"One of the best of the city's cultural buying guides -- off-beat in its coverage, regularly right in its judgements, and brightly written. Add this one to your Favorites!"

Village Voice, Feb. 13, 2003

NYTBG is the premier provider of ticket-buying recommendations to over 1,750 professional convention and meeting planners who, each day, organize theater-going and visits to other attractions, for attendees at major conventions in NYC with over 250,000 attendees. Our review is posted by noon of the day following the performance, and favorable reviews regularly produce a noticeable uptick in ticket sales for the ensuing 2-15 days.

Ronald Gross, Editor-in-Chief

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Contributors:

Sue Salko
Peter Gross
Allan Bartholle
Carol Denster
Dan Bluestein
Eliot Shapiro,
Fred Marhack
Gail Strewen
Albert Straw
Devin Lehany
Mahumud Surra
Nat Matcem
Daryl Louis
Marjorie Lewis
Aaron Ravel
Len Coonan
Alice Apps
Millie Kazoon

KINKY BOOTS

Al Hirschfeld Theatre
302 West 45th St.
 (betwn 8th and 9th Avenues)

Review by Ronald Gross
NY Theater Buying Guide

BOTTOM LINE:  Our highest recommendation!  The
best musical on Broadway – and an important fable
about the profitability of diversity.


A fable about what?!  

Yes, you read right: the season’s best musical is also a master class in what American businesses (like yours) need to do to thrive in a new “flat” world where everyone’s a customer.

Diversity – the understanding, cultivation, and strategic use of the ways in which we are different --  is the bedrock of organizational success today.  

Saving a failing shoe factory becomes a rousing metaphor for reviving any enterprise in which the creative energies of management and labor have become stifled.  You can learn more here than at Harvard’s B-School, about finding new customers, meeting niche needs, fostering organizational loyalty and productivity, and creating prosperity in the midst of  seeming decline.   (A friend of mine who teaches  at Wharton screens the 2005 Miramax movie every Spring as a preparation for finals week.)

From the opening number, “The Most Beautiful Thing in the Word” (a shoe, of course), this song-song-song and dance-dance-dance extravaganza focuses on what makes for a good enterprise – and the plot takes a wondrously winding way back to that classical love of good workmanship and masterful management. 

And it’s also the best musical on Broadway.  Cyni Lauper’s songs range gloriously from pop to funk to new wave to tango, with an occasional very personal lyric tucked into the interstices.  Significantly, most of the songs were re-worked to make the most of the talents of the two leads when they came to be cast: Stark Sands as the “male” lead and Billy Porter as the drag queen Lola.  One remix, of “Sex is in the Heel,” made the Top 10 on the Billboard club charts – the first Broadway tune to do so in 25 years.

Under the directorial and choreographic genius of Jerry Mitchell, the show achieves that rarest of melds: soul-stirring individual performances and beautiful ensemble work.

Sands and Porter are amazing both as towering individual talents (they both have more than one 11 o’clock numbers that brings down the house), and in their work together, culminating in the unforgettable “Not My Father’s Son”, a musical marriage of genders, races, and temperaments. 

Daniel Stewart Sherman is an audience favorite as the tough guy who becomes truly a man.   Annaleigh Ashford is utterly endearing as the ingénue turned wise woman. 

Every member of the creative team deserves full-throated kudos – the scenic, costume, and lighting designs transform a grungy shoe factor into a Milan fashion runway, and the musical supervision by Stephen Oremus works wonderfully.

Let me leave you with Lola’s “Six Step Program” which  could serve any organization well in the new age when creativity through diversity is the key to new markets, new products, and organizational renewal:

1. Pursue the truth.
2. Learn something new.
3. Accept yourself and you’ll accept others too.
4. Let love shine.
5. Let pride be your guide.
6. You can change the world when you change you mind.