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Despite its title, there isn't an inordinate amount of kink in "Kinky Boots," which premiered at the Fisher Theatre Friday.

There are drag queens, wildly elaborate costumes and yes, many pairs of fetish-y boots, but the book doesn't delve too deeply into what it all means. Rather, the musical, with book by Harvey Fierstein and music by Cyndi Lauper, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, is an entertaining morality tale.

The message — "accept others as they are" — may be overly familiar, but credit "Kinky Boots" for entertaining us on the way to an expected destination.

After so many movies and musicals with a drag queen as the central character ("Priscilla, Queen of the Jungle," "La Cages aux Folles,"), it's easy to believe the character Lola (Kyle Taylor Parker) when he tells Charlie (Steven Booth), "You're never more than 12 steps away from some sort of cross-dresser."

"Kinky Boots" tells the story of Charlie, heir to a struggling, high-end shoe factory in Northampton, England. Puzzling over how he's going to be able to save the jobs of his workers, Charlie runs into Lola, a drag queen with a problem — he can't find flashy, stiletto footwear appropriate to his stage act that will withstand a man's weight.

Charlie has an aha moment, realizing he could turn production over to "kinky boots" and sell them to an underserved market — drag queens. He insists that Lola accompany him to gritty Northampton and become his designer for the new line. Along the way, there are romantic entanglements for Charlie; a self-absorbed girlfriend, Nicola (Grace Stockdale) who is enraged that he won't dump the factory and move to London with her, and a plucky factory girl, Lauren (Lindsay Nicole Chambers), who nurses a crush on the boss. It all ends up in Milan as Charlie presents his new line and all the loose narrative ends are tied up.

The musical is based upon a 2005 movie that itself was based more or less on a true story.

It's impossible to resist Parker, who understudied the role of Lola in the Broadway production (which opened in March 2013), and when he is dancing with his "Angels" — high-stepping, acrobatic drag queens dressed in wonderfully over-the-top costumes — the show goes airborne. Lola also gets many of Fierstein's best lines, such as his greeting to the audience: "Ladies, gentlemen, and those who have yet to make up their minds."

In the considerably less flashy role of Charlie, Booth is tireless and charming, although it's a little eerie (and no fault of his) that some of his songs sound a little too much like Cyndi Lauper's style. In the finale, Booth and Parker give it their all, and it's a lot of fun to watch the entire cast booted and dancing. Chambers as Lauren is a live wire, although apart from "The History of Wrong Guys," her star turn, the role has her on the sidelines.

The supporting actors are strong, with a diversity of types among the factory workers that give the musical a grounding in reality.

That effervescent '80s pop sound that Lauper writes so effortlessly works for the most part, giving a retro sheen to the story. Particularly fine are "The Sex is in the Heel," with Lola and the Angels explaining to Charlie and his motley crew of factory workers why a flat-heeled boot won't work; "What a Woman Wants," enumerating the eternal battle of the sexes; the joyful ensemble "Everybody Say Yeah," and "Soul of a Man," a classic '80s power ballad.

"Kinky Boots" is at the Fisher until Jan. 25. Go to broadwayindetroit.com for ticket details.

swhitall@detroitnews.com

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