Will the shoe fit?: ‘Kinky Boots’ eyes a move to the West End

Stark Sands and Billy Porter in "Kinky Boots."

Stark Sands and Billy Porter in “Kinky Boots.”

Kinky Boots has captured the hearts of audiences and critics alike during its run on Broadway and received the distinction of Best Musical at the Tony Awards and now it’s looking to make the move to London. Although a West End production of Kinky Boots may not happen immediately, London audiences should be excited at the prospect – this show is a wonderfully engaging experience, with some surprisingly touching moments and joyful, catchy music.  It also boasts two leading men with astounding on-stage chemistry and talent to spare: Billy Porter and Stark Sands as Lola and Charlie. Porter and Sands are a large part of Kinky Boots’ success, and while it’s possible that the two may eventually make the move to London to open the show, Kinky Boots’ director has indicated that he’d like to find some British actors instead.

Thomas Goodridge.

Thomas Goodridge.

Porter’s performance as Lola may be hard to match; he possesses an effortless charm as he struts the stage as the bighearted drag queen. In other words, he’s left some big shoes (or boots) to fill. There aren’t very many men who could play Lola with the same energy and charisma, but The Book of Mormon’s Thomas Goodridge may be one of them. Goodridge’s credits include The Lion King, Rent and Sister Act: The Musical, among others. He has a great voice, a winning smile and plenty of experience playing to an audience – and while he’s never tackled a role quite like Lola, he would be spectacular.

Craig Mather.

Craig Mather.

The show’s other lead role is Charlie Price, a young man who has recently inherited his family’s struggling shoe business. Sands plays the steady and straight-laced businessman with a touch of awkwardness that is remarkably endearing.  In the West End, I can easily see Craig Mather doing a wonderful job with the role. Mather may be young, but he played Melchior in the Frankfurt production of Spring Awakening and most recently played Les Misérables’ romantic lead, Marius, at the Queen’s Theatre. He’s solid vocally and, like Sands, possesses a sweet quality that makes Charlie personable and relatable rather than just boring, which the role runs the risk of next to the flamboyant Lola.

Kinky Boots is one of the best new musicals to hit the stage this past season, and it’s likely that it owes quite a bit of its success to Porter and Sands. It’s always important for a show to open with strong leads, and whether Porter and Sands make the leap across the pond or two British actors are found for the roles, it’s certain that London audiences will receive Kinky Boots with the same enthusiasm and appreciation that it has received on Broadway.

Are you excited about the prospect of Kinky Boots opening on the West End? Do you have any other actors in mind for the roles of Lola and Charlie? Let me know in the comments below!

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Protected by WP Anti Spam