5 Things to Do in New York This Weekend

The New York Mom
Dear friday… you know you are my favorite right All those other days.. they are just little weekly obstacles to get to you. But here we are… Friday!I love my weekends and we are always out and about exploring and roaming around trying to find trouble.  This weekend there are a ton of great things to do and I figured I would  share a few things on our agenda.

The New York Mom

  1. Hamilton – The epic musical that is sold out until next century has a significant show this evening. Tonight is Lin Manuel Miranda’s last show. So you know it’s going to be E PI C ! Good luck getting tickets. But if you don’t have tickets you could always stand outside the theatre after or before the show to catch glimpses of the cast.
  2. Hudson Valley Balloon Festival – * Updated* – We tried to go to the festival on Friday evening and it was a bust. There were no food trucks, the balloons were not set up all day and they never launched due to weather but never made an official announcement. Maybe this isn’t a good year to go* We are heading up the Hudson Valley this weekend for this grandiose balloon festival. We often see hot air balloons floating high above and the kids get so excited that we decided to go this year. There is a ton of info about this festival so just swing by the site to check it out. Balloon launches are at 6pm every evening and 6am on Saturday and Sunday as well. I’ll see you there.
  3. Brooklyn Flea/Smorgasburg – This is a summertime MUST in NYC. Located on the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn, this flea market is a total scene! You can spend a whole afternoon looking at all sorts of interesting odds and ends while munching on  yummies from award-winning food trucks. Fashion, food, fun and kid friendly!
  4. John Jay Homestead Farmers Market – Take a Saturday drive up north of Manhattan to the John Jay Homestead Farmers Market. This amazing market is open 9am – 1m with a special scavenger hunt for kids. Local resident Martha Stewart has been known to ride up on her horse to pick up a few provisions. After the Farmers Market – stay in Westchester County for lunch at any number of great restaurants. I’ll suggest a few if you want. If you have kids – head to Muscoot Farm down the road to see the little piglets!
  5. The Amazing Max Live – This is the most wonderful magic show with a very entertaining magician. Lily and I saw The Amazing Max years ago when she was about 6 and I can’t wait to take Thomas on Sunday to see this show. Please swing by the site to see show dates… or I’ll see you Sunday!

 

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Musical Petting Zoo with the Westchester Philharmonic

Let me tell you about the WESTCHESTER PHILHARMONIC. 

I have been a part of their world for the past decade and you know what… the NY Tri State area has a gen.. right here!  Lets not forget that famed conductor Itzhak Perlman was in residence here!

The Westchester Philharmonic has tons of programs geared toward the family and this – SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY – they have an especially fun event for the littles.

A petting zoo… a musical petting zoo if you will. Kids will be able to explore and learn about violins, trumpets, drums and more.

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What I love about the programming of the Westchester Philharmonc is that they don’t water down the program too much, for the kids. On Saturday the Philharmonic is offering Mozart’s – Overture to the Magic Flute among other selections.

“It isn’t a children’s concert, it’s a full-fledged symphonic program,” noted Executive & Artistic Director Joshua Worby. “The difference is that Maestro Sperling will provide some insights  to help educate and open the ears and minds of young people.”

I’d like to brag for a quick second and tell you that my 9-YO can identify Mozarts Magic Flute in a hot second… arts education for the win!

“Petting Zoo’ starts at 2pm and the concert starts at 3pm.  A pre-concert discussion with Maestro Sperling and Anne-Marie McDermott takes place inside the concert hall simultaneously at 2pm. Single tickets for ages 17 and under are free with a paid adult ticket. College student/group discounts are also available.

To purchase tickets and for additional information call the Westchester Philharmonic Box Office at (914) 682-3707 ext. 10 or visit www.westchesterphil.org.

Please let them know that TheNewYorkMom sent ya! 

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The New York Mom Holiday Gift Guides 2014 ~ coming soon

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Tis the season for gift giving and I am super excited to announce the FIRST ever official real- deal Holiday Gift Guide from The New York Mom.

How exciting you guys!

I have tons of tips and suggestions and ideas and all sorts of fun goodies coming up for the next few weeks. Gifts for kids, for moms, for dads, techy gifts, foodie gifts, gifts for young, gifts for old… i got you covered!

Soooo keep it where ya got it!

Happy gifting y’all!!

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5 survival tips for attending Disney on Ice: Frozen

Let me start by stating the obvious. Hockey arenas were not built for a thousand screaming Elsa’s who have to go pee N O W ! 

