Ken Christopher plays Charlie Price in SVCT's production of "Kinky Boots." Contributed photo.
music in the park san jose

The South Valley Civic Theater this summer will perform “Kinky Boots,” a pop rock musical that tells the story of acceptance, individuality and community in a small town. 

Based on the book by Harvey Firestein, with music by Cyndi Lauper, “Kinky Boots” the musical was written for Broadway in 2013 and has won multiple Tony Awards. 

The local production of “Kinky Boots” opens June 21-22, and runs on weekends through July 20 (not counting the weekend after July 4), with matinees scheduled on select Sundays. Shows take place at the Morgan Hill Community Playhouse. 

The story takes place in a factory town in the north of England about 20 years ago. Gilroy resident Ken Christopher, a longtime SVCT performer, plays the role of Charlie Price. 

After Price’s father dies, Charlie inherits the family’s shoe factory and quickly realizes the business is on the verge of failing if he doesn’t make some changes, Christopher explained in a recent interview at the Morgan Hill Community Playhouse. At stake is not just a family’s business, but also the livelihood of many factory workers who Charlie has grown up with and has come to know as family.

About the same time, Charlie meets a drag queen by the name of Lola. Through a series of events, Charlie and Lola together devise a solution to the shoe factory’s difficulties—a new product known as “kinky boots,” which are made for men who choose to dress up in heels, Christopher explained. 

“That relaunched the factory, relaunched the town and revitalizes everybody’s spirit,” Christopher said. 

An underlying theme of the story of “Kinky Boots” is the relationship between fathers and sons, and how the offspring often feel pressure to live up to parental expectations, Christopher added. 

“The story is all about families and fathers and sons and small towns and I think that’s going to resonate with a huge audience,” Christopher said. 

Plus, the Grammy-winning score by Cyndi Lauper is enough to draw crowds to the Morgan Hill production, SVCT crew members are anticipating. 

SVCT actor Matthew Horta, 12, of Gilroy, plays the role of “young Lola” in the local production. 

Horta’s character personally faces the challenge of trying to live up to his father’s expectations. “He just had the desire to wear heels but he’s also trying to impress his father by learning how to box and following what he wants him to do,” Horta explained. 

Horta’s father, Michael Horta, is also a cast member of “Kinky Boots,” playing the role of Harry, who is Charlie Price’s childhood friend. Harry’s father also owns a shoe company, and Charlie seeks his advice after inheriting his family’s factory. 

Whitney Pintello, the director of the SVCT’s production of “Kinky Boots,” said the cast and crew have been preparing for the show for about four months. That includes auditions, rehearsals, choreography, set creation, writing and every aspect of production. 

There are about 20 cast members on the “Kinky Boots” playbill, Christopher said. 

Although “Kinky Boots” might contain “racy” themes, the story promotes positive values that local audiences can get behind, Pintello said. 

“It has a pretty wholesome message about acceptance and about generational expectations,” Pintello said. “Each of the characters—their lives mirror each other more than they think where their dads put these expectations on them and when they meet up they realize that’s what they have in common.”

The story also has “a great small town vibe” where the characters all work together to keep the shoe factory alive, Pintello said. 

“Kinky Boots” runs most weekends June 21-July 20 at the Morgan Hill Community Playhouse, 17090 Monterey Road. Pre-show special events are scheduled for the June 22, June 30 and July 14 shows. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit svct.org. 

Previous articleLocal Scene: Garlic City Car Show is this weekend
Next articleRucker fire in San Martin fully contained
Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.