Acceptance and Being Yourself: Why Kinky Boots is a Great Musical for the Whole Family

Want to hear how Kinky Boots is a family show directly from the horse’s mouth? In this video, Broadway youth reviewer Iain Armitage (a.k.a. Iain Loves Theatre on YouTube) talks about his own enjoyment of Kinky Boots and interviews fellow young audience members about why they love the show.

Although Kinky Boots may seem like a more adult show on the surface, the themes and content are actually perfect for families as well. Read this interview with Daryl Roth, one of the Kinky Boots producers, excerpted in full from this Parade article written by Jeryl Brunner.


“Children are smarter than any of us,” said Bill Hicks, the late comedian and satirist. “Know how I know that? I don’t know one child with a full time job and children.”

But seriously, kids are often wiser than we give them credit for. And sometimes they can find true inspiration in places that may not seem initially obvious. Take the Broadway hit show Kinky Boots, which is now touring throughout the United States. In the Tony Award-winning musical, the owner of an old school shoe factory has to find a fabulously creative way to keep his family’s business from going under. So he takes some untraditional steps to save the company. But more than that, as the show’s lyrics tell us, the musical is about how to “celebrate yourself triumphantly” and “accept yourself and you’ll accept others too.”

Some people may not automatically think, Kinky Boots – great family show. But don’t be thrown by the title. I asked Daryl Roth, a Kinky Boots producer with Hal Luftig, why the show is wonderful for families.

What lessons can children learn from the show that they can bring with them into adulthood?

At the end of the day, Kinky Boots is about acceptance – accepting yourself and accepting other people for who they are: the importance of kindness, understanding, and friendship. What better lesson could you want to teach your child? It also addresses bullying, and that’s sadly an issue so many kids face now. Not only that, but there’s lots of costumes with glitter and great music which makes you want to dance in the aisles, and I think kids love that, too!

Roughly what percentage of your Broadway audience includes families?

In recent months, around 21% of our audience has been families, which is approximately the Broadway musical average. That’s definitely higher than it was when the show first started running, so I think people are less scared off by the title than they used to be. And the word of mouth is that it’s a great show for young people and families. When I visit the theater, I see families all the time, and young people really enjoying the experience. My own grandchildren (ages 10, 12, and 14) have seen the show numerous times, love it, and know the soundtrack by heart!

What’s the youngest age that would you recommend a child should be to see Kinky Boots?

While Telecharge recommends 10 and up, my youngest granddaughter saw it for the first time at 8 and enjoyed it as much as her older sisters. We have had children as young as 6 come to see it. And one young girl who came to visit the show posted a video about how much it meant to her. It was really charming. It depends on the maturity of the child, but there’s absolutely nothing inappropriate in this show that kids cannot see – no bad language, no scary characters. When you learn about acceptance, understanding, and love at a young age, it will help define how you live your life.

What kind of response have you gotten from families who have seen Kinky Boots?

I hear all the time from friends, colleagues, and people I meet at the theater about how their families and the young people in their lives have had a meaningful experience at Kinky Boots. And  I met with a sixteen-year-old from New Jersey who has seen the show over twenty times. The heart of the musical is about families, friendship, and love – something for all ages, a show that families can share together.


Kinky Boots will be at The 5th from April 27 through May 8. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Author: The 5th Avenue Theatre

The Nation's Leading Musical Theater

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