Kinky Boots sashays into Toby’s Dinner Theatre this month and will run until March 22nd. Starring Helen Hays award recipient DeCarlo Raspberry as Lola, Kinky Boots follows the story of Charlie Price, who after inheriting his father’s bankrupt shoe factory finds inspiration in Lola, a fabulous entertainer with ideas. Working together they turn the factory around, embrace their differences, and discover that you can change the world when you change your mind.

“Audiences will enjoy a very heartfelt and honest production,” began Raspberry. “This performance at Toby’s is theatre-in-the-round, and therefore it’s a little bit closer to the audiences. I feel that people can find something they can truly relate to. Something that will pull on their heartstrings. The slogan for this show is ‘Just be.’ I think that will permeate into the hearts of all who attend this show. Audiences will really understand that people are people and no matter who we are, and even though we may not agree with people’s lifestyles, they need to ‘Just be’ and that’s okay.”

“Lola is a charismatic, honest, unapologetic person,” Raspberry continued. “Because Lola is the drag persona of the character Simon, Lola really is someone who sets the tone for his life and what he believes in.”

With larger-than-life performers who have previously sashayed in Lola’s boots such as Billy Porter (who originated the role of Lola on Broadway), J. Harrison Ghee, Wayne Brady, and Todrick Hall, Raspberry found that he had some big shoes to fill. “There’ve been many iconic people who have played this role,” Raspberry laughed, “I definitely believe I’m giving a great homage to Billy Porter, who set the bar really high. I believe I’m bringing a little bit of the previous performers into this role, but also a lot of myself, as well. I’ve developed my own idea of who Lola is, and for me Lola stems from the strong women from my own family – my mother, my grandmother, my aunts. Lola also stems from the iconic artists of our times such as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Patti LaBelle.”

Raspberry grew up in the Washington DC-Maryland-Virginia area before eventually settling into Prince Georges County for high school. After attending Suitland High School, where he studied in the visual arts program, Raspberry went on to eventually attend the Boston Conservatory for opera performance. “I realized that I enjoyed singing classical music. It wasn’t until high school that I started taking voice lessons. I always sang in choirs as a kid, but I took it seriously in high school. I then made the decision that I was going to attend a conservatory, and that music was something I definitely wanted to pursue.”

It wasn’t until Raspberry returned home that he eventually found a love for musical theatre. “I thought I’d give musical theatre a try and found that I really was good at it. I found a new love in musical theatre.”

For more information on Kinky Boots, visit Tobysdinnertheatre.com.

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Author Profile

Adam Romanik
Adam Romanik
Adam Romanik is the owner of Computer Solutions for Less, an IT consulting business. Adam has over 15 years experience working in the both the IT industry and libraries and has worked as an adjunct instructor at several educational institutions. Adam earned both a Bachelors & Masters degree in Library Science from Clarion University, has earned 24 graduate credits towards a second masters degree in Information Systems and is an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer).

Adam Romanik is also the president and founder of the Keystone State Gay Rodeo Association. He actively competes both on the International Gay Rodeo Association Circuit as well as locally in the mid-atlantic region.