Kinky boots pantages tickets

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“Kinky Boots” – now playing at the Pantages – Los Angeles musical theater review

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy.

Fun and fluffy, the upbeat musical Kinky Boots is currently touring through L.A. You can catch the show at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood until November 30, 2014.

The show is a musical remake of the (somewhat more gritty and non-musical) movie of the same name from 2005 and features a collaboration between some Broadway and musical heavyweights — namely four-time Tony® Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (book) and Grammy® Award-winning rock icon Cyndi Lauper (music and lyrics and Tony® Award-winner for Best Score for Kinky Boots).

The story is slim — a young man inherits a fourth-generation shoe factory in Northhampton, Northern England, only to learn it has been operating at a loss and the small family of factory workers are facing unemployment. A chance meeting with a drag artist named ‘Lola’ sets him and his factory on a whole new trajectory.

The musical — and its songs — is, for the most part, great fun but the storyline is so glib and the pace so slick and glossy that there seems to be never any real threat of danger nor high stakes peril. We all know Charlie is going to turn his business around, and that the new line of boots will wow at the International Fashion show in Milan. We don’t care that his relationship with his superficial fiancee is going south because there’s a pretty blonde wallflower who works at the factory who he’ll invariably end up with by the show’s feel-good conclusion.

While the numerous characters are interesting and quirky enough for many of them to warrant their own song, this show zips along at a breakneck pace. But Kinky Boots really comes alive whenever the Angels (the sextet of feisty drag queens featured throughout) take to the stage, backing up the diva-like central figure Lola.

Promoted from playing one of the Angels of the original Broadway company, Kyle Taylor Parker struts his stuff as Lola—something he got to do to great acclaim on several occasions in New York as the Lola understudy. We even get a torch song Beyonce moment for one of his solos. Steven Booth stars as shoe factory owner Charlie Price. Parker and Booth are joined by Lindsay Nicole Chambers as Lauren, Joe Coots as Don, Craig Waletzko as George and Grace Stockdale in her touring debut as Nicola.

One of the Angels (not sure but I think it was Hernando Umana) dazzled us with her full-on heavy metal soaring vocals as the referee for the boxing match scene.

Rounding out the ensemble are Damien Brett, Stephen Carrasco, Lauren Nicole Chapman, Amelia Cormack, Troi Gaines, J. Harrison Ghee, Blair Goldberg, Darius Harper, Andrew Theo Johnson, Crystal Kellogg, Jeffrey Kishinevskiy, Jeff Kuhr, Ross Lekites, Patty Lohr, Mike Longo, Tommy Martinez, David McDonald, Nick McGough, Bonnie Milligan, Anthony Picarello, Horace V. Rogers, Ricky Schroeder, Anne Tolpegin, Juan Torres-Falcon, Hernando Umana and Sam Zeller.

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy.

Kinky Boots
Pantages Theater
6233 Hollywood Boulevard,
Hollywood CA
Runs through November 30, 2014.
Tickets available online here or here, by phone at 800-982-2787 or at the Hollywood Pantages Box Office located at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard (Opens daily at 10am.)






Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


Kinky Boots

Broadway’s huge-hearted, high-heeled hit! With songs by Grammy® and Tony® winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan.

Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

With direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray), Kinky Boots is the winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Choreography.

Take a step in the right direction and discover that sometimes the best way to fit in is to stand out.

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Tour Theater Review: KINKY BOOTS (National Tour at Pantages Hollywood)


Another bus-and-truck tour of Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper’s Tony Award-festooned musical has “sashayed and shanted” its way back into Los Angeles at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, and it may just be the tonic you need after a rough day.


Oh, yes, one can look at the show with the jaundiced old eye of a real sourpuss and glom onto any number of flaws:  The book is flat out ridiculous.  Come on, a story about a shoe executive saving his company by selling high heeled shoes for drag queens?  That’s absurd.  You could have RuPaul as your chief saleslady and still not sell enough shoes to turn a whole company around.

And, strictly speaking, the show’s structure is almost achingly formulaic to the point of being annoying.  You can almost set your watch to the plot’s convolutions – from when the hero is going to turn his back on his golddigging girlfriend to return to his dead dad’s shoe factory, to when the drag queen shows up at just the right moment to save the day before a major fashion show.


And, yet, let me tell you something.  After an especially awful day, it turns out that Kinky Boots was just the show I needed.  The production’s gentle, upbeat, good humor flowed over me like a balm for the craziness of the outside world.  It is almost churlish to dwell on the negative elements – and, of course, there are some, for it’s no use pretending this is God’s gift to Broadway – but even if you whip up a mountain from the show’s molehill of cavils, this crowd-pleaser remains just a beguiling, feelgood musical.  I refuse to be the grumpus who says otherwise.

1439925652_Photo6_KyleTaylorParker_Steven Booth_PhotobyMatthewMurphy

Northampton, England lad Charlie (Adam Kaplan) has to put his dreams of moving to London on hold after he inherits the family shoe factory following the death of his dad.  With the economy in downturn, the shoe factory is on its last legs – ha ha – but late one night, after Charlie saves drag queen Lola (J. Harrison Ghee) from getting beat up by gay bashers, they come up with a novel way of saving the company.  What if the shoe factory went into business creating boots for drag queens?  Before long, Lola and Charlie’s collaboration has the factory back on its feet – ha ha – though Lola must work hard to overcome the uninformed homophobia of some of the factory workers before they can take the new drag shoes to the Great Shoe Expo in Milan.


Although the plot is admittedly rather clunky, Fierstein’s book finds a wonderful human soul to even the most broadly limned supporting characters.  The work is crafted to directly ride on the pro-sexual fluidity movement represented by TV shows such as Rupaul’s Drag Race and Transparent, in which drag and sexual identification are simply one more factor in the world’s panoply.  This interpretation of kinder, gentler drag would not work were it not for the remarkably powerful turn by Ghee in the central role of Lola.