Standing in the Nassau Coliseum –  drowning in a sea of Elsa’s-  is pretty much how I felt,  when I spent 2 hours at the Disney on Ice: Frozen show. Don’t get me wrong… the show is spectacular. It’s magic. It’s on Ice. It’s Disney. 

But… while the kids LOOOVED it!

Make. It. Stop. 

Let. ME. Go.

 A few weeks ago when this whole house was sick, we watched frozen 4 times in one day. IN ONE DAY! Even the 23-month Moto is obsessed and sings the songs complete with ice queen castle building hand flares. You… dear parental unit… are quite possibly going to find yourself at a hockey arena with your very own Elsa, Anna or Snowman watching Disney on Ice: Frozen and I have some valuable tips to share with you. I, of course, learned all this the hard way. Field research… as they say.

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1. Get to the arena early. There are a ton of vendors selling Olaf hats and mugs and Elsa wands and reindeer antler headbands and everything is blue and sparkly and cotton candy and you and your kids have to fight your way through this forest of souvenirs before you even get near your seat. So get there early and get ready for battle. 

2. Bring earplugs. Everyone is Elsa… some are Anna… but the Elsa’s rule the night. When “Let it Go’ is performed, get ready for the entire… and I mean ENTIRE arena to explode with each kid singing their own individual versions of the song. At the same time. Really loud. In your ear. Coming at you from all directions. You might want to tuck some earplugs under your own platinum blonde side-braid wig.

3. Go pee. Make sure your kid pees before the show and then don’t give them ANY liquids during the entire show. Do NOT… do NOT use the restrooms during intermission. You think a public gas station bathroom is gross… try a public bathroom where a gazillion Elsa’s have tried to hike up their poufy dresses to go pee… only to miss all over the place. * i have to say that the staff at the Nassau Coliseum did a stellar job tidying up after the princesses. You’ve got toddlers… what else can you expect!*

4. Beware getting clocked in the head by the many glowing, whirling magic wands. Instead of clapping, the kid behind you will like to wave hers around, treating your head to a thousand failed attempts at “turning you into a frog”.

5. Cinderella makes an appearance in the very beginning for all of 1 minute and the entire place is going to EXPLODE with a million squeals!!! I guess Elsa has competition! 

 

So there ya have it. The kids are going to love the show, It’s fun, funny, and has that Disney magic which cannot be duplicated. Disney on Ice: Frozen is a Holiday Season MUST! 

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Dinner and a Broadway show with my fave gal – American Girl Summer

*This post is sponsored by American Girl*

Recently Lily and I had a date! I treated her to a broadway show and dinner at the American Girl Cafe in NYC. We went to see Aladdin on Broadway and then waltzed over to 5th avenue to the American Girl Store to have a fancy schmancy dinner. What A Treat!!!

IMG_7183 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe caught the train into Manhattan, wearing matching clothes of course! Lily noticed that we matched right away and didn’t seem to mind at all. She said SHE looked like a colleger because she was wearing what I was. ( i am waaay older than a colleger so it was an awesome compliment).

We walked from Penn Station to the Aladdin theatre in Times Square and she loved the hustle and bustle of the big city. Since we live in NY we don’t go to midtown… always downtown, so being with the crowds of tourisits and crazy characters coming after you is always exciting for Lily.

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Aladdin was magical, awesome, fun , funny and a true treat for the visual sense. A review of the show is coming up in a separate post. Go see live theatre. There is truly nothing like it. Your senses, your mind, your body… your creative spark are all restored when you see live theatre.

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Lily loooved Aladdin. She loved the flying carpet, she loved the genie, she loves the glitter costumes. All of it. I loved seeing the look on her face – totally engaged, engrossed in the moment – during the ENTIRE 2hour show!

After the show we had an hour to kill so we did a little bit of shopping before dinner. Shopping is a must when you are on 5th ave on a date with your fave gal.

Dinner at the American Girl Cafe is magical. The kids … and parents… are made to feel so very special. When you walk into the cafe, you are personally greeted by a friendly staff member who then escorts you to your table. If you have a doll, a high chair for the doll is provided. If you don’t have your doll with you, you can borrow any one of the american girl dolls or bitty babies. An appetizer, pink lemonade, yummy entree and fancy dessert all come out like clock work. Never missing a beat. Lily was certainly the star, the staff make the kids feel like they are the most important and special people in the room. The whole experience is a MUST if you have an American Girl fan.

