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ppv_kinkyboots.jpg"Now what's a nice girl like you wanna be a gorilla for?" The conversation between pop star Cyndi Lauper and Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein has turned to doomed jobs and unemployment -- two themes that pop up in the odd couple's new stage adaptation of the 2005 film Kinky Boots, debuting on Broadway this month. Lauper is talking about the time she got turned down for the Gorilla Girl job at the Great Adventure theme park. Fierstein, as it turns out, was lousy at selling encyclopedias door-to-door: "That lasted two days."

Lauper wrote the music and lyrics, and Fierstein wrote the book for Kinky Boots which also happens to be about an odd couple -- the straitlaced Charlie who's struggling to save his father's shoe factory, and Lola, the glamazon drag queen who convinces him to ditch the boring loafers and start making fetish footwear. Having labored over the production for the last four years, the two have the easy rapport of old friends. When asked how the collaboration came about, Lauper answers in her signature Betty Boop-by-way-of-Queens lilt: "Harvey called me on the phone. He said, 'What are you doin'?' I said, 'Nuthin.'"

ppv_kinkyboots2.jpgKinky Boots' years-long road to Broadway hasn't diminished Fierstein's excitement for the production process. Halfway through our interview, he grabs us by the hand and drags us from the lobby into the theater for a sneak peek. The number we saw was a big, brassy foot-stomper -- think Gilbert and Sullivan meets campy Studio 54 disco glitz. If you believe the film version of Kinky Boots, the best way to fix a crumbling manufacturing infrastructure is by adding a dash of drag fabulousness. And if you believe Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein, the best way to turn a small indie film into Broadway gold is to add even more.

Kinky Boots opens April 4th at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302 W. 45th St., New York.

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