Tiffany Engen in the National Tour of Kinky Boots.Ghee manages to straddle both the ferocious attitude of a drag queen on display, as well as a touching vulnerability when he’s out of drag in male street clothes.  His Lola has little to do with sexual orientation and more about being strong enough to literally remake yourself into what you want to be.  His voice is amazing, too:  In his opener “Land of Lola,” he channels Belafonte by way of Eartha Kitt; in his ballad, “Hold Me In Your Heart,” you’d think you were hearing Shirley Bassey.

Rocker Cyndi Lauper’s music and lyrics are amiable and quick, though admittedly without being memorable.  I think, with the exception of the cool Motown-y production number of the song “Sex is in the Heel” the songs mostly sound the same, even though they’re given delightfully charged delivery by the ensemble.  I also can’t help but think that, in the role of the audience-identifiable hero Charlie, Kaplan is a little light in personality, coming across as bland, though it would be pretty hard for anyone to stand up against Ghee without being blown across the stage.  He has a strong voice, particularly in his ballad “Heart of a Man,” but he never seems to have the hard edge you’d expect from his character.


David Rockwell’s dingy factory set nicely contrasts with Gregg Barnes’s gorgeous costumes worn by the drag performers.  Although the frocks and drag get-ups never quite match the ingenuity of, say, an episode of Rupaul, they’re still gently naughty in a pleasantly-shock-grandma kind of way.  They also set off the drab, blue collar factory clothes worn by those playing the shoe factory employees.  Supporting performances are delightful as well, from Aaron Walpole’s turn as a Bluto-like homophobe, who gradually realizes the error of his ways, to Tiffany Engan, as one of the factory workers who pines with an unrequited affection for her boss.  In a surprise, former 1980’s and 90’s TV icon Jim J. Bullock, unrecognizable in a beard, trenchcoat, and little beady glasses, plays George, Charlie’s brick of a production manner; what a pleasant joy to see him around again.

In the end, the energy and good humor is really what drives the show, even more than the book and music.  Here’s a musical with heart, vigor, and sweetness that actually essentially subverts attempts to criticize.  I loved it, almost in spite of myself.

photos by Matthew Murphy

Kinky Boots
North American Tour
reviewed at Hollywood Pantages
ends April 24, 2016
tour continues until June 18, 2017
for dates and cities, visit Kinky Boots


Kinky Boots (musical)

Stage musical

Kinky Boots is a musical with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and book by Harvey Fierstein.

Based on the 2005 British film Kinky Boots, written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth and mostly inspired by true events, the musical tells the story of Charlie Price. Having inherited a shoe factory from his father, Charlie forms an unlikely partnership with cabaret performer and drag queen Lola to produce a line of high-heeled boots and save the business. In the process, Charlie and Lola discover that they are not so different after all.

Following the show's conception in 2006, the creative team was assembled by 2010. The original production of Kinky Boots premiered at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago in October 2012, with both direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell, and starring Stark Sands and Billy Porter as Charlie and Lola, respectively. It made its Broadway debut at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on April 4, 2013, following previews that began on March 3, 2013. The musical began a US tour in 2014. The musical then ended on April 7, 2019.

Having initially been less well received by theatre critics and at the box office than another 2013 Broadway production, Matilda the Musical, Kinky Boots entered the 2013 awards season as an underdog. However, less than a month after opening, Kinky Boots surpassed this rival with audiences in weekly box office gross and later enjoyed a post-Tony boost in advance sales. The production earned a season-high 13 nominations and 6 Tony wins, including Best Musical, Best Actor for Billy Porter and Best Score for Lauper in her first outing as a Broadway songwriter, making her the first woman to win alone in that category. The musical's cast album premiered at number one on the Billboard Cast Albums Chart and number fifty-one on the Billboard 200 chart. Making its West End debut in 2015, in 2016, it won three Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical.

Background and creation[edit]

Kinky Boots is based on the 2005 British film of the same name,[1] which was in turn inspired by a 1999 episode of the BBC2 documentary television series Trouble at the Top. It followed the true story of Steve Pateman, who was struggling to save his family-run shoe factory from closure and decided to produce fetish footwear for men, under the brand name "Divine Footwear".[2][3] Daryl Roth, a Tony Award-winning producer,[4] saw the film at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and fell in love with its "heart and soul". She felt that its themes resonated and thought that the story had potential as source material for a musical. Independently, Hal Luftig saw the film in London and agreed "that its heart and humanity (and bigger-than-life leading 'lady') would translate well to musical theatre."[5] Within a year, Roth secured the rights to adapt the film to the stage and partnered with Luftig, a Tony and Olivier Award-winning producer.[6][7]

By mid-2008, Roth and Luftig were in discussions with a potential director, Jerry Mitchell, but they still had not found writers.[8] When Roth sent Mitchell the DVD of the film, he was enthusiastic about it.[9] Roth and Luftig hired Mitchell to direct and Harvey Fierstein to write the book.[6][10] Mitchell knew that Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper were friends, and he thought they would make a good team to create the musical.[9] Fierstein agreed and eventually approached Lauper to write the songs[3] because he "saw in the adaptation an opportunity to work with someone with a big musical range, 'somebody who could write club music,' ... along with show tunes."[11] Lauper joined the creative team in June 2010.[12] Lauper's last project before Kinky Boots had been the album Memphis Blues, while Fierstein was working on Newsies when he began Kinky Boots.[11] The work marked Lauper's debut as a musical theatre songwriter,[10] although she had some theatrical experience, having performed on Broadway in the 2006 Roundabout Theatre Company production of The Threepenny Opera.[13] Among Fierstein's prior experiences were works about drag queens: La Cage aux Folles and Torch Song Trilogy.[14] Lauper has said that she identifies with drag queens.[15]

Lauper wrote the songs for the show.

