Land of LaBellle – “Kinky Boots” Comes To Long Island!

By: Isaiah Cruz

A classic LGBTQ+ musical is coming in a whole new way to Long Island! The beloved
show Kinky Boots will be playing this year at the Cultural Arts Playhouse in Syosset, and they’re
bringing some local talent to their famed stage!
Leading the cast is Long Island Drag Queen LaBelle, who will be playing the star role of
Lola. LaBelle is no stranger to big stages, as she has been performing in theater almost all of
her life. “Stepping into the now Famous Boots is a long time coming and I will admit is quite
emotional. It’s therapeutic, healing and a joy!” LaBelle says. “It’s also weird that the lines
come so easily, only because a lot of the lines written I actually have said in real life in real
conversations! I just get to sing and dance them now.”
Originally based on the 2005 British film Kinky Boots, this show tells the story of
Charlie Price, who forms an unlikely partnership with cabaret performer and drag queen
Lola to produce a line of high-heeled boots and save his father’s shoe business. In doing
so, Charlie and Lola find that they are not so different after all. “I have an interesting history
with “Kinky Boots”. Before it was a show and only a film, I had friends,family, colleagues in
shows and audience members say, ‘If this film was a play, you should be Lola’,” LaBelle
remembers. “In all my years as a performer, theater was my safe space as a queer POC
and I’ve done many wonderful projects in my time, but there hasn’t been anything like this
for actors like me.”
This role is not just another role to LaBelle however, whose career has seen them
play a multitude of characters on stage. “Lola and Simon, to me, represent how the duality
of a performer is quite literally the same person in their truest form. At least for me,” LaBelle
admits. “It seems more often when on stage, [I’m] in some sort of flamboyant drag, so that
part is easy. The hard part is the emotional stuff. Lola spends the entire time explaining the
old sayings are true. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Everything isn’t all it seems, and to
truly understand a person you have to be empathetic and actually listen! To quote Maya
Angelou, ‘When a person shows you who they are, BELIEVE them.’ People come in and
out of our lives and they all have lessons to teach us. we just have to be open and open
minded to receive them.”
Kinky Boots is not just very personal to LaBelle, but it seems to be the continuation
of her passion, drive and talent for live theater. As she looks forward to the horizon, she
says, “I’d [now] like to try Albin/Zaza in La Cage or the Witch in Into the Woods, just so i can
say i did it. When it comes to my resume in the performing arts, it’s all over the place, from
cruise lines to popular theme parks. I’m really good ‘friends’ of Mickey & Minnie and also
worked at Ms. Dolly’s park, to name drop a couple.” LaBelle adds, “From national tours like
Rent, LaCage, Grease, A Chorus Line, Pippin, Dreamgirls, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Five Guys
Named Moe, Hair, the list actually goes on and on. Many of it seems like a lifetime ago.”
But it doesn’t sound like LaBelle is slowing down anytime soon.
Kinky Boots will be playing at the Cultural Arts Playhouse in Syosset, Long Island
from September 10th through October 9th, Friday nights, Saturday nights and Sunday
Matinees. For more information go to Culturalartsplayhous.com.

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