Our adventure was through the American Girl Summer activities which American Girl Stores offer in all major cities. We picked Aladdin and Dinner and hope to go back for the Ballet and Dinner.  These packages are priced very reasonably considering the value and are a really great deal even if you aren’t part of the American Girl world. Read about our HARBOR CRUISE with American Girl. 

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Summer is not yet over, so you can certainly get in on these fab deals.

As for me… My date with my sweet Lily was absolutely magical!

 * This post is sponsored by American Girl. All opinions are my own. Thanks a ton for swinging by and hearing about my sponsors* 

 

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20 days of school with Schoola

This post is sponsored by Schoola. 

The New York Mom

It’s Back To School time and I’ve partnered with SCHOOLA and their 20 days of school campaign, to help raise 25,000 for Kipp Academy in the Bronx to help fund their music program.

If you know me at all you know that my heart is in arts education. As a fierce advocate for the Arts, I support arts education right from elementary school. This project makes me so happy and I really hope you are inspired to join me.

Kipp Academy in the Bronx REALLY needs this program. 95% of the kids qualify for free or reduced cost lunch. 95 PERCENT!!! More than one in seven kids, at KIPP academy,  receives special education services. Music helps KIPP Academy reach and engage every child who enters its doors. The slogan on the Music Room wall sets the stage—All of Us Will Learn Music.

Arts education is absolutely vital to the development of young minds. Arts educations effectiveness has been proven time and time again, When kids are engaged in dance, theatre, music or visual arts they improve in their academics, don’t drop out of school, attendance in school is higher, find a focus and their self esteem gets a boost.

and the best part… exposure to the arts from a young age creates amazing little human who will grow and do amazing things!

I’ve had the fortune of being a guest artist teaching dance in schools all across New York City and it’s been the most fulfilling part of my professional dance career. Teaching dance at schools like KIPP Academy where most of the kids are at risk was especially fulfilling. I was able to – for a short time- give these kids a small escape from their lives while also teaching them about movement and art and collaborations. These kids don’t have access to the arts like you and I do. With programs in the arts getting cut in public schools more and more every year, we need more than ever to help out schools like KIPP Academy succeed. Let’s help them buy new instruments, let’s help them teach music to these talented kids, and lets help them make artists who will grow up and shape our creative future!

I’m thrilled to share my collaboration with Schoola with you and really hope that you – me- WE can help KIPP academy raise the 25,000 they need to fund their music program.

Schoola is an online consignment store  which sells only  brand name kids clothes. A portion of the proceeds goes to schools in need and I’ve chosen KIPP Academy and their music program. 

Here’s how this works. Simply shop for back to school stuff at SCHOOLA and money will go right to KIPP ELEMENTARY.

  • For every transaction made from Schoola, Schoola will donate $1 to the KIPP Academy.
  • For every person who requests a donation bag, Schoola will donate $1 to the KIPP Academy.
  • For every clothing donation made from Schoola and when you fill out your school information ( a school you’d like to support), $2 of every $5 made will go back to the school that you support.

Follow this link so we can help KIPP Academy! —> SCHOOLA

It’s going to take so little to make such a big difference!!!

This post is brought to you by Schoola, the best place to buy discounted kids clothes all while give back to schools in need. Click here to learn more about Schoola. Click here to see what people are saying.

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Discovering art with Art Muse NY

New York has no shortage of culture and arts. Lily and I love going to the many world-famous museums in New York City and spending hours roaming through those gorgeous halls of art and sculpture. It’s our go to activity when it’s cold or rainy outdoors. But we also love going when our friends and family visit us from out-of-town.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with the amount of art the city has to offer? Maybe you don’t know where to begin and how to go about feeding your artful spirit. Don’t you worry your little head there friend… ARTMUSE is here to help.

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ArtMuse offers exceptional customized art experiences in New York City and Europe at museums, galleries, auction houses, art fairs, and artist studios. They offer Scheduled Tours & Class Series and Custom Designed Private Tours for adults, kids, and families in New York City, London, Paris, Rome, and Florence and are geared towards both art students and connoisseurs.

With Valentines day right around the corner how about thinking outside the box this year with an evening filled with art. ArtMuse is offering a special evening at the Met.Museum in NYC.

The Art of Seduction: Women, Scandal, Portraits: 18-20th century at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Travel through the galleries and the centuries of the Metropolitan Museum to discover the intimate stories, scandalous love affairs and the inspirational women behind these European and American portraits. We promise it will never be boring and you will never look at portraits the same way again.  To schedule contact Natasha Schlesinger at (646) 785-9759 or ns@artmuseny.com

Art Muse has great programming for kids as well.