Fierstein and Lauper had both gained previous critical acclaim and honors in their respective fields. Fierstein had won four Tonys: acting and writing awards for Torch Song Trilogy, an acting Tony for Hairspray, and one for writing the book of La Cage; Lauper is a chart-topping singer-songwriter and actress who had won Grammy, Emmy and many other awards for her songs and performances.[16][17][18] Fierstein noted a change in focus between the film "about the saving of a factory" and the musical, which include "drag queens singing as they pass along the assembly line."[3][9] He said the main difference is that the musical is, "at its core, about two young men who come from seemingly opposite worlds who figure out that they have a lot in common, beginning with the need to stand up to their dads."[9] Lauper's inspirations ranged from the musicals South Pacific and West Side Story to Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring and pop singer Lana Del Rey.[11] In a broadcast interview with Patrick Healy of The New York Times, Lauper and Fierstein said that, in adapting the film, they stressed themes of community and the universality of the father-son bond as vehicles to explore the issues of tolerance and self-acceptance.[19]

Kinky Boots was given a reading on October 6, 2011.[20] Lauper was actively engaged in refining the material once the cast began readings.[11] In January 2012, Roth announced that the show would be workshopped that month, and that Stark Sands and Billy Porter had been cast in the starring roles.[21][22] In August 2012, the producers announced the Broadway opening date of April 4, 2013.[10]


Act I[edit]

Charlie Price grows up as the fourth-generation "son" in his family business, Price & Son, a shoe manufacturing company with its factory in Northampton. Another young boy, growing up in London, is as fascinated by shoes as Charlie is bored by them. But in this case, it is a pair of red women's heels that have attracted his attention, aggravating his strict father. Years pass. Charlie's father is aging and hopes Charlie will take over the factory. Still, Charlie is eager to move to London with his status-conscious fiancée, Nicola, and pursue a real estate career ("The Most Beautiful Thing").

Charlie has barely made it into his new flat in London when his father dies suddenly. Charlie hurries home for the funeral, where he finds the factory near bankruptcy. The factory makes good quality men's shoes, but they are not stylish and not cheap, and the market for them is drying up. Charlie is determined to save the factory and his father's legacy, though he has no desire to run Price & Sons himself. The workers, many of whom have known Charlie his entire life, do not understand why Charlie moved away in the first place, and many are hostile and skeptical of the new management.

Returning to London, Charlie meets his friend and fellow shoe salesman, Harry, in a pub to ask for help. Harry can only offer a temporary solution and advises Charlie not to fight the inevitable ("Take What You Got"). Leaving the pub, Charlie witnesses a woman being accosted by two drunks. He intervenes and is knocked unconscious. He comes to in a seedy nightclub, where the woman he attempted to rescue is revealed to have been the club's drag queen headliner, Lola, who performs with her backup troupe of drag dancers, the "angels" ("Land of Lola"). Recuperating from his ordeal in Lola's dressing room, an uncomfortable Charlie notices the performers' high-heeled boots are not designed to hold a man's weight. Lola explains that the expensive and unreliable footwear is an essential part of any drag act.

Charlie returns to the factory and begins reluctantly laying off his workers. Lauren, one of the women on the assembly line, explodes at Charlie when given her notice and stubbornly tells him that other struggling shoe factories have survived by entering an "underserved niche market." This gives Charlie an idea ("Land of Lola" {Reprise}), and he invites Lola to come to the factory to help him design a women's boot that can be comfortable for a man ("Charlie's Soliloquy"/"Step One").

Lola and the angels arrive at the factory, and she is immediately dissatisfied with Charlie's first design of the boot. Quickly getting the women of the factory on her side, she draws a quick design of a boot, explaining the most important factor is by far the heel ("The Sex is in the Heel"). George, the factory manager, realizes a way to make her design practical. An impressed Charlie begs Lola to stay until a prestigious footwear show in Milan in three weeks to design a new line of "kinky boots" that could save the factory. Lola is reluctant since she is already receiving crass comments from Don, the factory foreman, and some of the other factory workers but is flattered by Charlie's praise and finally agrees.

Charlie announces that the factory will be moving ahead with production on the boots. He thanks Lauren for giving him the idea and offers her a promotion. She accepts and is horrified but thrilled to realize she is falling for him ("The History of Wrong Guys").

The next day, Lola shows up in men's clothes and is mocked by Don and his friends. An upset Lola takes refuge in the bathroom, and Charlie attempts to comfort her. Lola explains that her father trained her as a boxer but disowned her when she showed up for a match in drag. The two discover their similarly complex feelings toward their fathers, and Lola introduces herself by her birth name: Simon ("Not My Father's Son").

Nicola and her boss Richard Bailey arrive from London and present Charlie with a plan for the factory that Richard has drawn up: closing it and converting it into condominiums. Charlie refuses but is shocked to discover that his father had agreed to this plan before he died, presumably because Charlie was not there to run it. He refuses to sell, and soon the workers are celebrating as the first pair of "kinky boots" is finished ("Everybody Say Yeah").

Act II[edit]

Some of the factory workers are not enthusiastic about the radical change in their product line. Some of them, especially the intimidating Don, make Lola feel very unwelcome. Lola taunts him back, enlisting the female factory workers' help to prove that Lola is closer to a woman's ideal man than Don ("What a Woman Wants"). Lola presents Don with a unique wager to see who is the better "man": Lola will do anything that Don specifies if Don will do the same thing for her. Don's challenge is for Lola to fight him in a boxing match at the pub. Charlie, remembering Lola's background, is horrified. Lola easily scores against Don in the ring but ultimately lets Don win the match ("In This Corner"). Afterward, Don asks why she let him win, and Lola replies that she could not be so cruel as to humiliate Don in front of his mates. She gives him her part of the challenge: "accept someone for who they are."

Charlie is pouring his own money into the factory to ensure it will be ready in time for Milan, and he is getting frantic that the product is not right, angrily forcing his staff to redo what he considers to be shoddy work. Nicola arrives, fed up with Charlie's obsession over the factory, and breaks up with him. Lola has been making some decisions about production and preparations without consulting Charlie. When he discovers that she has decided to have her angels wear the boots on the runway rather than hiring professional models, an overwhelmed Charlie lashes out at her, humiliating her in front of the other workers. Lola storms out, and the factory workers go home. Alone, Charlie struggles with the weight of his father's legacy and what it means to be his own man ("Soul of a Man").

