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Kinky Boots at the Orpheum

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What do you do when your father dies and leaves you a nearly bankrupt shoe factory that specializes in expensive, outdated men's shoes? If you're Kinky Boots lead character Charlie Price, you let a fabulous drag queen named Lola convince you turn those boring old wingtips into sparkling high-heeled boots.

That's the premise for Kinky Boots, the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that's currently playing at the Orpheum through May 24th.

Based on the 2005 film of the same name, with music by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Feinstein, Kinky Boots is a tale about opening closed minds and staying true to oneself.

Kinky Boots
  • Kinky Boots

"The overriding message is to just be who you want to be, and you can change the world," said Kinky Boots swing actor J. Harrison Ghee, who is playing the role of an Angel, one of Lola's supporting drag queens.

Ghee, who occasionally fills in for Lola's lead role, has been doing drag for years.

"My years of personal drag have really prepared me for this opportunity to play such a heavy role. Lola is a drag cabaret performer who is outgoing and rambunctious and has an internal struggle of being accepted by her father. You see that played out in the song 'Not My Father's Son.' Her goal is to get everyone to accept others and to love and give love," Ghee said.

The North Carolina son of a preacher man had a bit of a meta moments when he performed in his home state.

"I got the chance to play Lola in North Carolina for my father. And that was very much an interesting experience, to have to sing 'Not My Father's Son' and he's in the audience," Ghee said. "To have our story play out on stage was a real full-circle moment. He texted me after he saw the show and told me he was proud of who and what I am. This show is really changing everyone's lives."

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