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Callum Francis proves the sex is in the heel at New York Cities Stage 42. The Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein musical, filled with glitter, glam and SHOES; “Kinky Boots” is back on Off-Broadway as of July 26th!

You can’t keep the drag queen down for long; The Tony-Award-winning musical has made its return, following a six-year Broadway run that ended in April of 2019.

Callum Francis steps back into the ‘boots’ of Lola and her alter ego Simon, but this time in New York City! After playing the part four times in London and Australia, Callum Francis is more than prepared to save Charlie Price’s (Played by Christian Douglas) failing shoe factory. Francis is Electric! He balances the fiery red personality of Lola and the timid, self-cautious character of Simon seamlessly. More importantly, Francis captures the audience the second he steps on stage and shares Lola’s journey with identity and acceptance beautifully.

Charlie Price, played by Christian Douglas, is a stubborn businessman, working to try to save his father’s failing and bankrupt shoe company. Douglas shocked the audience with a captivating performance of “Soul of a Man” and “Step One”. Christian Douglas does Charlie Price justice as one of the first people to accept Lola for who she was, his vulnerability attracts us all. Though Douglas is not the only great performer, Danielle Hope steals the show with her performance of “History of Wrong Guys” while playing Lauren, Charlie’s love interest. Additionally, we are introduced to Sean Steele as Don. After learning “What a Woman Wants,” Steele’s character begins to accept Lola and understand what it truly means to be a man.

Charlie and Lola go into business together to save the Price shoe company and make fabulous shoes for an underserved niche market, Drag Queens. Though the simple story of the business being saved is rather predictable, Kinky Boots relies on Cyndi Lauper’s music to showcase a much deeper story between the pair. The moving piece of “Not My Father’s Son” shares how both men, though different, struggle with the same desperate longing of acceptance from their fathers. It’s only through each other that they find the acceptance they have been searching for.

Although the set of Kinky Boots is in a more confined space at Stage 42, and was definitely dialed down from the previous Broadway production six years ago, Jerry Mitchell’s incredible choreography makes up for it. The actor’s dancing explodes off the stage and has the audience joining in. At the end of Act one the cast can be seen performing on risen treadmills during an upbeat performance of “Everybody Say Yeah,” filling the stage in the most exciting ways.

We cannot forget about paying homage to the costumes seen onstage. Lola’s wardrobe is eye-catching, colorful and filled with glitter. Gregg Barnes showed the audience that red, two-foot, sequined, sex-filled Kinky Boots never go out of style. Not only does Barnes bring us “Kinky Boots,” but he also has created a spectacular array of boots seen on Lola’s Angels throughout the show. Boots of all colors, and even displaying the British flag, take stage during the Milan Fashion show finale. Everyone loves “Kinky Boots,” as the show closes out with the entire cast sporting Sex in the form of a boot.

Kinky Boots is a must-watch for Ladies, gentlemen, theys and thems, and those who have yet to make up their mind; Lola’s daring sexuality and vulnerability shows the audience that there are many ways to be a man. “Kinky Boots” shares a story about acceptance, accepting yourself and accepting others for who they are, a theme that is prevalent now more than ever. Although the outcome of Charlie Price and Lola’s friendship is seemingly predictable, the journey is educational, especially to those who, like Don, still hold prejudice.

Isabella Cunha is a current freshman at Hofstra University studying Public Relations. She is from New Hampshire and is excited to see what's in store for her in New York!