Lauren finds Charlie and tells him to come back to the factory. It is revealed Don has persuaded the workers to return to work and to sacrifice a week's pay to ensure the boots can be finished in time for Milan. Charlie is astonished and grateful and asks if Don has paid up on his wager by accepting Lola. Lauren explains that the person that Don has accepted is Charlie himself.

As he heads to the airport for Milan, Charlie leaves a heartfelt apology on Lola's voicemail. Meanwhile, Lola performs her act at a nursing home in her home town. After she leaves the stage, she speaks to her dying father, who uses a wheelchair, and reaches a sense of closure ("Hold Me in Your Heart").

Charlie and Lauren arrive in Milan. But without models, Charlie is forced to walk the runway himself. Lauren is thrilled by his dedication ("The History of Wrong Guys (Reprise)"), but the show threatens to be a disaster. Just as all seems lost, Lola and her angels arrive to save the day. Lauren and Charlie share their first kiss, and the whole company celebrates the success of the "Kinky Boots" ("Raise You Up/Just Be").


In Lauper's first effort at writing for the stage, she found that it required a sustained effort to write songs for the different characters.[23] Lauper joked about the difficulty of writing her first score: "How much of a stretch is it for me to write songs about fashion, funny relationships, people changing their minds and shoes?"[9] The first song that Lauper wrote was the opening number, which included a wide range of voices.[18] Her process was to conceive a song and sing it into her iPhone, and orchestrator Stephen Oremus would write it down.[9] Oremus would then "'blow up' the vocal line into harmonies, create the incidental music that linked scenes and songs" and orchestrate the material.[24] The songs range in style "from pop to funk to new wave to tango, with highly personal lyrics".[11]New York Times critic Melena Ryzik wrote: "Though there are plenty of hooky, rousing numbers, the emotional heart of Kinky Boots is several ballads about the weight of parental expectations."[11] The musical uses a twelve-piece orchestra consisting of keyboards, percussion, bass, guitars, reeds, violin, viola, cello, trumpet, and trombone.[25][26]

On August 30, 2017, songwriters Benny Mardones and Robert Tepper sued Cyndi Lauper for lifting elements from their song “Into the Night” for Kinky Boots’ final song “Raise You Up.”[27] The judge referred the case to a mediator, but no settlement was reached.[28]

Musical numbers[edit]

Act I
  • "Price & Son Theme" – Ensemble
  • "The Most Beautiful Thing" – Mr. Price, Young Charlie, Nicola, Charlie, Young Lola, Company
  • "Take What You Got" – Harry, Charlie, Ensemble
  • "Land of Lola" – Lola, Angels
  • "Land of Lola (Reprise)"[29] – Lola, Angels‡
  • "Charlie's Soliloquy" – Charlie
  • "Step One" – Charlie
  • "Sex Is in the Heel" – Lola, Pat, George, Angels, Lauren, Charlie, Ensemble
  • "The History of Wrong Guys" – Lauren
  • "Not My Father's Son" – Lola, Charlie
  • "Everybody Say Yeah" – Charlie, Lola, Company
Act II
  • "Entr’acte/Price & Son Theme (Reprise)" – Ensemble‡
  • "What a Woman Wants" – Lola, Pat, Trish, Don, Women
  • "In This Corner" – Lola, Don, Pat, Trish, Ensemble
  • "Charlie's Soliloquy (Reprise)" – Charlie
  • "The Soul of a Man" – Charlie
  • "Hold Me in Your Heart" – Lola
  • "The History of Wrong Guys (Reprise)" – Lauren‡
  • "Raise You Up/Just Be" – Lola, Charlie, Angels, Lauren, Don, Pat, Trish, Nicola, Company

‡Song not included on original Broadway cast album or West End cast Recording.
Act I
  • "Price & Son Theme" – Full Company
  • "The Most Beautiful Thing" – Full Company
  • "Take What You Got" – Harry, Charlie, Ensemble
  • "Land of Lola" – Lola, Angels
  • "Beware the Black Widow" — Lola, Angels
  • "I Come to the Rescue" – Charlie
  • "Sex Is in the Heel" – Lola, Pat, George, Angels, Ensemble
  • "The History of Wrong Guys" – Lauren
  • "Not My Father's Son" – Lola, Charlie
  • "Everybody Say Yeah" – Charlie, Lola, Angels, Ensemble
Act II
  • "Entr’acte/Price & Son Theme (Reprise)" – Full Company
  • "What a Woman Wants" – Lola, Pat, Don, Ensemble
  • "In This Corner" — Lola, Don, Pat, Trish, Angels, Ensemble
  • "So Long, Charlie" – Nicola
  • "The Soul of a Man" – Charlie
  • "Hold Me in Your Heart" – Lola
  • "Raise You Up/Just Be" – Full Company

Principal roles and original casts[edit]

Character Original Broadway Cast[26]Original US Tour Cast[30]Original Toronto Cast[31]Original London Cast Original Australian Cast[32]Original UK Tour Cast
Charlie Price Stark SandsSteven Booth Graham Scott Fleming Killian DonnellyToby Francis Joel Harper- Jackson
Lola Billy PorterKyle Taylor Parker Alan Mingo Jr. Matt HenryCallum Francis Callum Francis
Lauren Annaleigh AshfordLindsay Nicole ChambersA.J. BridelAmy LennoxSophie WrightPaula Lane
Nicola Lena Hall[33]Grace Stockdale Vanessa Sears Amy Ross Teagan Wouters Helen Ternent
Don Daniel Sherman Joe Coots Dan Williston Jamie Baughan Joe Kosky Demitri Lampra
George Marcus Neville Craig Waletzko James Kall Michael Hobbs Nathan Carter Adam Price
Pat Tory Ross Bonnie Milligan Kristin Peace Chloe Hart Samm Hagen Lizzie Bea
Trish Jennifer Perry Amelia Cormack Nicola Dawn Gillian Hardie Emma Powell Niki Evans
Harry Andy Kelso Mike Longo Patrick Cook Paul Ayres Jake Speer Joshua St. Clair
Mr. Price Stephen Berger David McDonald Sandy Winsby Alan Vicary Glenn ButcherAndy Watkins
Simon Sr. Eugene Barry-Hill Horace V. Rogers Jaivaro Smith Robert Grose Eric Rasmussen Fred Smiley
Richard Bailey John Jeffrey Martin Ross Lekites Justin Stadnyk Michael Vinsen Matthew Predny Daniel Conway
Young Charlie Sebastian Hedges Thomas Anthony Picarello Arden Couturier
Eric Leclair
Beau Cripps
Ben Dawson
Edward Green
Young Lola Marquise Neal Andrew Theo Johnson Isaiah Slater
Kaden Stephen
Nana Agyeman-Bediako
James Gava
Tumo Reetsang

