Alan Mingo Jr named Lola in Mirvish’s Kinky Boots

He’s got big shoes to fill in the Toronto production of the hit musical


Alan Mingo Jr doesn’t have a foot care regime, but he’s going to have to implement one very soon, because Mirvish Productions has announced that he’s playing Lola in its upcoming production of the musical Kinky Boots.

Playing the drag queen who saves Charlie Price’s struggling shoe company, Price & Sons, by designing their new line of sexy footwear, Mingo will slide his feet into — and dance in — eight different pairs of custom made boots and shoes, with heels ranging from four to six inches.

“I’ve been told that I’m going to have to ice my feet every day,” he says with a laugh. “I wasn’t ready for that. I was like, ‘you should have told me that first.’ Most people are saying I need to build my endurance for it too, so I’m doing my yoga, because I know wearing heels can mess with your back and I need to be able to do eight shows a week.”

With original music by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein, the Tony Award-winning musical is a different take on the 2005 film on which it is based.

Mingo has had some notable theatrical roles, and slipped into a dress for a few of them — including his 2014 role as Zaza in La Cage Aux Folles — but to him, there’s something special about his upcoming part.

“I have to say, after even just going through the fittings of my gowns for this show, this beats them all,” he says. “I have one gown that’s like Whitney Houston . . . like Mariah Carey — oh, I can’t even explain it.”

Mingo is particularly looking forward to the scene where Lola admonishes Price for his pathetic first attempt at a pair of sexy, drag show-worthy boots — the “Please, God, tell me I’ve not inspired something burgundy” scene.

“In the movie, she comes in for the burgundy scene, but in the musical, her angels come in too, to say the boots aren’t sexy, and sex is all about the heel,” he says. “I’m looking forward to that and the finale, where I wear a fierce red dress.”

Kinky Boots runs Tuesday, June 16–Sunday, Sept 27, various showtimes, at Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St W, Toronto. mirvish.com

Jeremy Willard is a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor. He's written for Fab Magazine, Daily Xtra and the Torontoist. He generally writes about the arts, local news and queer history (in History Boys, the Daily Xtra column that he shares with Michael Lyons).

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Culture, Style, Arts, Theatre, Fetish & Kink, Toronto

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