2018 Broadway Previews
As I’m sure you’ve already heard, this semester, the Student Programming Council (SPC) is sponsoring trips to see Kinky Boots, Come from Away, Book of Mormon and Dear Evan Hansen. At just $25 each, this opportunity is too good to pass up, even if that means sitting in a line outside of Student Activities for a few hours, which is what I’m doing while writing this very piece. Unfortunately, the first two shows have already had their ticket sales, but whether you see one of the shows this semester or in the future, here’s a preview of what you can expect from these productions!
Kinky Boots has been on Broadway for 15 years and has always been a crowd favorite. The creative team is made up by some large names in entertainment: Jerry Mitchell, Cyndi Lauper, and Harvey Fierstein. Mitchell has directed numerous Broadway shows; Lauper is a Grammy, Tony, and Emmy-award winner responsible for music like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “True Colors.” Fierstein wrote the book that inspired this production, along with the book for Newsies.
According to the Kinky Boots official website, the story is about Charlie Price, whose father owns a shoe factory. It is expected that he will take over the family business, but he tries to dodge this responsibility and moves away to London with his fiancée. His father passes away and the factory becomes plagued with debt and nears the brink of bankruptcy. While in London, Charlie meets a drag queen named Lola and her dancers, the “angels.” He notices that the heels they wear are not suitable for a man’s weight, takes this information back home and decides to produce drag shoes, known as “Kinky Boots,” with the help of Lola and her dancers.
This decision causes a dramatic conflict as some of the workers from the factory are prejudiced against the drag queens they now work with. This exciting and controversial story is supplemented with iconic songs like “The History of Wrong Guys,” and “Raise You Up/Just Be.” The current cast is full of talent, including Carrie St. Louis, who has played Glinda in Wicked, Daniel Stewer Sherman and Caroline Bowman, who were in the original cast of this show, and most notably, Mark Ballas who will be playing the lead character, Charlie. Ballas is best known for his 19 seasons as a professional dancer and as a two-time champion on Dancing with the Stars. According to the official Tony’s website, Kinky Boots has won numerous awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Sound Design, and Best Choreography in 2013. Kinky Boots is a show you definitely won’t want to miss; if you didn’t score tickets to the SPC trip, try to check it out while it’s on Broadway!
The second show this semester is a newer production called Come from Away. This show has been on Broadway since February of 2017 and deals with a serious event in history: the 9/11 tragedy of 2001. However, according to stageagent.com, the writers Irene Sankoff and David Hein have said that this show is more about September 12, 2001 and structured around “the best people have to offer each other, and a reminder that we are all capable of doing good for each other, especially in the darkest of times.”
In summary, the show’s take on the events of that tragic day don’t take place in New York City like most 9/11 tales. Instead, this production is set in Newfoundland, a Canadian Island, where 42 planes were instructed to land after the U.S. airspace was closed in response to the attacks. This story is about the interactions between the people in the small Canadian town and the nearly 7,000 passengers from the relocated flights. Stageagent.com also reports that the show depicts some entirely true stories and some stories that combine different experiences of the people in Newfoundland in 2001.
The cast includes many of the original actors including Josh Breckinridge, Petrina Bromley, Geno Carr, and Jenn Colella. Come from Away was nominated for 7 Tony’s, winning Best Direction. They also earned the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical. Despite the tragic inspiration, the show is uplifting, hopeful, and worth seeing.