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‘Kinky Boots’ shows plenty of sparkle at Popejoy

Connor Allstan and Kenneth Mosley star in “Kinky Boots,” which is at Popejoy Hall through March 10. (Courtesy of Matthew Murphy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — “One never knows what joy one might find amongst the unwanted” — Lola from “Kinky Boots”

On Thursday night, the Tony Award-winning musical “Kinky Boots” kicked off its run in Albuquerque and there was plenty of joy.

Inside, music filled Popejoy Hall.

Hope, optimism and faith in humanity were are few topics covered.

A ton of laughs were had.

Some tremendous dancing — in and out of stiletto heels.

For more than two hours, the talented cast of “Kinky Boots” simply entertained.

The musical is based on the 2005 film of the same name and inspired by a true story.

It follows Charlie Price, played by Connor Allston, an aspiring young businessman who is forced to give up his dreams of living the London city life in order to save his late father’s family business in Northern England.

When Price suddenly inherits his father’s bankrupt shoe factory, he finds unexpected inspiration in the form of Lola, played by Albuquerque native Kenneth Mosley, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos.

As Price and Lola work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible — and discovers that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

The musical picked up six Tony Awards in 2013 including best musical. The score was written by Cyndi Lauper, a book by Harvey Fierstein, and direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell.

From the first note, “Kinky Boots” turns on the charm.

As Price, Allston is endearing and it’s his journey throughout the production that is captivating.

He has the most to lose with the failing family shoe business.

Yet, when he allows himself to take the time and learn about the differences in people, he gains a perspective not had before. It’s a lesson that doesn’t get old.

Allston says he is in a role of a lifetime and he takes nothing for granted.

During “Soul of a Man,” Allston is the definition of vulnerable. It’s at this point, the audience gets an introspective look at the layers that slowly are being pulled back.

Price isn’t the only character on a journey, though.

Words can’t begin to explain how wonderful Mosley is as the sassy, yet respected Lola.

Mosley made it seem easy.

From the numerous costume changes to hitting all the right notes, he was on point.

Of course, it wouldn’t be right to not recognize the entire ensemble — especially the Angels.

During each scene, the Angels, who backed up Lola, strutted their stuff all in six-inch stilettos. AMAZING!

Though there were a few problems with some of the mics during the performance, it didn’t deter any of the performers.

There’s a reason “Kinky Boots” continues to grow in popularity.

It’s written smartly, along with some amazing lyrics.

Then you put together an entire cast that was pretty much made for these roles and it creates magic.

If you want to witness magic — and have a smile on your face — get out to Popejoy Hall before Sunday to catch this gem.

‘Kinky Boots’
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 8, 2 and 8 p.m. March 9; 1 and 6:30 p.m. March 10
WHERE: Popejoy Hall, University of New Mexico campus
HOW MUCH: $43-$88, plus fees at unmtickets.com, UNM Bookstore ticket office, UNM ticket office at Dreamstyle Arena, by phone at 925-5858 or 877-664-8661

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