Broadway hit “Kinky Boots” struts into town this weekend.
Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania presents the Grammy- and Tony Award-winning musical at Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave., on Friday, March 16, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 17, at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, March 18, at 1 p.m.
Inspired by true events and based on a British film of the same name, “Kinky Boots” tells the story of Charlie Price, who inherits a shoe factory on the brink of bankruptcy from his father. He forms an unexpected partnership with Lola, a drag performer, and attempts to save the factory by creating high-heeled “kinky boots” for men and selling them in a niche market.
“Kinky Boots” continues to run on Broadway and features 16 original songs by singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper, a book from Tony-winner Harvey Fierstein and choreography by Tony-winner Jerry Mitchell.
Jos N. Banks, who plays Lola in the touring production, said the “remarkable” and family-friendly show makes viewers laugh and cry.
“It’s one of those shows where you think you’ll feel one way, and you leave completely changed,” Banks said. “It’s one of those shows where you kind of end up having a lot of thoughts — and they’re all positive — but about ways you can be a better person.”
While each version of “Kinky Boots” now running shares the same music, choreography and storyline, Banks said, the traveling production stands out because it has “so much heart.”
“People see ours, and they say that often,” he said. “(There’s) just so much heart and honesty in the work, and truth. I take pride in that because, as an actor, that’s what we are (supposed) to do. We dive into the work and allow people to see a bit of us, but mostly (it’s about) the story and the heart and the integrity of the piece.”
The title tends to throw people off and make them question what the show is about, said Albert Nocciolino, president and CEO of NAC Entertainment, which partners with Broadway Theatre League to produce the show in Scranton. But the message and theme of the show may surprise audiences.
“They’ll see the story about acceptability, the story about understanding, the story about relationships and understanding that it’s OK to be who you are and accept people for who they are,” Nocciolino said. “It’s not just about the boots. It’s a story of human beings and caring and accepting.”
Nocciolino, who earned a Tony Award in 2013 for his work co-producing “Kinky Boots” on Broadway with the Independent Presenters Network, will speak at an educational program at noon before Saturday’s matinee performance. He will discuss various aspects of production and the process of taking a show from the Broadway stage onto the road for a tour.
The $25 ticket price includes Nocciolino’s presentation, lunch, admission to the day’s 2 p.m. performance and a talk-back session with cast members. Educational program tickets can be purchased by calling 570-342-7784 or by visiting the league’s office at 345 N. Washington Ave., Scranton.

If you go
What: Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania presents ‘Kinky Boots’
When: Friday, March 16, 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 17, 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, March 18, 1 p.m.
Where: Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Details: Tickets are $45 to $77, plus fees, and are available at ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-745-3000 or through the cultural center’s box office.

What: ‘Kinky Boots” educational program with Albert Nocciolino, ‘Kinky Boots’ producer and president and CEO of NAC Entertainment
When: Saturday, March 17, noon
Where: Scranton Cultural Center at The Masonic Temple, 420 N. Washington Ave.
Details: Tickets are $25 and include the presentation, lunch, admission to that day’s 2 p.m. “Kinky Boots” performance and a talk-back session with cast members. For tickets, call 570-342-7784 or visit Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania, 345 N. Washington Ave., Scranton.

— Brooke Williams

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