.What a Drag! ‘Kinky Boots’ in Mill Valley

Watch it, Mill Valley! Your quiet little burg is currently under siege from what may be—according to some pundits and politicians—the greatest threat our nation faces in these troubled times. Lock the windows and bolt the doors because attendees of the latest show at the Throckmorton Theatre have reported multiple sightings of … drag queens! They’re easy to spot as they’re attired in full regalia, from outrageous hair helmets/wigs right down to their … Kinky Boots!

Kinky Boots the Musical, running at the Throckmorton through June 4, traces its roots back to a 1999 BBC documentary about a struggling English shoe manufacturer that staved off closure by creating a brand of women’s shoes for men. A 2005 feature film based its story on the doc, which became the basis for the Harvey Fierstein/Cyndi Lauper musical that took Broadway by storm in 2012.

Charlie Price (Sieiman Alahmadieh) has no interest in continuing in the family shoe business and heads to London with his fiancé, Nicola (Kaylee Miltersen), for a career in real estate. His father’s passing leads to his return, where he discovers the business is in serious financial trouble. He returns to London in search of a financial rescue when he comes upon a woman being harassed by a man. He intervenes, is knocked unconscious and wakes up in the dressing room of a drag club where he discovers the woman he was attempting to rescue is Lola (Adam Green), the club headliner. Seeking to make small talk, he notices the shoddy footwear Lola uses isn’t designed to hold the weight of man.

Charlie returns to the factory and, after a prodding from an assembly line worker (Sarah Jiang) to find an underserved niche market to save the company, enlists Lola to design a line of footwear for men who dress like women. All he has to do is get his employees to buy in and find the money to finance a trip to Milan for a runway debut.

Deeper than the economic storyline, Kinky Boots is a tale of fathers and sons, family and friends, passion and prejudice, and accepting someone—including yourself—for who they are.

Director Adam Maggio’s cast brings energy and genuine emotion to the stage. Green and Alahmadieh are well matched in the leads, and their delivery of “Not My Father’s Son” was an emotional gut punch.

The combined effort of the Kinky Boots creative team results in a joyous and life-affirming show. Drag someone to see it.

‘Kinky Boots’ runs through June 4 at the Throckmorton Theatre. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. Fri & Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 2pm. $29-$48. 415.383.9600. throckmortontheatre.org

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