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ArtMuse has created ArtXplorers to introduce even the youngest children to the thrill and excitement of discovering art and history at museums. All of the ArtXplorers tours are thematic, interactive and fun! They bring in props, costumes and stories to supplement and make art appreciation engaging and exciting. Every interactive discovery journey is competed with a related art project. Themes range from “Mysteries of Ancient Egyptian Mummies” to “Ancient Greek Gods, Heroes and Myths” to “Meet the Kids who Live at the Museum” to “Monsters and Dragons at the Museum” to “Pop, Splatter, Dash: Discover Modern Art”. Private tours, special gift tours, birthday party tours and any time tours are all available.

For More information visit ARTMUSENY.com

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for visiting and supporting my sponsors*

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Dumbo Arts Festival 2013

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This past weekend we headed to the DUMBO ARTS FESTIVAL.

This is one of my favorite festivals in New York City.

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A few years ago my dance company used to perform at this festival. We presented site specific dance performances all around Dumbo.

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The Dumbo Arts Festival signifies the beginning of fall to me. Fall in New York is magical. Truly it is. The art scene just bursts this time of year, the leaves are in a constant state of color explosion, I get to wear scarves and boots. It’s wonderful!

While I didn’t want to take too many pics of the actual art during the art festival.. it’s the artists work and I feel funny photographing it unless I can fully explain what the work is about… ya da yada…

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Lily loves art festivals… she says it’s going to be her one day. She’s going to create her own work and sell it or maybe present it at such a festival. pretty cool lil!

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You know what I love about the DUMBO ARTS FESTIVAL… the work is abstract, it’s interactive, it’s creative, its’ new, it’s all around you. This environment is really quite ideal for a young mind like Lily’s . While I was exposed to the arts when I was younger, it was always your mainstream arts, galleries, concerts, plays..etc. I didn’t discover performance art or abstract art or multi media collaborations until I was in college and was absolutely blown away by this brave medium of creating work.

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My personal choreography is multi dimensional, i use video, props, text , music and environment to create my pieces. Lily has come to many of my shows and just soaks it all up and when we get home she recreates a little something! ( I wish I could get back to making dances….i wish!)

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Oh stop me from getting all sappy this glorious Monday Morning!

Hope you enjoy a few of our pics from our weekend at the Dumbo Art Festival.

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20130929-234056.jpg.jpgWhat did you do over the weekend?

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Fringe Fever with Eva Dean Dance

There are many many MANY reasons to love summer time in NYC. One of my most faves is THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL that happens every August.

Ok so one of my lifetime goals was to present a show in the NYC fringe. And years ago… that goal happened when I presented my dance-theatre piece EYE CANDY. It was sold out every night and had the best reviews and my cast was the most ideal and my memories of this work and the whole Fringe experience was beyond anything I could have imagined.

I support the FRiNGE and if YOU want the BEST the very BEST… the very cutting edge.. the very NOW in theatre and dance theatre TODAY…. get thee to THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL my friend!

The Fringe also has a kids section. Fringe Jr. This is all kid shows and all kid friendly theater works.

—–> The NY Fringe is the ONLY curated fringe in the world. for realz. It’s not easy to be accepted into this festival. It’s a big deal! <—-

Eva Dean Dance has been around for a while.  I actually auditioned for her at one point in my career. ( did not make it). But think her work is fun and always a treat to watch.

When her PR team reached out to me … I was over the moon. All I want to do is support art and dance and especially modern dance ON THIS LITTLE BLOG… and here we are!

Peter Pan and Stardust Dances – Floating dancers on circus globes, bedeviled pirates, and free-spirited gypsies inhabit the netherworlds of Peter Pan, Esmeralda, and Tinker Bell.

NY Fringe 2013

I was able to connect with the choreographer/ artistic director Eva Dean and ask her a few questions that I thought you might like :

What was the inspiration for this piece? 

The impetus for Peter Pan and Stardust Dances comes from an interest in magic, joy and wonderment.  Peter Pan & Stardust Dances features original music from composer David Kahne. What I love about David’s music is that it is both cinematic and classical; just by listening to the music you can hear the story of Peter Pan come to life. The other dances on this program feature floating dancers on circus globes, a free-spirited gypsies, and twinkling lights. I love twilight. I have to admit I have a bit of Peter Pan in myself.

Has you created a work for kid specific audiences before? 

Yes, the other dances on the program were premiered at the Children Museum of Manhattan, First Night Boston, and the family-friendly programming of the Prague Fringe Festival.

