinky Boots‘ director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell had a major hand, it should be mentioned. Like them it’s a splashy, colorful, drag-filled joyride of a show, with a soft-sold message of tolerance that never gets in the way of high-energy production numbers. And like those shows, I predict Kinky Boots will be a big fat hit (if I had to guess, I’d say bigger than Priscilla, not as big as Hairspray).
Tag: New York
Just about everything about this show is charming. To begin with, the underlying concept: the play is indirectly about Barbra Streisand’s “elegant barn”, the main subject of her book A Passion for Design. That basement includes a street and fake “shops” to display her collections. Playwright Jonathan Tolins was so tickled by the idea of those fake shops having a real shopkeeper that he created this one-man show about “Alex More” a struggling L.A. actor who takes exactly that job.
This is an above-average musical, but only slightly above average. The ideas behind it are certiainly intrigruging, but are inconsistently developed. Everyone in the creative team has done solid, sometimes even inventive craftswork – all in all, Hands on A Hardbody has some really great parts, but is finally less than the sum of those parts.
The point is often made that early 20th Century Russian playwright Anton Chekhov thought of his plays as comedies, while in the years since they have mostly been played as rueful, melancholy drama. In his new twist on Chekhovian ideas, Christopher Durang has rightly realized that it’s a matter of context – Chekhov’s plays could have probably been funny to early 20th Century Russians! (That Chekhov didn’t find Russian productions of his plays in his own time funny enough is a different and very complex issue).
In Douglas Carter Beane’s new book for the stage “revisical” of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s TV musical Cinderella, our heroine transforms France from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy in one fell swoop! Alright, it’s only a brief moment in the show, which generally hits all of the expected marks of the beloved fairy tale. But it’s a perfect example of the delightful surprises Beane has worked into the show. This new Cinderella is witty, smart and fresh, while still having plenty for the kiddies.