Kalamazoo Wears the Kinky Boots!

By: Amelia Manley

Last week, a famous pair of red boots strolled their way into Kalamazoo! And a lot of famous Kalamazoo faces had a chance to try them on while they were here.

Kinky Boots opens Miller Auditorium’s Zhang Financial Broadway season for four performances from Oct. 20-22. To get ready for this very special event, we visited local celebrities with the red kinky boots in tow. I had the honor to watch the boots get zipped up and yes, they can be hard to put on, but we were there to assist.

Thanks to all the local boots wearers who took part: Dana Marshall with WKFR 103.3 FM, Mike McKelly with 107.7 WRKR FM, Bobby Guy with K-102.5 FM, Dr. David Montgomery with WMU’s Bronco Marching Band, Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell, Portage Mayor Peter Strazdas, Alan Park with Zoo City Cycle, WMU’s First Lady Mrs. Kari Montgomery, Kim Carson with FM 106.5 WVFM, Ken Lanphear with WKZO AM 590, Miller Auditorium‘s Director Rob Pennock and Daniel Brier, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra‘s Resident Conductor.

The famous boots have their own backstory with the show:



In a show called Kinky Boots, “you’ve gotta get the boots right,” says Gregg Barnes, costume and footwear designer for the Tony Award-winning musical. The show, based on a real story and independent film, about a failing English shoe factory which turned its fortunes around by niche-marketing sturdy boots for drag artists, has become a sold-out Broadway phenomenon. With a book by Harvey Fierstein and a Tony winning score by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots relies heavily on its visual designs, and, of course, those boots by Barnes.

The designer says it was quite a challenge to create those thigh-high boots, with six inch stiletto heels. “What’s really funny about our experience with Kinky Boots is that my team, and the cobblers who made the boots, we had the exact same story as in the musical,” explains Barnes. “Everything they talk about in terms of reinforcing the heel and all of that stuff, we had the same learning curve!”

Learn more about Kinky Boots and reserve your tickets now at http://www.millerauditorium.com/kinky-boots.