Long before I was a producer in WGBH's Education department, I was a kid who loved the theater. In high school, I was an avid participant in the drama group, and I even got to see a few professional shows. (Yes, I spent weeks in my room singing Eponine’s “On My Own” after I saw Les Misérables. Didn’t everyone?)
But beyond the live theater experiences, I discovered that I could catch amazing theatrical productions on TV. Broadway was just a click away on PBS when I tuned into Great Performances, where I could see actual plays and musicals from the best seat in the house. These days, as I find myself confined to my home and in need of comfort during unsettling times, I search for entertainment that will bring me joy. So, I recently watched several musicals on Great Performances, including the Tony Award-winning “Kinky Boots,” which proved cathartic. Yes, I cried during the first number, and the second… and all of them. Like many others throughout this pandemic, I may be holding onto some built-up stress.
Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie, a young man without a purpose in life, who saves his family's shoe factory by producing fabulous high-heeled boots for drag queens with the help of Lola, a talented drag performer. This story about people coming together and solving a problem through empathy and determination is the positive message I needed right now. Oh, and the fact that the show has a remarkable score by Cindi Lauper doesn’t hurt!
Maybe next weekend I’ll shift to plays and watch one of the many stage performances available below. They’re perfect, especially when I’m stuck on my own… (with children).