Show History



Tony-winning producer, Daryl Roth, saw the film, Kinky Boots, at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and resonated with it, feeling that its heart and soul gave it the potential for a musical adaptation. Producer, Hal Luftig, saw the film separately in London and had similar feelings, deciding to partner with Roth on her efforts. Roth soon secured the rights, and the creative process began. They brought aboard renowned director, Jerry Mitchell, and hired Harvey Fierstein to write the book.

Looking for a composer, Mitchell knew that Fierstein was friends with Cyndi Lauper and thought that they would make a good team to create the show. Seeing an opportunity to orient the score around "club music," as well as showtunes, Fierstein approached Lauper, who joined the creative team in June 2010.

Kinky Boots, a musical with book by Tony winner, Harvey Fierstein, and a score by pop star, Cyndi Lauper, is based on the 2005 film of the same name. The film itself is an adaptation of the true story depicted on a 1999 episode of the BBC documentary series, "Trouble at the Top." It focuses on Steve Pateman, a struggling shoe factory owner who ends up saving his company by producing footwear for drag queens.

In his book, Fierstein decided to take some focus away from Charlie and split it with drag queen, Lola. He decided to emphasize the notion of two men from completely opposite worlds coming together and finding something in common. Lauper had a range of inspirations from her score, from musicals like West Side Story to the songs of Aaron Copland and Lana Del Ray. Both the book and the score make sure to stress the themes of community and the father-son bond as a vehicle to explore tolerance.


Kinky Boots started as a reading on October 6, 2011. The next year, the producers opened a workshop production at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago on October 2, 2012. After the tryout, the creative team added a couple of more songs and revised the book. The musical then opened on Broadway on April 4, 2013, at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, featuring performances from Stark Sands, Billy Porter and Annaleigh Ashford.

While the Broadway production was still running, several additional productions were announced. A national tour of the United States began on September 4, 2014, in Las Vegas. The musical had its Canadian premiere at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in June 2015. On November 25, 2014, South Korea put up the first international production of Kinky Boots, followed by Jerry Mitchell's West End production in 2015.

Cultural Influence

  • Composer, Cyndi Lauper, is the only sole female composer to win a Tony Award for Best Original Score.
  • The Broadway production of Kinky Boots set a new box office record at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.


  • The Broadway production of Kinky Boots was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards in 2013, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Orchestrations. It was also nominated for nine Outer Critics Circle awards (including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, New Score, Book of a Musical, Choreographer and Director of a Musical), three Astaire Awards and two Drama Desk Awards.