Give Now


Live Arts Theater struts into ‘24!

KINKY BOOTS, Book by Harvey Fierstein, Music & Lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, is directed by Jude Hansen with music direction by Abby Smith. KINKY BOOTS has 16 performances in the Gibson Theater, February 16 through March 10, 2024, at Live Arts Theater, 123 E. Water Street, in Charlottesville. KINKY BOOTS is sponsored by Woodard Properties and Story House Real Estate. Tickets are $33 for adults or $28 for students and senior citizens and are available through the Box Office at, by phone at 434-977-4177 x123, or online at

Live Arts is hosting three special events for KINKY BOOTS: Opening night reception following the performance on February 16; post-show audience talk-back on Thursday, February 29 (7:30pm curtain); and a KINKY BOOTS Benefit for Live Arts on Sunday, March 3. Audiences are welcome to enjoy the bar and concessions one hour prior to the performance and at intermission.

“It’s why the word fabulous was invented! …Big Broadway in the best way! A splashy, bouncy, smart show with a heart, beltable songs and hilarious numbers.”
– The Philadelphia Inquirer 

Inspired by a true event, this huge-hearted musical tells the story of the unlikely partnership between Charlie and Lola. Charlie inherited his father’s failing shoe factory; and Lola is a fabulous drag entertainer in need of a sturdy pair of stilettos. Together they turn the fortunes of the factory around and discover we can change the world when we change our minds. KINKY BOOTS won six Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Musical Theatre album, and London’s Olivier Award for Best Musical. Lauper and Fierstein’s warm, colorful musical boasts infectious tunes and simple yet powerful lyrics that celebrate the families we make together. 

“[Cyndi Lauper] has created a love- and heat-seeking score that performs like a pop star on Ecstasy.” – The New York Times 

Live Arts production of KINKY BOOTS is directed by Jude Hansen, with music direction by Abby Smith, and features a multi-talented cast of local performers, with Paulius Sinkora as Charlie, Xavier Taylor as Lola/Simon, Liberty DeLeon as Lauren, Katie Rogers as Nicola, Pearl Oliver and “Ellie” Elizabeth Bennett alternating in the roles of Young Lola/Simon, Nathaniel Sclialla and Calvin Kaufman alternating in the role of Young Charlie, Kirk Martini as Don, Marty Moore as Trish, Christina Henderson Paxson as Pat, and James Sanford as George; Jack Scharrer, Lyra McKee, Jackson Davis, and Benedict Burgess as Angels; and Kelly Carney, Darryl Smith, Paige Campbell Johns, Julia Mathas, Sophie Clayton, and Jacob Walton as the Ensemble. 

The production’s dynamic creative team includes: Juanita Wilson, Sophie Clayton and Ashton Neal (choreography); Wes Wyse and Kelsey Dowling (production stage managers); Virginia Coldren, (assistant director/dramaturge); Will Slusher (scenic design); Joshua Reid, assisted by Etta Feigert (lighting design); Chase Carson (sound design/engineer); Anna Stockdale (costume design); Erik Mayes (costume and makeup design); Morgan Hall (properties design); Daniel Kunkel (fight choreography); Laura Rikard (intimacy consultant); Thea Trickality (drag consultant); and Andrew Bryce (dialect coach).

Performance History

Based on the 2005 British film Kinky Boots, the original theatrical production of Kinky Boots premiered at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago in October 2012. Kinky Boots made its Broadway debut at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on April 4, 2013, following previews that began on March 3, 2013. The musical began a US tour in 2014. The Broadway production ended on April 7, 2019. A recent off-Broadway revival run ended in November 2022.

About the Book Writer

Harvey Fierstein is a four-time Tony Award-winning writer and actor. His Broadway writing credits include Kinky BootsTorch Song Trilogy (Tony, Drama Desk, Dramatists Guild Awards), Casa ValentinaSafe Sex, Legs Diamond, and A Catered Affair (12 Drama Desk nominations and the Drama League Award for Best Musical). His La Cage Aux Folles is the only show to ever win Best Musical and two Best Revival Tony Awards. Other plays include Spookhouse, Forget Him, and Flatbush Tosca. His teleplays include Tidy Endings for HBO (ACE Award), and On Common Ground for ShowtimeHis children’s HBO special, The Sissy Duckling, won the Humanitas Prize, and the book version is in its eighth printing. Other honors include the Drama League Award for Outstanding Performer of the Year, a special OBIE award, NY Magazine Award, and nominations for The Olivier Award and an Emmy. His political writings have been seen on PBS’ series “In the Life” and published in The New York Times, Huffington Post, and Hartford Courant. He was inducted into The Theater Hall of Fame in 2008.

About the Composer and Lyricist

Cyndi Lauper is a Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning artist with over 30 sterling years and global record sales in excess of 50 million albums. With her first album, “She’s So Unusual,” Lauper won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist and became the first female in history to have four top-five singles from a debut album. Since then, Lauper has released 10 additional studio albums, been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and been celebrated as a New York Times best-selling author. Overall, during her storied music career, Lauper has been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, seven American Video Awards and 18 MTV Awards. In 2013, Cyndi Lauper became the first solo woman to win best original score for her music and lyrics for Kinky Boots. Never one to slow down, she is currently writing the score for the Broadway adaptation of the 1988 feature film Working Girl, contributed a song to the score of the Broadway musical Spongebob Squarepants, and launched her own fashion line, “A Touch of Cyn,” with Home Shopping Network.

About the Director

Jude Hansen grew up as a choirboy in Australia, performing his first musical lead at age seven. This led to his first professional theater credit in Jean Anouilh’s Antigone. He continued his love of theater as a writer and director and with performances at the National Shakespeare Festival of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Two Gentlemen of Verona. He graduated with an MFA (acting) from the Chicago College of Performing Arts—Roosevelt University, and then worked throughout Chicago with The House Theatre, Piccolo Theatre, Redtwist, Shapeshifters, Halcyon, Pride Films & Plays, the Steppenwolf Garage Rep Series, and Redmoon theater companies. Directing highlights include Look Back in Anger (his own adaptation with permission from the John Osborne estate), and the Jeff Award-winning The Submission, as well as BUYER & CELLAR for Live Arts. Charlottesville credits include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at CPG, and THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE and SILAS: THE UNINVITED at Live Arts.

About the Music Director

Abby Smith is currently the choir director at Henley Middle School and Western Albemarle High School and also teaches private instrumental lessons at the Music Education Center. She’s been a part of Live Arts for the past five years, including counseling/instructing various summer camps and playing in the pit orchestra for previous shows including CRYBABY, RENT, and IN THE HEIGHTS. Most recently, Abby music directed HEATHERS, The Musical, Teen Edition, for Live Arts. 

About Live Arts 

Live Arts is a volunteer-powered, nonprofit community theater in Downtown Charlottesville. Founded in 1990, Live Arts is celebrating more than 33 years of forging theater and community. The 2023/24 Expectations Season is made possible by Elizabeth LeVaca remembering Joe LeVaca, C-VILLE Weekly, WTJU 91.1FM, Ting, PJ Networks Computer Services, and the Madwoman Project. KINKY BOOTS is sponsored by Story House Real Estate and Woodard Properties. Live Arts is supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, which receives support from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the City of Charlottesville; and Albemarle County.

National Endowment for the Arts

Upcoming Events

Sign up for Our Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Live Arts is supported in part by