A quick story about dance when you were a child. 

I come from a family of 12 children, and while I was younger, my family played numerous outdoor games that involved movement. One of my fondest memories of dancing when she was younger: I was about 4 years old, I would go into the backyard, and there was a dog that would follow me around. I would look into the clouds and just spin and spin and spin until I fell over. I would watch the clouds subside, I would let the dog lick my cheek, and I would do it again and again and again. This spinning has forwarded into current choreography of BOUNCE 09 (included in the Peter Pan & Stardust Dances programming), where dancers spin and glide and dance on top of a circus globe.

Don’t you just love it! 

I’m always looking for things that will STICK with Lily. What experiences that I offer will latch on to her creativity and foster her personality and life going forward. Dance… dance is one such memory and experience that will leave a lasting impression on a young mind.

So I say… grab your kidlet…. and your kidlet’s friend and head over to the NY FRINGE jr. this month.

I hope you take advantage of this amazing festival. There are TONS of shows all over the city and lots of times you can catch guerilla marketing skits happening on bridges and parks all over NYC this month!

First stop at FringeJr. –  Eva Dean Dance – Peter Pan and Stardust Dances

 Dancers: Julien Kanor as the Crocodile, Katherine Moncebaiz as Tinker Bell, George Hirsch as Peter/Photography and Videography by Amelia Tang
Dancers: Julien Kanor as the Crocodile, Katherine Moncebaiz as Tinker Bell, George Hirsch as Peter/Photography and Videography by Amelia Tang

Peter Pan and Stardust Dances
Eva Dean Dance
Writer: Choreographed by Eva Dean, Music by David Kahne
Director: Eva Dean
Choreographer: Eva Dean
Floating dancers on circus globes, bedeviled pirates, free-spirited gypsies inhabit the netherworlds of Peter Pan, Esmeralda, and Tinker Bell. Enter their world, illuminated by mystical twirling lights. A wonder for all ages 4 to 104 who believe in twilight magic.
0h 45m   Local   Brooklyn, NY   
FringeJR   Dance   
Discover: Literature   
www.evadeandance.org   evadeandance   
VENUE #8: The Theater at the 14th Street Y       Share/Bookmark       
SUN 11 @ NOON  MON 12 @ 4:30  WED 14 @ 5:45  SAT 17 @ 4:30  WED 21 @ 4:00  

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Kinky Boots on Broadway – REVIEW

Kinky Boots, the hotly anticipated new musical that brings together four-time Tony® Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (Book) and Grammy® Award-winning rock icon Cyndi Lauper (Music & Lyrics), has arrived on Broadway! Directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Jerry  Mitchell, Kinky Boots, began performances on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 West 45th Street), with an official opening night set for Thursday, April 4, 2013.

Writer- Heather Curran

Kinky Boots

Kinky Boots with score by Cyndi Lauper and book by Harvey Fierstein is not high art, and will never be considered groundbreaking in the world of music theater. But after a slow start, it is a hell of a good time, and its weak lyrics are often redeemed by amazing performances and a book that is compassionate and honest. Indeed, it’s a bumpy ride, with a lot of head scratching, but its message is timely and uplifting, and in the end I was smiling, along with the rest of the theater.

Based on true events, Kinky Boots is the story of Charlie, played by Stark Sands, who’s recently inherited factory is close to foreclosure. After a chance meeting with drag queen Lola, played by Billy Porter, a spark of inspiration hits: the transvestite shoe market will save the factory (and the town, too!).

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I was excited to see what Cyndi Lauper would deliver for a Broadway score, but I knew not to get my hopes up. The past few years have produced more than a few mediocre scores by pop musicians. Unfortunately, the score of Kinky Boots falls into this same category. Sure, the lyrics are catchy at times and the chorus has a hook, but instead of “if you’re lost you can look and you will find me,” I was stuck with the repetitive and unimaginative “what a man, what a man, what a man, what a man”. I was waiting with baited breath for a truly great song to appear, but unfortunately it never did. There were some heartfelt musical moments, but this was due to the performances of the actors, and not the writing. It is a shame, because Lauper has given us so many wonderful songs over the years. Alas, we have no past, we won’t reach back.

The show opens with Charlie’s father singing to him about “The Most Beautiful Thing.” Which is? Of course: a practical, well built pair of mens shoes. The actors struggle to make this opening work dancing about holding mens shoes. They work hard, but they struggle in vain. Charlie spent the first twenty minutes of the show bemoaning his life stuck in the world of practical shoes, while I bemoaned the possibility that I would be stuck in that theater for the next two hours listening to endless numbers about mens shoes. And then a miracle happened… a miracle in the form of a drag queen named Lola.

