'Kinky Boots,' Words And Music By Lauper, Is Up For 13 Awards

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The 67th Annual Tony Awards are set for Sunday, leading the pack of nominations is the musical “Kinky Boots,” with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper.

CBS 2’s Katie McGee talked with the pop icon about her success on Broadway.

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Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” hit the top of the charts in 1983 – 30 years ago. It became an anthem of sorts for women everywhere.

“Women are allowed to have a joyful experience in life, you know,” Lauper said. “It doesn’t have to be all toil and uh you know stay in line. You’re not a sheep.”

While the song launched Lauper’s career, she has continued to forge her own path in music, on TV, and as an author.

Now, Lauper is lending her talents to Broadway, earning a Tony nomination for her behind-the-scenes work on “Kinky Boots.” The hit musical is up for 13 Tonys in all this weekend.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Lauper said emotionally. “I know I’m a tough guy. I got a Mohawk. I’m not crying.”

She continued: “It’s amazing, because everybody’s being recognized for the work and the fact that what this shows says, it’s a bit of a fable. But the fact that it does have a message in a time when this message is very relevant — acceptance and understanding that you could have very different people with the same basic human being qualities.”

Lauper penned the music and lyrics for the show, based on the 2005 film. It is about two men who forge an unlikely friendship and shake things up to bring a failing shoe company back to success.

So how did she manage to take your background in pop music and the success that she has had there, and morph that into Broadway songs that forward the story and work so well in “Kinky Boots?”

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“You have to really work. You don’t always get it the first time, so you have to go back and get it the second,” she said.

And there are others who deserve a lot of credit, Lauper said.

“I had Harvey (Fierstein)… who dubbed me Christina. He was my mommy dearest – ‘Christina, where are my lyrics!?’ And Jerry (Mitchell), who said, ‘Well, I think the song is really good .but I think it doesn’t do anything.” And I’d be like… and I had to like really think about that,” Lauper said.

Lauper has found success in just about every corner of the entertainment business, and told McGee she would not have had it any other way.

“It’s been a quite a ride for me,” she said. “I’ve got to say I did a lot of twist and turns, and my career never went like anybody else’s. So after a while, I didn’t try to be like anybody else’s.”

Lauper will take the stage Sunday night to perform during the in memoriam portion of the Tonys telecast.

The Tony Awards air Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS 2. And Lauper is about to hit the road on her “She’s So Unusual” tour next week.

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