April 26 and 27

Kenneth Mosley reimagines Lola in Kinky Boots

Richard Burnett
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Kenneth Mosley

I last saw Kenneth Mosley in Montreal when he starred as Berry Gordy in the 2018 North American tour of the Broadway smash Motown the Musical. Mosley is a multi-talented phenom: he can sing, dance, act, studied classical piano and got a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism.

But he loves to perform onstage, and he is back on the road starring as drag queen Lola in the 2019 North American tour of the hugely popular Tony-winning Broadway musical  Kinky Boots which headlines Theatre St-Denis in Montreal for two nights, on April 26 and 27. Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots – with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein – tells the story of Charlie Price, who teams up with cabaret performer and drag queen Lola to save a shoe factory that Charlie inherited from his father. Kinky Boots is a celebration of our differences, with plenty of heart and soul. I assumed Lola was gay even though there isn’t a romance in the show. While out playwright Harvey Fierstein says he wrote Lola as straight, gay actor Billy Porter played Lola as a gay man on Broadway. “The whole point of the show is be who you want to be, and Lola is so many things to so many people,” says Mosley. “When you start to look outside the box, you begin to see inside the mind of Lola. And if you look closely at our production, there is a bit of romantic relationship there.” 
 
To portray Lola, Mosley says he channels Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and Madonna, as well as actresses Isabel Sanford and Marla Gibbs, and says he has a newfound deep respect for drag performers. “Physically, personally and technically I did a lot of work,” Mosley says. “Lola is a very choreographed and strategic individual, and I had to learn to do it all in heels and drag. It’s a leg work-out every day! But I was not a natural. I had to let myself go and not worry about how I looked. Because you cannot phone in this role – you must become it.” 6 Richard Burnett
 
Kinky Boots headlines Théâtre St-Denis on April 26 and 27. 
For tickets, visit theatrestdenis.com