Mother’s Day Gift

Billy Porter, "Kinky Boots"

In the spring of 1997 I took my Mom to see three of the Tony-nominated musicals that year – ‘Steel Pier’, ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ and ‘Titanic’. It was a tradition for at least two or three years to take in a Broadway show together. (For the record, I enjoyed ‘Titanic’ best, with ‘Steel Pier’ coming in a close second – thanks mostly to Kristin Chenoweth’s scene-stealing coloratura. ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ was a bit of a let-down, but Linda Eder was in it and she’s amazing in anything.) In many respects, I have my Mom to thank for my love of musical theater. From ‘Peter Pan’ to ‘Into the Woods’ to ‘Jerome Robbins’ Broadway’, some of my most prominent childhood memories involve seeing shows with her.

This year, I’m resurrecting the ritual by taking her to see ‘Kinky Boots’ and ‘Pippin’ next month. And for anyone raising an eyebrow at me attending a show entitled ‘Kinky Boots’ with my mother, let me assure you it will be all right: I’ve seen more full-frontal male nudity on the Broadway stage with my Mom than just about anyone else, no lie. (From ‘Six Degrees of Separation to ‘Love! Valour! Compassion!’ and an Oscar Wilde play or two…)

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