Broadway replacements[edit]

West End replacements[edit]



On February 6, 2012, the Chicago Tribune reported that Kinky Boots' producers were considering taking advantage of an incentive program from the State of Illinois for out-of-town tryouts for Broadway shows.[40] The October 2012 pre-Broadway Chicago tryout was announced on February 22, 2012.[41][42] On June 28, 2012 the full Chicago cast was announced.[43] The production was rehearsed at the New 42nd Street Studios in New York City in September 2012. The show began its pre-Broadway run at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago, on October 2, 2012, which continued until November 4, 2012.[9][17][44] The show was directed and choreographed by Mitchell; scenic design was by David Rockwell, costumes by Gregg Barnes, lighting by Kenneth Posner and sound by John Shivers. The music director and orchestrator was Stephen Oremus. The director and design team had gained previous critical acclaim and theatre or music awards. Mitchell had won a Tony Award for choreographing the 2005 revival of La Cage aux Folles; Barnes and Posner had won Tonys; and Rockwell had been nominated for Tonys and other theatre awards.[16][17][18]

Mitchell and Rockwell had previously collaborated on Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can and Legally Blonde.[45] Mitchell told The New York Times that the "Everybody Say Yeah" scene, in which the cast celebrates the creation of the first pair of Kinky Boots with a choreographed celebration on conveyor belts, required repeated innovations and adjustments like the eventual addition of safety rails and actor controls for the apparatus.[46] Designer Derek McLane commented that it is not uncommon for repeat choreographer/set designer collaborations to result in intriguing innovation like the conveyor belt dance scene in Kinky Boots. McLane was impressed with the "series of conveyor belts that came apart, moved around, and fit the context of the story" in order to accentuate the choreography of "a troupe of men in four-inch heels". With respect to the conveyor belts, he said, "They've never been used as dynamically as this, creating a series of surprises, with the kind of wild athleticism that actually looks dangerous. It's one of the more thrilling combinations of stage design and choreography that I can recall."[45]


After the tryout, the team went back to work, adding a new musical number for Charlie and a second song in the drag club, removing another song, and revising the book.[3] The Broadway debut started previews on March 3, 2013 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, with the official opening on April 4, 2013.[47][48] Both the Chicago and original Broadway casts starred Billy Porter as Lola, Stark Sands as Charlie and Annaleigh Ashford as Lauren.[17][43] Porter, in particular, was singled out for critical praise.[49][50]

The New York Times noted that in the 2012–13 season, most of the new Broadway musicals were "inspired by movies or books".[10] The paper found the show timely for its treatment of problems that paralleled those at the time of its production, including "chronic unemployment, financial distress and the collapse of manufacturing".[48] Prior to the June 9, 2013 Tony Awards, Kinky Boots had trailed its box office competitor, Matilda the Musical,[51] in advance sales.[52] However, less than a month after opening, Kinky Boots surpassed this rival in weekly box office gross.[53]Kinky Boots won a season-high six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The next day, the show sold $1.25 million tickets, and its advance ticket sales for future dates became a hot commodity.[52] In the weeks following its Tony wins, the show became so popular that in the beginning of July a special ticket lottery system was created to keep fans from camping outside the theatre.[54]Kinky Boots set a new box-office record at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre,[55] and "recouped its $13.5 million capitalization in a relatively quick 30 weeks of performances",[56] which was "faster than any big budget musical in recent history."[57][58] In October 2013, Kinky Boots had the second highest premium-price tickets on Broadway behind only The Book of Mormon.[56] After its six-year run (closing on April 7, 2019), the show had grossed $319 million.[59] Following Christopher Balme’s commodification paradigm, one could suggest Kinky Boots’ unprecedented financial power is a consequence of the musical’s ability to “tap into aspects of a society's ideological make-up”,[60] such as issues regarding financial strife[61] and LGBTI discrimination.[62]

The musical's economic clout empowers a shift in the American cultural climate, engendering acceptance of cross-dressing and transgender individuals.[62] For example, on November 28, 2013, members of the cast performed the finale of the show in the nationally televised Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Many viewers commented that, in their opinion, the performance was inappropriate for a family program.[63][64] By contrast, some spectators applauded the performance for sharing messages of “inclusivity” and “diversity”.[65] This demonstrates how the musical's financial power has played a strong role in “starting a dialogue”, both support and criticism, facilitating the necessary steps to “open peoples’ minds”[65] and hearts towards LGBTI Americans. Fierstein responded that the show's inclusion in the parade reflected decreasing prejudice and increased tolerance for LGBT people in society.[66] The performance of August 26, 2015 marked the 1000th Broadway performance for the production.[67] The Broadway production closed on April 7, 2019 after 34 previews and 2,507 performances.[68]

Kinky Boots the Musical at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto, Canada June 2015 to May 2016.


