Cyndi Lauper On Her ‘Kinky Boots’ Connection: ‘I AM A Drag Queen'

The singer opens up about her brand-new Broadway musical -- and more.

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These boots are made for...dancing.

Cyndi Lauper is about to make a splash on Broadway with Kinky Boots, her high-stepping new musical about a young man who comes up with an ingenious idea to save his family’s sinking shoe factory: cater to drag queens.

Sounds like a plan to us.

It’s certainly not unfamiliar terrain for the girl who still wants to have fun. In 2008, Lauper launched her annual True Colors tour to benefit the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community. She's also performed at countless Pride parades and lobbied for gay rights more times than you can say "She Bop." Back in the late '90s, she even served up a tune about two average working guys who, come evening, transform into “dancing queens.”

We’ll give you a taste of Ballad of Cleo & Joe right here, but the real draw isn’t the tune’s thumping beat. Or its “werk! werk! werk!” refrain. It’s how Lauper, who was heavily pregnant with her son Declyn (now 15) at the time, hid her massive baby bump.

Okay, she didn’t really hide it. But that’s half the fun.

So what’s Lauper’s connection to dudes who look like ladies?

“I’m a bit of a drag queen,” she told Celebuzz at last week’s Kinky Boots sneak peek, held at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in NYC. “I am actually an extended member of the gay and transgender community. I’m friends and family. So, of course I would understand about people who are different. I’m different myself. You know, I’m a bit of a drag queen anyway. But I think that everybody is different. I’ve always been on the outside of things.”

Not anymore, as Lauper is fitting right in on the Great White Way. For Kinky Boots, she teamed up with Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein, who wrote its book, and Tony-winner Jerry Mitchell, who serves as director/choreographer. Lauper penned all the tunes, of course, including one that’s already a bonafide crowd-pleaser: “Sex Is In the Heel.” When she released her own version of the song late last year, it hit #6 on the dance charts -- and taught a legion of clubgoers what many already knew: “seduction is at the thigh,” but “the heel is the transmission.”

Here’s proof:

 

But despite such campy subject matter, Lauper says Kinky Boots isn’t all about kicks and kikis.

“This story is not about a drag queen,” she said. “That’s incidental. What this story is about is working with people who are totally different from you and overcoming your differences to create the greater good. I think that was very compelling to me."

Kinky Boots officially opens on April 4; preview performances began on March 3. For our full interview with Lauper, view the video above. And to meet the cast of Kinky Boots – including Stark Sands, Billy Porter, Annaleigh Ashford and Celina Carvajal plus Harvey Fierstein – see the videos, below. They’re revealing the kinky secrets of Kinky Boots, talking about what it was like to with Ms. Lauper -- and explaining why sex really is in the heel.

 

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