2013-04-20-Kinky_Boots_Broadway_123_email_12

The Golden Globe nominated film that went Broadway leads this year’s Tony’s Awards with 13 nominations, including best musical, director, actor, score and choreographer. As noted in Playbill, “Kinky Boots is based on a true story of a conservative but failing British men’s footwear factory that switches gears and starts producing kinky boots.” The score is by Cyndi Lauper, the book by Harvey Fierstein.

Watch a preview of the Broadway show that the New York Times called an “emotional button-pusher about finding your passion, overcoming prejudice and transcending stereotypes.”

Take a look at this timeline created by the Kinky Boots team.

1600-1700
The first records of shoemaking in Northampton England date way back to the 13th century. The trade thrived, in the 17th and 18th centuries, as shoemaking becomes the area’s staple industry and local identity.

1800
By 1831 over one third of the men in Northampton worked in shoe factories. By the late 19th century, over half of the men were employed as shoemakers.

1889
In 1889, the Pateman family founds WJ Brooks Ltd shoe factory in Earls Barton joining the ranks of proud Northampton shoemakers.

1900
Northampton’s shoe industry supplies the majority of British armed forces’ boots during both of the 20th Century World Wars.

1979
Steve Pateman joins his father, Richard Pateman as a 4th generation shoemaker, continuing the tradition of crafting high quality men’s footwear.

1990
WJ Brooks begins to suffer a downturn in trade when cheap, imported shoes made overseas flood the market at a lower price.

1997
The new international competition forces Steve Pateman to cut the WJ Brooks staff from a healthy 80 employees down to just 30.

1998
Even with employment cutbacks, WJ Brooks continues to struggle. Serendipitously, a nearby store selling thigh-high boots, favored by drag queens, needs an order of quality ladies’ shoes in men’s sizes. The opportunity seems profitable.

1999
Steve Pateman invests £12,000 in a machine to put 4½ inch heels on boots and WJ Brooks Ltd founds Divine Footwear, a subsection of the company dedicated to making kinky boots. Kinky boot production eventually accounts for 50% of revenue at the company.

2005
Steve Pateman’s story serves as inspiration for the 2005 film, Kinky Boots.

2006
Kinky Boots the film premieres at the Sundance Film Festival. Broadway producer Daryl Roth is in the audience, and is immediately excited by the movie’s musical potential. Roth partners with producer Hal Luftig, and hires Jerry Mitchell, Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper to transform it into a musical.

2013
April 4, 2013 – Kinky Boots opened on Broadway.

Watch a pivotal scene from the film version, starring Joel Edgerton (whom is in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming The Great Gatsby), Jemima Rooper, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Nick Frost.

Watch the Tony Awards on CBS June 9 8/7c and be sure to watch the film on DVD and Digital Download.

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