Story: Charlie Price is the fourth generation of his family to work in their Price & Sons shoe company in Northampton, England. The business once was robust but now has fallen on hard times because of competition from the global market for its high-quality and pricy but increasingly unpopular men’s shoes. While the adult Charlie is proud of his father and family legacy he has no interest in the business.

In London, a young lad named Simon incurs the wrath of his father for his fascination with women’s shoes. His dad trains him to be the champion boxer the father wanted to be but never was. The adult Simon eventually is able to express himself as Lola, a drag queen at a popular nightclub.

Charlie moves to London with his ambitious fiancée Nicola to go into real estate. While there he tries to stop the mugging of a woman but instead is beaten himself. When he awakens, he realizes that the ‘woman’ he attempted to rescue is Lola. Charlie notices that Lola’s high-heeled boots are designed for women and too weak to support a man’s weight, something Lola has accepted as inevitable.

When Charlie’s father dies unexpectedly, Charlie returns home to the factory to assess the business. He decides it needs to be shuttered, but the prodding of a young worker named Lauren convinces him to go after a ‘niche’ market.

Inspired by Lola, he plans to manufacture a line of women’s “kinky boots” which are designed to carry the weight of a man. He asks Lola to create the actual designs while Charlie crafts the final products, despite the opposition of his macho factory foreman Don.

There’s a major catch, though: Charlie needs the finished product in time for a shoe show in Milan in less than three weeks. Can he and Lola save Price & Company and the jobs it holds for its many long-time and faithful employees?

Highlights: The Muny, fresh off its smashing success with last year’s first regional production of Jersey Boys, scores again with its fresh, dazzling and vivacious premiere regional presentation of another Broadway hit, Kinky Boots.

Other Info: Blending the considerable talents of pop composer Cyndi Lauper and writer Harvey Fierstein (Hairspray, Torch Song Trilogy), Kinky Boots is a fun-filled frolic which benefits from the directorial re-creation at The Muny by DB Bonds of the original Broadway direction by Jerry Mitchell.

In his program column, Muny artistic director and executive producer Mike Isaacson notes that Mitchell is a Webster University alumnus who worked for such legendary names as Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse and Michael Bennett. Isaacson himself produced both Mitchell’s first Broadway directing effort as well as his initial Broadway choreographing assignment.

Hal Luftig, one of the producers of the original Kinky Boots Broadway musical which opened in 2013 and won six Tony Awards including Best Musical, saw two of The Muny’s productions last summer and, says Isaacson, “so wanted The Muny to be the first to produce his beloved show,” which ran for more than 2,500 performances on Broadway before closing two months ago.

Several of the principal players, including Graham Scott Fleming as Charlie, J. Harrison Ghee as Lola, Caroline Bowman as Nicola and Paul Whitty as Don, all are making their Muny debuts with this splashy presentation, which utilizes many of the elements upgraded and refurbished under The Muny remodeling.

Missouri native Taylor Louderman reprises her role as Lauren from the Broadway show, taking time off from her present part in Mean Girls on The Great White Way, and Muny veteran John Scherer returns to the Forest Park stage in the role of factory manager George.

Ghee and Louderman steal much of the thunder in The Muny’s daring regional premiere. The former fully embodies the brash, bold and passionate aspects of drag queen Lola while also toning his exuberance down long enough to appear as Charlie’s pants-wearing associate Simon. Ghee performed in the international tour of Kinky Boots and is quite familiar with the material.

Likewise, Louderman’s interpretation of the practical and intuitive Lauren is especially humorous when the factory worker realizes she’s falling for the boss. She’s hilarious in the energetic and witty Act I number, The History of Wrong Guys, shaping the tune with lusty physical comedy.

There’s good work as well by Fleming as the good-hearted if sometimes slow-thinking Charlie and by Whitty as the stereotypical blue-collar worker who reveals a capacity for change that tolerates not only Lola but Charlie as well. Scherer is entertaining as the fastidious George and Bowman nicely handles the diminished role of Nicola.

Rusty Mowery re-creates Mitchell’s pulsating original choreography highlighted by numbers featuring Lola’s “angels” comprised of Callan Bergmann, Ian Fitzgerald, Valton Jackson, Jacob Lacopo, Michael Olaribigbe, Kyle Post, Ricky Schroeder and Joey Taranto, all bathed in the spectacular rainbow of luminescence in Nathan W. Scheuer’s impressive lighting.

Gregg Barnes’ costume design is showcased in Lola’s fabulous outfits while Michael Schweikardt’s scenic design fully represents the Price factory, both inside and out, extended around corners courtesy of Shawn Duan’s video design. It also comes alive at the Milan runway with brackets of electrified boot signs.

Musical director Ryan Fielding Garrett and his orchestra fill the air with the melodic sounds of Lauper’s enchanting tunes, even if the ballads get old after a while. Josh Marquette and Kelley Jordan contribute the original wig design and additional wig design, respectively, and the sound design is provided by John Shivers & David Patridge.

Bonds elicits plenty of enthusiasm and energy from his large ensemble as well, which includes Patrick Oliver Jones, Victor Landon, Khaydn M. Adams, Omega Jones, Holly Davis, Ross Lekites, Jen Perry, Anthony Sagaria and Zoe Vonder Haar as well as The Muny Youth Ensemble.

The Muny’s Kinky Boots kicks up a fast-moving good time in the show’s first production in the United States outside of Broadway.

Musical: Kinky Boots

Company: The Muny

Venue: The Muny in Forest Park

Dates: Through June 25

Tickets: Free to $100; contact 534-1111 or metrotix.com

Rating: A 4 on a scale of 1-to-5.

Photos courtesy of Phillip Hamer