The Toronto original cast, led by Alan Mingo Jr as Lola and Graham Scott Fleming as Charlie, began rehearsals with Jerry Mitchel and the Broadway creative team on May 4, 2015. It began previews on June 16, 2015 with its opening night coming on June 28 to critical acclaim.[citation needed]

Initially planned to run from June to September 2015 at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, with a mostly Canadian cast,[69] by the beginning of July, the run was extended to November.[70] The run was later extended to January 3, to March 6 and finally to May 15, 2016,[71][72] as the final show before the theatre closed for a major renovation.[73]

West End[edit]

The West End production began previews at the Adelphi Theatre in London, on August 21, 2015, with its official opening night on September 15.[74]Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry played Charlie and Lola respectively, with Amy Lennox as Lauren, Amy Ross as Nicola, Jamie Baughan as Don and Michael Hobbs as George.[75] Although the show is set in a British town, it took a concerted effort to remove Americanisms from the Broadway production.[76] On July 8, 2017, Matt Henry departed from the role of Lola after 2 years and around 750 performances in the role. Kinky Boots closed on January 12, 2019, after over 1,400 performances.[77]

Other productions[edit]

North American tour[edit]

A North American tour began at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas on September 4, 2014.[78] The role of Lola was set to be played by Kyle Taylor Parker.[79] Porter took a week off from the Broadway production to perform with the national tour when it visited his home town of Pittsburgh from August 4 through August 9, 2015, at the Benedum Center.[80] The tour closed at The Kentucky Center in June 2017.[81]

South Korea[edit]

Kinky BootsSouth Korean production in 2016

A South Korean production ran from December 2, 2014, to February 22, 2015, at the Chungmu Art Hall in Seoul.[82]


The Japanese production ran in the New National Theatre in Tokyo from July 21 to August 6, 2016; the Orix Theater in Osaka from August 13 to 22, 2016; and the Tokyu Theatre Orb in Shibuya from August 28 to September 4, 2016. It starred Teppei Koike as Charlie and Haruma Miura as Lola.[83] Miura won the Best Actor Award and Haruko Sugimura Award at the 24th Yomiuri Theater Awards for his performance,[84] and the play had a second run in 2019 with the cast reprising their roles.[85]


The Australian production opened on 12 October 2016, at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne.[86][87] The cast included Callum Francis, from the London production, as Lola, and Toby Francis as Charlie. Joining them were Sophie Wright (Lauren), Daniel Williston (Don), Teagan Wouters (Nicola) and Nathan Carter (George).[88] This production then toured to Sydney's Capitol Theatre and Brisbane's QPAC where it closed on October 22, 2017.


A Filipino production, staged by Atlantis Theatrical, ran from June to July 2017, with Nyoy Volante as Lola and Laurence Mossman as Charlie Price.[89] It was revived for a limited run in March 2018.[90]


On July 7, 2017 a Polish production premiered at Teatr Dramatyczny in Warsaw, with Krzysztof Szczepaniak as Lola and Mateusz Weber as Charlie.[91]

Kinky Bootsin Hamburg, Germany (May 2018).


The show premiered at the Operettenhaus in Hamburg, Germany, in December 2017, with Gino Emnes and Dominik Hees leading the production as Lola and Charlie Price.[92] It closed on September 30, 2018.[93]

UK and Ireland tour[edit]

A UK tour started on September 19, 2018, at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton, where the show is set, and continued through 2019 before closing at Hull New Theatre on November 23. [94]

Non-Equity US tour[edit]

A non-Equity US tour was launched in Paducah, Kentucky, on December 29, 2018.[95]

Norwegian Cruise Line[edit]

In November 2019, Kinky Boots premiered as part of the onboard entertainment for Norwegian Encore, a cruise ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet.[96]

The Muny[edit]

In June 2019, St. Louis will be the first city to produce a regional production of Kinky Boots at The Muny (St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre). The original Broadway producers and team will oversee the production and development.[97] The cast features Graham Scott Fleming as Charlie Price, J. Harrison Ghee as Lola, and Taylor Louderman as Lauren.[98]


A Spanish production will open on October 5, 2021 at the Espacio Delicias in Madrid, with Daniel Diges as Charlie Price, Tiago Barbosa as Lola, and Angy Fernández as Lauren.[99]

Critical reaction[edit]

Upon its October 2012 Chicago opening, Chicago Tribune critic Chris Jones described the show as a "warm, likable, brassy, sentimental, big-hearted and modestly scaled" production.[100] Another reviewer praised the score, book, direction and, particularly, Porter, before suggesting that, before opening on Broadway, it could use a more effective opening number, better pacing in Act 2 and "the budding romance between Charlie and coworker Lauren ... needs more lead-in. In other words, give Ashford, a clear crowd favorite, more to do".[50]

The musical's Broadway debut received mixed to positive reviews.[101] The show was awarded a "Critic's Pick" designation by The New York Times, Time Out New York and New York Magazine, and was included in Entertainment Weekly magazine's "Must See" list.[102]

Ben Brantley of The New York Times gave a warm review, calling it "inspired" and comparing the work to other successful recent Broadway musicals: "Like The Full Monty (choreographed by Mr. Mitchell) and Billy Elliot the Musical, it is set in a hard-times British factory town, where jobs are in jeopardy and spirits need lifting. Like La Cage aux Folles and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, it presents drag queens as the show’s official spirit lifters. And like Hairspray, the musical this production most resembles in tone, Kinky Boots is about finding your passion, overcoming prejudice and transcending stereotypes."[103] Brantley wrote that Lauper's "love- and heat-seeking score" wowed with her "trademark ... mix of sentimentality and eccentricity", and that the costumes and boots courtesy of Gregg Barnes made for "big red scene stealers". He also praised “Raise You Up/Just Be,” as "one of the best curtain numbers since 'You Can't Stop the Beat' sent Hairspray audiences dancing out of the theater.” Brantley, however, did not extend his praise to Fierstein's script, writing that his "sticky, sermonizing side" comes through in the second half, where "all the clichés stand naked before you."[103]

