‘Kinky Boots’ cast set to kick up their heels for Pittsburgh CLO

Pittsburgh CLO has announced the full cast that will high step into next week with its first production of Kinky Boots.

Previously announced Darius Harper as drag queen Lola, the role that garnered Billy Porter a Tony Award, and Brian Sears as Charlie Price are joined by two performers who will be familiar to Pittsburgh audiences but one making his CLO debut – Wali Jamal – who is best known for his work in August Wilson plays. 

Jamal will play factory manager George, who spurs the unlikely partnership between Lola and Charlie, when he conceives a way to make sexy boots with heels that will support all shapes and sizes. 

Jeff Howell, like Jamal, a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Performer of the Year, is a CLO stalwart, including Oz in The Wizard of Oz at Heinz Field.

Another Pittsburgh veteran of local theater and dance companies, LaTrea Rembert, is the company’s dance captain and ensemble member, as well as playing Simon Sr. 

Brooklyn, N.Y., native Savannah Lee Birdsong, a rising junior at Carnegie Mellon University, makes her CLO debut as Lauren, who rises to the occasion for Charlie and his shoe factory, and delivers the comedic song “The History of Wrong Guys.”

The cast includes Broadway and off-Broadway veteran David Aron Damane (Don), Gina Milo (Nicola), Jarod Bakum (Harry, ensemble), Alec Ludacka (CMU; Richard Bailey, ensemble), Pittsburgh native Lori Eve Marinacci (Trish, ensemble), Liana Nicole Monaco (Point Park; Milan Stage Manager, ensemble) and Saige Smith (Point Park; Pat, ensemble).

The Kinky Boots Angels include Pittsburghers Nick Cortazzo and Mathew Fedorek; Point Park alums Cameron Edris, Jacob Paulson and Austin Schulte; and AJ Lockhart and Donovan Hoffer.

Playing young Charlie is 9-year-old Henry Thomas, and Tre’von Yancey as young Lola/Simon.

Returning for his third summer at CLO is Sky Bennett, who will be joined in the ensemble by Zoey Myers and Jessica Val Ortiz and the Angels – Lola’s drag queen colleagues.

And a nod to the usually unsung understudies and swings:

Pittsburgh native E. Clayton Cornelious, who played George in “The Drowsy Chaperone” to kick off CLO’s summer productions, is the standby for Lola, and will be seen in the company’s upcoming “Sister Act.” Swings include Ben Cherington, Zoey Johnson and Jerreme Rodriguez.

Pittsburgh CLO’s Kinky Boots is at the Benedum Center July5-10. Details and tickets: pittsburghclo.org.



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