Saturday 13 February 2016 11:19 AEDT
CYNDI LAUPER AND THE KINKIEST MUSICAL ON EARTH
Rosemary Neil, The Weekend Australian Review.
Now 62, Lauper clearly has a knack for reinventing herself. Even so, it was in the theatre — as composer and lyricist for the multi-award-winning musical Kinky Boots— that she found the easy acceptance and creative autonomy she feels the music industry often denied her. “Self-acceptance is the toughest thing, even for me,’’ she reflects, her lipstick-christened coffee cup frozen in midair, as if she’s forgotten it’s there. “I went around the whole world looking for acceptance and the one place I didn’t ever go was right in my own backyard. Broadway accepted me with open arms, and they were so kind to me and they never make fun of my hair or the way I talk. You just have to work as hard as [Broadway creatives] do [to be appreciated].’’
Lauper’s score for Kinky Boots — in which a drag queen saves a struggling shoe factory with a line of footwear that resembles “two and a half feet of tubular, irresistible sex’’ — opened on Broadway in 2013. It was the singer’s first stab at a musical. An eclectic stir-fry of funk, pop, electronic numbers and ballads, it won a Tony and a Grammy award (shared between Lauper, the cast and producers) and high critical praise. The New York Times said Lauper “has created a love- and heat-seeking score that performs like a pop star on ecstasy’’, while the American television network ABC said she had delivered “the best Broadway score in years’’.