The theatre critic for Time Out New York called the show "the very model of a modern major musical."[104] The Associated Press termed it "a big ol’ sweet love story about sons, the families we make and red patent leather. ... Thank goodness for Harvey Fierstein – he spins theatrical magic", but despite criticisms of the script the “perpetual cheer-churning machine” that is Kinky Boots certainly serves an important end goal; to empower not just its central characters, but the entire audience, in the spirit of acceptance.[105] According to Julie Grossman, Kinky Boots facilitates the retraining of the eye to gender conventions and “repositions the marginalised figure as central to the spectacle of mass theatre... enacting a shift in the perspective of the viewer”.[106] The finale “Raise You Up/Just Be” epitomises the empowerment of the individual, empowerment to “Just Be” regardless of the “oppressive gender roles directly connected to patriarchal views of legacy and inheritance”[107] under which Charlie and Lola initially suffer. Entertainment Weekly said "Cyndi Lauper's infectious score is cause for celebration."[108]New York Magazine,[109]The New York Post,[110]The Washington Post[111] and Variety all gave mostly favorable reviews.[112]

Los Angeles Times theater critic Charles McNulty criticized Lauper's "novice mistakes" with a score that "never establishes a compositional through line" and saying that while "Fierstein's heart is in the right place ... the show's earnestness sinks it", adding that "if [the show] weren't such a cheesy commercial mess, it might actually be fun".[113] Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News wrote that while the "script has issues like a pair of shoes" that don't quite fit, "Mitchell's production moves lickety-split" and "Porter ... is a force of nature as Lola." But, he added, Lauper's "multicolored, surprising and fun" score outshines the fancy footwear and proves to be the "real star of this show".[49] Writing for The Guardian, David Cote noted that the decision to use American actors for an adaptation that maintained the Northampton setting resulted in a disconcerting inconsistency in terms of accents.[114]The Wall Street Journal gave the show a negative review, calling it "an imitation heart-warming British working-class musical with a gay angle and a maudlin ending. ... Kinky Boots is its own spoiler alert, the kind of musical in which you recite the dialogue a half-beat ahead of the actors. ... [the score] sounds like ... "Cyndi: The Deservedly Forgotten Late-'80s B-Sides."[115] A review in The Bergen Record said that the show "sorely lacks is a dramatic commitment to what it's doing. Which is why a show that seems to make few false steps is so relentlessly tedious," calling it "dull" and "synthetic".[116]Talkin' Broadway also gave the show a negative review.[117] The Village Voice,[118]AM New York,[119] and NBC turned in lukewarm reviews.[120]

In 2014, Kinky Boots began a United States national tour, which has also garnered mostly positive reviews.[121]Democrat and Chronicle[122] raved, “Flashy, funny and uplifting, Kinky Boots has appeal — and lots of it — for all ‘ladies, gentleman and those who are yet to make up their mind.’” BroadwayWorld Los Angeles[123] offered “praise to the entire triple threat ensemble!“ The Republic[124] countered, “Despite the fiery showstopper 'Sex Is in the Heel,' however, Kinky Boots is surprisingly short on sex appeal, and the cheerleaderish troupe of drag queens called Angels don't have any of the transgressive appeal of the Cagelles from Fierstein's earlier hit La Cage aux Folles." CBS Minnesota[125] summed it up as “loud, proud and a tubular sensation.”

The London production received mostly raves, with the London Evening Standard writing, "The thigh's the limit for this high-kicking London musical," calling it "a glorious high-kicking romp," and adding that "...its energy is infectious."[126]Time Out London called it "dazzling, fabulously sassy and uplifting," explaining "It's not all glitz and high-kicks...there are some grittier moments that give the show an edgier feel."[127] And Digital Spy proclaimed it "hilarious, heartwarming, and a hell of a lot of fun," offering special praise for the show's star: "Matt Henry...truly steals the show...He is utterly commanding in the role, and you instantly root for him."[128]

It has been argued that Kinky Boots has added to the public discourse of gender, and its flexibility and fluidity. The prevalence of drag culture in mainstream media has introduced a step of separation between femininity and being female.[129]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Further information: List of awards and nominations for the musical Kinky Boots

Matilda had been the pre-awards season favorite, but as the season progressed, it became clear that Kinky Boots and the revival of Pippin would provide serious competition.[130] Early in the 2013 awards season, Kinky Boots did well, receiving Drama League Award nominations for Distinguished Production of a Musical and Distinguished Performance, for both Porter and Sands,[131] and winning for Distinguished Production.[132] The show received nine Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, winning three, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, Outstanding New Score and Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Porter).[133] The musical received only two Drama Desk Award nominations, however, and only one win: Porter for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.[134]New York Times theatre writer Patrick Healy, however, reported that some Tony voters found Matilda "dark" and "a bit chilly", and accurately predicted that "while the cleverness of Matilda may be enough to win best book, the warmth of Kinky Boots will be enough to score an upset and take the top Tony for best musical."[130]

Kinky Boots received a season-high 13 Tony Award nominations.[135]Matilda, which The New York Times described as the "unalloyed critical hit" of the season, received 12 nominations, 11 of them in the same categories as Kinky Boots.[136] In addition to its critical success, Matilda had won the Drama Desk Award for outstanding musical and had set a record by winning the most Olivier Awards in history.[137] Nevertheless, Kinky Boots won a season-high six Tonys, including Best Musical, which the press described as an upset, and Lauper's win for Best Score made her the first woman to win alone in that category.[138] The creative team are Americans, and reviewer David Cote, an American writing in The Guardian, judged that the show's win was a case of "the balance of love going to a homegrown American musical, Kinky Boots, over the British import Matilda."[114] The other Tony wins were for best actor (Porter), sound design (Shivers), choreography (Mitchell) and orchestrations (Oremus). Fierstein, Sands, Ashford, Mitchell (as director) and the three other designers were all nominated but did not win.[135]Kinky Boots also won the 2013 Artios Award for Outstanding Achievement in Casting in the Broadway musical category.[139]

The West End production won the Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best New Musical, which was based on voting by the public at the 2015 Evening Standard Theatre Awards.[140] The show earned seven nominations for the 2016 Laurence Olivier Awards, which was second to a revival of Gypsy, which earned eight nominations.[141]Kinky Boots won three Olivier Awards: Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Musical and Best Costume Design, trailing only Gypsy's four awards.[142]


