Korean Student Takes on ‘Kinky Boots’: My Spring Break in NYC

For this year’s spring break vacation, I went to New York City with my Korean friend and watched the Broadway musical Kinky Boots!

 

Kinky Boots is a musical that opened on Broadway in 2013, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical and various other awards that season. The show is based on the book by Harvey Fierstein, as well as songs by Cyndi Lauper.

 

Two years ago, I found a video on YouTube in which a famous male Japanese actor was singing and dancing while wearing a female dress! When I saw this video, I was surprised he and other male actors were dancing and wearing high heels, yet I was fascinated by how incredible their womanly performance was.

 

Kinky Boots in Japan is being shown this April through May, but every ticket was sold out. I was bummed I could not get a ticket, but I instead decided to go to watch it in NYC while sightseeing.

 

In the official brochure, the story’s description is: “Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price, who inherits his father’s shoe factory. Looking to save the family business, Charlie turns to a fabulously fashionable new friend—cabaret star Lola—who gives him an outrageous idea that could change both of their destinies. Soon, this unlikely duo creates the most sensational footwear that’s ever rocked the runways of Milan… giving the factory and its hardworking family a sparkling new future.”  

 

There are two heroes in the plot: Charlie, who is the British shoe factory's son and heir, and Lola, who is a fabulous drag queen. This story starts from their childhood, and describes their conflicts dealing with their fathers and their identities as they pursue the lives they want to live.

 

 

There are also other funny characters, including the Six Angels: Lola's entourage of dancers. I especially love them because they wear feminine dresses and high heels alongside Lola. The point of view is from their long and skinny legs. I have never seen such beautiful, skinny and lean legs! Some of them do an acrobatics performance while wearing high heels, so they are unbelievable performers.

 

 

As for my personal impression, this musical is awesome! Before I went, I watched video clips from this musical on YouTube many times, so I was in awe when I could see it in live action. The performance by Lola and Angel was especially fascinating with its incorporation of acrobatics! The harmony by every cast was amazing, and it made me happy. I liked all of the songs composed by Cindi Lauper because the melodies are energetic, rhythmical, and pleasant. The lyrics also really moved me and cheered me up. All the songs are still stuck in my head! A few songs have funny phrases that are unique to Cindi Lauper, so maybe you will like them yourself. I loved the song "Raise You Up/Just Be" and I think this song will encourage any skeptics to listen to the entire soundtrack.

 

After watching the show in New York, I went to the stage door, which is where the actors come to greet fans as they leave. I waited 15-20 minutes, and I was able to meet the main cast of Kinky Boots and get their autographs on my playbill that I bought at theater.

 

With Callum Francis, who played Lola

 

With Andy Kelso, who played Charlie Price

 

With Daniel Sherman, who played Don and was a part of the original Broadway cast since 2013

 

These pictures with the actors and their autographs have become my treasure! Not only was it amazing to meet them, but also the time during which I talked with them were precious experiences for me.

 

Since it was my first time purchasing a Broadway musical ticket, I was a little confused on where to start. To make sure you do not have the same confusion I had, here are some tips that you may find helpful the next time you want to attend a Broadway musical.

 

If you choose to buy your ticket online, log on to the Broadway website and search through the list of currently playing musicals and plays, which include pictures and descriptions. One thing to note about the website is that you cannot choose the theater seat that you want: the site selects the best seat for you automatically based on the price and section you select. Although you may not always get the seat you originally wanted, I think the system itself is well structured.

 

Because the website set only regular prices (versus discounted rates) for seats, the cost was really expensive—not to mention the fact that there was an additional service fee to pay!

 

If you are the type of person who wants to choose your own seat and save money—I do not blame you!—I highly recommend that you buy your ticket from either another ticket-selling website or from the theater itself.

 

Here are three ways to make sure you have control over your seat and final ticket price:

1.  TKTS discount booth

This discount booth is located in Times Square, under the red steps in Father Duffy Square at Broadway and 47th Street. Open hours depend on the day, but it usually opens four hours prior to a Broadway showing.

You can buy a day ticket with a discount anywhere between 20-50%! My seat was a so-called premium seat within the 10th row in center orchestra area. The ticket price was usually $147-$163, but I got mine for just $90! I was incredibly lucky to receive my ticket at such a discounted price, so there is hope that you will, too.

2.  Broadway theaters

Each Broadway show has a specific theater at which it takes place. Open hours are different for each theater, but you can buy tickets regularly-priced and without fees. If there are vacancies, those are available seats you can choose from.            

3.  Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster is another website you can visit to purchase your ticket online. Not only are you given the option to choose your seats, but also the final cost is less expensive than from the official Broadway website (even with service fees). You can either print your ticket at home or you can have it saved at will call (which is the ticket counter at the theater).

 

There are probably other ways to get cheaper tickets, but these are by far the safest to go by to ensure you have the choice over your seat.

 

The final showing of Kinky Boots is on April 7th, and, believe me, you do not want to miss this amazing moment in the Broadway theater! If I have the time and money, I plan to watch every showing of Kinky Boots until the very end! If you are interested in learning more about Kinky Boots, I recommend that you watch video clips on YouTube, especially this portion from the Tony Awards ceremony. Enjoy!