How Broadway Producer Daryl Roth Acquired the Rights to 'Kinky Boots'

November 9, 2017

I went to hear 11-time Tony Award Winning Producer Daryl Roth speak at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.  She was interviewed by former Theater Critic, Linda Winer, in an event organized by the League of Professional Theatre Women.

 

 What intrigued me was her story about how Kinky Boots, with now almost 2,000 performances under its belt, came to Broadway.

 

Daryl was at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006 when she saw a screening of a film called Kinky Boots. The title piqued her interest. Halfway through she felt this had to be a musical on Broadway. During the credit roll, Daryl noticed the film was produced by Miramax/Disney. So after it was over, she immediately called her son, Jordan, who heads Jujamcyn Theaters. She wanted him to help her get Disney’s attention to acquire the rights to Kinky Boots.

 

As it turns out, Miramax/Disney soon split – which meant Disney got to keep Kinky Boots. The company, Roth explains, didn’t want to keep the movie because it didn’t fit its brand. That’s how she ended up with the rights.

 

Daryl first called Harvey Fierstein to write the book; then Jerry Mitchell to direct and choreograph. All she needed was someone to write the music.  After a few rounds of auditions, Harvey recommended Cyndi Lauper and the rest is history.

 

The show is now being mounted in Germany and set to open in December.

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