Detailed Synopsis (Spoiler alert)

Detailed Synopsis (Spoiler alert)


            At the Price & Son shoe factory in Northampton, England, young Charlie learns from his father, the factory’s owner, that “the most beautiful thing in the world” is a well-made shoe. Mr. Price tries to instill a sense of tradition and pride in solid craftsmanship in Charlie, who grows up around the diligent factory workers at Price & Son. Meanwhile, young Lola (then called Simon) is caught wearing high heels by her father, who shouts, “Take those things off your feet and get inside here! Stupid boy!”

            Jumping ahead in time, Charlie is now an adult with a fiancée, Nicola. Mr. Price tries to convince Charlie to stay in Northampton and run the factory, but Charlie insists that he is going to move to London with Nicola and take a job in marketing. Soon after this move, however, Charlie is notified that his father has died. He returns to Northampton for the funeral, and learns that Price & Son is in serious financial trouble. Charlie is persuaded by George, the factory manager, to try to help save the business. Charlie soon realizes that there are few buyers these days for their well-made, standard men’s shoes; stores have been sending back their orders, unable to sell them as customers opt for cheaper foreign imports.

            One night, after leaving a pub in London, Charlie tries to stick up for a black drag queen, Lola, who is being harassed by some hooligans. Lola takes off her high-heeled boot to hit one of them, but accidentally hits Charlie, knocking him out. Lola, a cabaret performer, sings a song—backed by her “Angels”—introducing herself. Charlie wakes up in her dressing room, and they get better acquainted. Lola says that she is fine, but the heel on her boot is broken. “Very expensive boots. But cheaply made,” she laments. “I’d give my left tit for a shoe that could stand up to me.” Back at the factory, as financial circumstances worsen, Lauren, one of the assembly-line workers, says that they need to make a product that people want. Meanwhile, Nicola is annoyed that Charlie is wholly preoccupied while she is busy trying to finalize plans for their upcoming wedding. Putting together Lola’s observation about her poorly made boots and Lauren’s suggestion for Price & Son, Charlie takes Lauren to meet Lola, who mentions how exceedingly common drag queens actually are—not just in London, but also in smaller towns like Northampton. Charlie then devises the plan of making high-heeled boots built to support a man’s weight as a niche product that might just save the factory before it’s too late. Lola visits the factory, where Charlie presents her with a prototype, but Lola does not like its burgundy colour. She suggests a more vivid red—the “colour of sex”—and a stiletto heel, which will be more difficult to build sturdily. Yet, after putting their heads together, Charlie, Lauren, and George come up with a strategy that could work for such shoes. Meanwhile, Lola is about to leave for London, tired of being harassed by an intolerant factory worker named Don; but Charlie convinces her to stay and help collaborate on the project by creating more designs for this line of boots. Lauren, meanwhile, realizes that she is falling in love with Charlie; knowing that he is engaged, she tries to mute these feelings.

            Later, Lola shows up at Price & Son wearing men’s clothes, clearly uncomfortable, and Don continues to antagonize her. She confides in Charlie about her tough upbringing in a similar provincial town with an intolerant father. Charlie tells her about the pressure he felt to continue his father’s legacy at Price & Son, and how he had tried to avoid this path. Their conversation deepens their bond. Nicola introduces Charlie to her boss, a real-estate developer who wants to buy the factory and redevelop it into condominiums. Nicole urges him to consider this offer, but Charlie responds that Price & Son is not for sale. Nicola tells him that, in fact, his father had intended to sell the factory just before he died, yet Charlie still refuses, insisting that he has a plan that can save the factory and the jobs of the people employed there. Lola tries on the first prototype following her design, and the factory workers celebrate, proud of the well-crafted boot they helped to build and plan to unveil at the upcoming international shoe convention in Milan.


            Lola continues to endure harassment from Don, who is upset about the radical change of direction at Price & Son. Their quarrelling leads to a fight outside the factory, which Lola allows Don to win, telling Charlie that she thought it might be “good for morale.” In private, Don asks Lola why she let him win, and she replies, “because I didn’t want you to walk into the factory tomorrow and feel disrespected.” From this point on, he begins to show her more respect.

            Charlie and Lauren are worried that the Milan trip is going to cost more than they had budgeted. Lola suggests that, rather than hire Italian fashion models to show off the line, she could enlist the services of her Angels from the nightclub. Charlie rejects this proposal, responding rudely to Lola. Nicola shows up, and tells Charlie that she knows he mortgaged their London flat to help keep the factory afloat. They have a tense argument; she kisses him on the cheek and tells him “so long,” seemingly ending their relationship. Lola then tells Charlie that she went ahead and cancelled the models booked for the Milan show. She says “her girls” don’t need to be paid, which will save them a lot of money. Charlie is irate. He tells Lola, “I am not embarrassing the name of Price & Son by parading a planeload of misfits,” and then cruelly adds, “You think you’re being all mystical and deep representin’ the best of both sexes but I’m here to tell you all you are is daft. You say you want to be treated like a man; then start acting like one.” Deeply offended, Lola leaves. Later, Charlie calms down, and after venting to Lauren, realizes he was being harsh and rude. As he is preparing to leave for Milan, it finally registers that Lola really isn’t coming. He tries to phone her, and leaves a voicemail apologizing and telling her how much her friendship means to him. Lola, meanwhile, is performing at a nursing home. She tells a man in a wheelchair, hooked up to an oxygen tank: “It was good to see you, Daddy. Goodbye. I love you.” In Milan, without models to show the boots, Charlie decides to walk the runway himself. Unused to walking in heels, he immediately stumbles, then after steadying himself, falls hard. Luckily, Lola appears right in the nick of time. Taking the attention away from an embarrassed Charlie, she announces “Lola’s Kinky Boots,” as modelled by the Angels. Charlie thanks her for bailing him out. Charlie tells Lauren that he and Nicola have split up, and that he would like to take her out on a date. She kisses him passionately. Now, all the factory workers—even Don—take the stage proudly wearing Lola’s boots. Charlie and Lola announce to the audience that their boots have proven a great success, saving the factory—which has now been renamed Price & Simon.

Kinky Boots

Book by Harvey Fierstein Music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper Original Broadway Production Directed and Choreographed by Jerry Mitchell Based on the Miramax motion picture Kinky Boots, written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth
May 21–July 5
Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
Based on a true story, this rousing Tony Award–winning show—with a score by pop icon Cyndi Lauper—follows Charlie, who is struggling to save the men’s shoe factory inherited from his father. When all seems lost, a chance encounter with the fabulous drag queen Lola spurs an idea for creating “women’s boots for women who are men.” The unexpected underdog duo soon outfit themselves for success in this joyously infectious musical that celebrates compassion and acceptance.
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Posted on 18th Dec 2019