Cyndi Lauper Harvey Fierstein San Francisco Entertainment Cyndi Lauper Harvey Fierstein San Francisco

A retrofitted ‘Kinky Boots’ looks fabulous but doesn’t quite work

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Welcome to Curtain Call, our mostly queer take on the latest openings on Broadway and beyond.Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper’s Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots returns, this time to Off-Broadway, in a recycled production that attempts to address queer language and perceptions, which have evolved since the show’s 2013 Broadway opening.

Unfortunately, sequins, thigh-high boots, and a stellar cast distract from a storyline that confusingly melds trans and drag identities to create a head-scratching premise that turns a failing shoe factory into one that manufactures for niche market “trans dressers.”Related: From Broadway to burlesque, San Francisco’s queer theater scene has it allAfter crossing paths during a street brawl, Lola (Callum Francis), a “heterosexual transvestite with a killer voice and winning ways,” joins forces with Charlie (Christian Douglas), the heir to a failing shoe factory in Northampton, England, to save the business by shifting its production line from standard footwear to products for a different kind of consumer.“If you trans-dressers are all around, like you say, then maybe you’re the niche market we need,” Charlie says to Lola. “Everyone makes boots for different sized feet.

But who makes them for different sized customers?” But Lola isn’t buying what Charlie’s selling, encouraging the novice to elevate his design aesthetic, singing one of Kinky Boots’ catchiest riffs: “The sex is in the heel even if you break it.

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