‘Kinky Boots’ carries message of acceptance into Scranton Cultural Center
SCRANTON — Charlie is the heir to a — yawn — shoe factory in England, and he has little interest in it. Lola is a drag queen who needs a better boot.
These two main characters both seem to be nice people, so who’s the bad guy in the musical “Kinky Boots?”
Look no further than Don, the factory foreman.
“He’s the villain,” confirmed Adam du Plessis, who will portray the rough-around-the-edges foreman when the Broadway Theatre League brings the touring musical and its Cyndi Lauper music to the Scranton Cultural Center Friday through Sunday.
“He’s kind of your gruff, everyman bully, essentially,” du Plessis said. “He’s obviously one of the guys who used to be the tough kid at school, bigger and stronger than everybody else.”
“He is the villain, but more than that, he represents the villain,” the actor continued. “The true villain, for me, is bigotry and discrimination.”
That makes acceptance the hero of the show, and du Plessis said audiences will see a lot of that, as various characters learn to accept each other and themselves.
Along the way there’s a lot of singing and dancing and even a boxing match between Don and Lola.
“It’s enormous fun,” du Plessis said of the match, breaking into laughter at the thought of the fight, for which Lola is much more prepared than Don ever expected.
“The way they do it is very clever. The staging of it is genius. It’s this big match, not just between Lola and Don, but you get Don’s supporters and Lola’s supporters choosing sides. All of them are very vocal.”
When he was growing up in South Africa, du Plessis said, he wasn’t aware of any small, family-owned factories like the one Charlie inherits.
“My dad worked for a newspaper and my brother followed him into it,” the actor said. “I went down the theater route … the other passion in our family. My mom and dad met on stage, in a little amateur community show.”
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT.
IF YOU GO
What: ‘Kinky Boots’
Who: Presented by Broadway Theatre League
Where: Scranton Cultural Center, 420 N. Washington Ave., Scranton
When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday