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'Kinky Boots' Makeup Artist, Hair Stylist And Costume Designer Talk Wigs & RuPaul (PHOTOS)

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What do you get when you put a drag queen, a shoemaker and lots of glitter on stage? A Broadway production of "Kinky Boots," of course! The musical, based on a 2005 film, tells the story of an almost bankrupt shoe factory owner, Charlie (Stark Sands), who partners with a British drag queen, Lola (Billy Porter), to produce women’s footwear especially for men’s feet.

The show, which receiveda slew of Tony Award nominations, has been praised for its great score (written by Cyndi Lauper) and high energy performances.

Lucky for us, we caught up with "Kinky Boots" makeup artist Randy Houston Mercer, costume designer Gregg Barnes and hair designer Josh Marquette to find out what really goes on behind the scenes. Here are the five most interesting things we learned:

  1. When we asked Mercer the inspiration behind his makeup looks, he was quick to respond: "I was basing it on Whitney. I was basing it on Beyoncé. I was basing it on RuPaul. I was trying a whole gamut of things to see where I wanted it to land, but I knew from the very beginning that I wanted all the angels, and Billy, to be more fashion and beauty-oriented than drag... I wanted to be more editorial."
  2. According to Marquette, there are 45 wigs in the musical, and the crew of people who maintain them arrive four hours before the start of each show to curl and prep the human and synthetic hair.
  3. Barnes revealed that there have been quite a few broken heels during the show's run (not to mention one or two broken toes), which forced the costume designers to "reinvestigate everything about the shape of the last [and] the balance of the platform." As it stands now, "the only person who wears a real stiletto is Billy Porter" (it's 5 and a half inches tall), while the cast wears fatter heels. Though fewer heels have snapped recently, the head of wardrobe still goes to the cobbler every single day to preserve the shoes.
  4. It takes 45 minutes to lace up the boots used in the production because they are so tall.
  5. Given that the actors have to dance in stilettos, they have daily physical therapy for their feet.

Check out some photos from the show:

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