Main article: Kinky Boots (Broadway cast album)

A Broadway original cast album, produced by Lauper, Oremus and William Wittman[143] was released on May 28, 2013.[144] It premiered at number one on the Billboard Cast Albums Chart and number fifty-one on the Billboard 200 chart,[145] making it the highest charting Broadway cast recording since The Book of Mormon's album was released two years earlier.[146] Before the Chicago tryout, "Sex Is in the Heel" became the first Broadway song to reach the top 10 of the Billboard club charts in 25 years.[11] "Land of Lola" was released as a dance remix by Wayne G. & LFB in June 2013.[147] The album received a favorable review in Playbill from Steven Suskin[148] and won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.[149]

A West End Original Cast Recording was recorded live at the Adelphi Theatre and released April 1, 2016.[150] The West End cast recording was nominated for a 2017 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.[151]


In summer 2018, a Kinky Boots co-branded pop-up store launched at Mellower Coffee's Tongren Road location in Shanghai. Mellower Coffee has specially made a "Sparkle Dance" drink for this event.[152]


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Tickets pantages kinky boots

Why See Kinky Boots?

Broadway ShowsMusicalsTony WinnersCritics PicksLGBTQ

These boots are made for dancing!

Price and Sons spent the last century making a range of shoes for men, and now they're spending this century making shoes for a range of men! Based on a true story, Kinky Boots is the uplifting story of unlikely friendship, finding your passion, overcoming prejudice and recognising that underneath it all, we're not so different.

Bursting onto Broadway in 2013, sweeping the Tonys, (13 nominations, 6 wins including best musical) and introducing audiences to the irresistibly heart-warming tale of a little factory that takes on an unusual commission, with a sassy rock, funk and classic Broadway inspired score by Cyndi Lauper. Be liberated by this emotional and upbeat show that brings the all the glitz and glamour you need for a fantastic night out at the theater!

What is Kinky Boots about?

Set in the provincial Northampton, England, London-bound Charlie Price is surprised to suddenly inherit his beloved father's shoe factory and even more surprised to find that handmade men's dress shoes are no longer quite as in vogue as they used to be. Facing closure, a dejected Charlie chances upon Lola, the charismatic, brassy and fabulous drag queen and finds himself forming an unlikely business partnership, creating custom shoes for drag queens, which will change their lives forever...

Did you know?

Kinky Boots is based on the 2005 film starring Joel Edgerton and Chiwetel Ejiofor but that in turn was based on the true story of family run British shoe factory W.J. Brooks Ltd that fought to save their business by creating fetish footwear for men under the name 'Divine Footwear'.

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Opening night: 19 February 2019


This show may not be suitable for audiences of a younger age due to its adult themes, and very young children and toddlers might not be permitted into the theater.

Run time

Two hours and 20 minutes, which includes a 15-minute intermission

And before you stop reading

Images used are from the Broadway production


You may be required to have had a COVID vaccine in order to attend this performance or show proof of a negative test. Please contact the venue directly for more information on this.


Connor Allston as Charlie Price
Kenneth Mosley as Lola
Karis Gallant as Lauren
James Fairchild as Don
Ashley North as Nicola
James May as George


Harvey Fierstein - Book
Cyndi Lauper - Music & Lyrics
Jerry Mitchell - Direction and Choreography
Stephen Oremus - Music Supervision
Dave Pepin - Music Direction
David Rockwell - Scenic Design
Greg Barnes - Costume Design
John Shivers - Sound Design

2013 Tony Awards

Best Musical
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical - Billy Porter
Best Choreography
Bets Original Score
Best Sound Design of a Musical
Best Orchestrations

2013 Drama Desk Awards

Outstanding Actor in a Musical - Billy Porter


Venue home

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Additional Information

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Please note: The term Pantages Theater Hollywood and/or Kinky Boots as well as all associated graphics, logos, and/or other trademarks, tradenames or copyrights are the property of the Pantages Theater Hollywood and/or Kinky Boots and are used herein for factual descriptive purposes only. We are in no way associated with or authorized by the Pantages Theater Hollywood and/or Kinky Boots and neither that entity nor any of its affiliates have licensed or endorsed us to sell tickets, goods and or services in conjunction with their events.

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David Cook Kinky Boots


KINKY BOOTS is the exhilarating Broadway musical that will lift your spirits to new high-heeled heights! Winner of six Tony Awards® including BEST MUSICAL, this inspirational story follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. Together, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… proving that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

Inspired by a true story, KINKY BOOTS features a joyous, Tony-winning score by CYNDI LAUPER, direction and Tony-winning choreography by JERRY MITCHELL and a hilarious, uplifting book by four-time Tony winner HARVEY FIERSTEIN. Come join the sold-out audiences who’ve discovered why – sometimes – the best way to fit in is to stand out!

For more information please visit

Photo: The original Broadway cast of KINKY BOOTS. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Be wary of buying tickets from any third party website. SHN has no way of validating, or replacing tickets that have been purchased through any website other than We cannot seat or refund you for an invalidated ticket.

If you have any questions, please call 1-888-746-1799 before purchasing.

Running Time:
2 hours 20 minutes including a 15 minute intermission.

Guidance for Parents:
Appropriate for ages 10 and up. No children under 5 allowed.

All tickets are subject to dynamic pricing based on demand. Purchase early to lock in prices and best seats. Ticket delivery is by mail only. Tickets will be mailed in October.

Important Ticket Policy:
Tickets that have not been received for any reason (including lost or stolen) will be held at Will Call under the original account-holder's name and may be picked up with valid photo ID beginning 2 hours prior to curtain time on the day of performance ONLY. No exceptions.

Will Call:
Tickets are available for pick up at the theatre box office beginning 2 hours prior to curtain time only. Tickets must be picked up by the purchaser. No exceptions.


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Alex held the girl tightly, striking powerful blows with a member, saying: - You must bring me pleasure, pleasure…. The girl became limp and even began to wave her small, but very appetizing ass, although she herself was almost falling now. Alex was discharged quickly enough. But this was not enough for him.

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