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Kinky Boots (Original Broadway Cast Recording) is Fun, Funky, and Infectious

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The 2005 quirky British film Kinky Boots recently received a Broadway facelift. Producer Daryl Roth sent director Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, La Cage aux Folles) a DVD of the film, and Mitchell enthusiastically set about preparing the stage adaptation. Following his initial desires, he got Harvey Fierstein (Newsies, La Cage aux Folles) to write the book and Cyndi Lauper to write the music and lyrics, with music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Stephen Oremus (Book of Mormon, WICKED). The pop songstress Lauper has crafted a bubbly, effervescing score that has been masterfully captured on Masterworks Broadway's Kinky Boots (Original Broadway Cast Recording).

The musical opened to mostly positive reviews at the Al Hirschfield Theatre in New York City on April 4. A common thread in the reviews was the raves Lauper received for her debut Broadway score. Lauper's only misstep is that the score is not solidly cohesive, which causes the album to play out more like a Pop/Rock album than a richly narrative Broadway score. The eclectic mix of fresh pop tunes is the star of the show and is sure to keep heads bopping and toes tapping. Almost every track is an uplifting, feel-good Broadway anthem. Of course, the requisite somber ballads are present too, and each features evocative lyrics and lushly sweet underscoring.

Stark Sands (American Idiot), singing Charlie, uses a passionate voice that resonates in the hearts of the listeners as he moves from high-energy, ebullient numbers to more plaintive and introspective pieces. The album lets Sands explore his range across many of the tracks, with standouts being the exciting "Take What You Got," the bouncy and enthusiastic "Step One," the softly emotional "I'm Not My Father's Son," and the passionately stirring "The Soul of a Man."

As Lola, the drag queen who helps Charlie discover himself, Billy Porter (1994 Broadway Revival of Grease!) is immaculately soulful and charismatic. Across the album, he delights with ease on songs that range from up-tempo anthems to tender, slow jams. His powerhouse vocals radiate on the fierce and spunky "The Land of Lola," the sensual "Sex is in the Heel," the serenely introspective "I'm Not My Father's Son," and the soulfully powerful "Hold Me in Your Heart."

The ever-charming Annaleigh Ashford (Dogfight, Legally Blonde) is in wonderful voice on "The History of Wrong Guys." Likewise, the full company shines with precise pitch and crisp enunciation on the heartwarming "The Most Beautiful Thing in the World" and the vibrantly fun and funky "Everybody Say Yeah" and "Raise You Up/Just Be."

Every track on Kinky Boots (Original Broadway Cast Recording) sparkles with glimmering sequins of dazzlingly pure fun. The entire score, as is expected from Lauper, is a vivacious mix of funky pop brilliance, complete with infectious hooks and lyrics. This is definitely an album that will pump you up and have you dancing.

Masterworks Broadway's Kinky Boots (Original Broadway Cast Recording) album was released on May 28. It can be purchased at iTunes, Amazon, and elsewhere music is sold.

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