PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: Kinky Boots; Some Girls Just Wanna Give Fun

By Harry Haun
05 Apr 2013

Daniel Stewart Sherman
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The extended applause that followed certain numbers was not unique to opening night, he said. "It's been like that for a lot of the performances. The numbers that continually get that kind of reaction are 'Sex Is in the Heel,' Annaleigh's number, Stark's number and Billy's 'Hold Me in Your Heart.' Those four numbers — depending on the audience and who they happen to be rooting for — those four numbers always tend to stop the show. And I don't like it when they stop the show, to be honest with you. I love them applauding, of course, but I like it to come at the end of the play."

He gave all hands a thumb's up. "I'm most proud because I think every actor on stage, even if they don't have a line — all the factory workers — are bringing something real and genuine to the stage. I knew I could do the drag stuff, but what I needed was some sense of reality that wasn't too dour — it's a musical, after all — and could give you the balance to that, so I went to Northampton and kinda hung out after we did our last reading. I wanted that real thing underneath it because ultimately it's an entertainment, but there's a message here that is a lot about what's happening in our country. People are coming together to do the right thing and accept people for who they are. And this show has a chance just to remind people."

Two factory-workers Mitchell plucked from the bump-and-grind chorus line that he choreographed for The Full Monty — Daniel Stewart Sherman as the beefy bully, Don, and Marcus Neville as the milquetoast assistant to Sands, George.



As the homophobe on the premises, Sherman gives some good conflicted traction to the show. "He's a decent guy who works hard and wants everything to be the way it was. When he makes a change, he accepts it and realizes he's in a better place."

Not enough. Don's final indignity is to take a precarious runway stroll in kinky boots. The audience roared. "It's work," he said, "but it's fun. They come up to just above the knee for me, but the heels are like four or five inches—not as high as Billy's."

Neville, who gets to don a pair for the finale, knew at first read of Kinky Boots what the character of George looked like. "When we did The Full Monty is London," the actor recalled, "there was a watch-repair store next door, and the man who ran it is my idea of George — a space between his teeth, funny hair, funny little glasses. Jerry kept saying, 'Go with it, go with it.' Then, Harvey would write me a new little line here and there. To have something tailored for you is what I long for in the theatre."

He agreed it was a terrific lift-off. "At any point in the evening, you could look across the stage and there'd be some actor crying — of joy! — on stage! Somebody singing a song and listening to somebody else talk and just all of a sudden move up stage, wipe a tear out and come back to the scene. It's just been a wonderful experience."

 Continued...