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Kinky Boots was not on my list for shows to see this season, until my friends started raving about Billy Porter’s performance as Lola. They were right. I am sure he will be nominated for the Tony, and probably win it. Put simply, Porter makes this show worth the price of admission. Porter plays the role of Lola with humanity, humor, and… oh, that voice. In the world of music theater he is regarded as one of the best voices ever, for good reason. I have listened to his recordings over and over again finding something new in his interpretation every time. What I didn’t know was that Porter’s acting is just as powerful as his voice. When he comes on stage it is as if the whole show is lifted out of its mediocre shoe world into a fantastic, vibrant reality.

The book by Harvey Fierstein has some lovely moments that explore what it is to be a drag queen in a world that is not so accepting of differences, a world that includes Lola’s estranged father. Fierstein had already written one of the definitive works that explores this issue (as well as, in this case, homosexuality), Torch Song Trilogy. Kinky Boots does not ring with the same poignancy of that piece, but it gives it a good try, and in Porter’s adept hands, Lola provides a dramatic anchor to a piece that could otherwise be adrift in a sea of cliche.

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I learned an important fact in my college club going days: life is better with drag queens. And so it is with Kinky Boots. I imagine that Jerry Mitchell, the show’s Director and Choreographer also realized this important fact when putting together this show. Jerry Mitchell is no stranger to big musical numbers. Hairspray, Legally Blonde, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels are just a few of the hit musicals he has been a part of. Just like these hits, Kinky Boots delivers huge dance numbers that propel the show forward. Whenever this show is feeling heavy in its shoefactoriness, the drag queens appear in flashy costumes and give us an energetic number. One number done on treadmills is especially exciting… and might have you on the edge of your seat, it looks so precarious. There is another moment when one queen kicks her leg in the air and falls into a perfect split, followed by another who does handsprings across the stage, both in high heels. Sound glorious? It was.

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In most circumstances I would not think of drag queens as family fun, but Mr. Mitchell makes it work and I would take my five year old nephew to see this show in a heartbeat. I would even take my Mormon mother because in the end this show is not about sexy drag queens. It’s about embracing our individuality and accepting people for who they are.

The strongest number of the show is the duet “I’m Not My Father’s Son” sung by Sands and Porter. The book and music finally come together beautifully as Charlie and Lola sing about the thing that connects them, the longing to live up to the expectations of a father and the path to finding individuality, despite those expectations. It is an exquisite moment.

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Sadly, the moment ends, and the show again becomes mired in clunky lyrics and shoe factoriness. There were other strong performances, but the actors had a tough job selling the material.

Stark Sands gives a great performance as Charlie, with a strong voice and intense conviction.  It is a shame that his big ten o’clock number “The Soul of a Man” is the worst number in the show. The opening lyrics are almost Dr. Suessian in their rhyming. Sands pours in blood, sweat and tears, but it’s not enough to cover up those bad lyrics. Oh Cyndi, was that good enough? Good enough for you?

Annaleigh Ashford, who plays Lauren, is a pitch perfect comedian with a crystal clear voice. Her big number “The History of the Wrong Guys” is one of the high moments of the show and her presence is a constant breath or fresh air on a stage cluttered with shoes.

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Daniel Sherman also gives a solid performance as Don, the bigot who faces a moral upheaval.
The set barely merits mention because there is nothing inspired about it. It’s a shoe factory. A shoe factory that converts to other locations every now and again, but mostly a shoe factory.

If Kinky Boots starts with a whimper, it makes up for it by ending with a bang. The entire cast assembles on stage adorned in kinky boots, singing “Just be who you wanna be, never let ’em tell you who you ought to be. Just be with dignity, celebrate your life triumphantly”. This joyful moment is intoxicating, and is why in the end this show is a success. We are left with a rallying cry sung out loud, of love and acceptance, relevant to the currently evolving political climate, pointing towards a world of diversity. And it’s beautiful, like a rainbow.

Connect with all things Kinky Boots –

http://www.kinkybootsthemusical.com
http://www.facebook.com/KinkyBootsBway
http://twitter.com/KinkyBootsBway

Tickets for Kinky Boots ($57 – $137) are available for purchase in person at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre box office (Monday – Saturday, 10am – 8pm; Sunday, 12pm – 6 pm), online at www.telecharge.com, or by calling Telecharge at 800-432-7250 or 212-239-6200. 

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