Cyndi Lauper talks New York, Broadway and her musical Kinky Boots, coming soon to London...

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Broadway’s never been more popular than it is today. Last year the twinkling lights of theatreland in New York raked in over a billion dollars and hundreds of thousands of tourists enjoyed the huge variety of shows.

From Cabaret, with Alan Cumming and Emma Stone, to Sting’s new musical The Last Ship and quirky shows like Blue Man Group and Stomp through to classics like Mamma Mia – there's something for everyone.

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The latest show riding the crest of a popularity wave is the musical spin-off of Brit movie Kinky Boots. With music by eighties legend Cyndi Lauper – and an impressive cast led by the ridiculously talented Billy Porter in the role of effervescent drag queen Lola – the show won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, in 2013.

And the good news is – Kinky Boots is preparing to come to London at the start of 2015.

The show's musical genius, who wrote and performed classics including Take What You Got, Not My Father’s Son and the crowd pleasing Raise You Up/Just Be, tells HELLO! that she couldn’t wait to get the show to Broadway.

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"I always knew this was a great story, so it's not entirely surprising that the world has embraced the show and that it’s been such a success, but I think the level of success and the way I've been embraced by the Broadway community was definitely unexpected in the best possible way," says Cyndi. "It means everything to me to be accepted by Broadway – I've travelled the world, I've had ups and downs, but creating a show with wonderful people like Harvey (Fierstein) and Jerry (Mitchell) that makes audience members so incredibly happy has been rewarding in a way I have never experienced before."

New York-born Cyndi, 61, says after her Kinky Boots experience on Broadway she would even be happy for a show about her rollercoaster life.

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"Maybe one day a Cyndi show could work," she says. "Beautiful – The Carole King Musical is so great because you know all of Carole's songs, but the musical really tells you the backstory – how and why they were written, and everything she had to go through to become a successful songwriter, and that's inspiring to people. If a musical about my life using my music would be interesting to people then I'd love to see that happen one day."

Cyndi, who appeared on Broadway herself in Threepenny Opera in 2006, says there's never been a better time to visit the Big Apple. She explained: "New York is an amazing place – it’s got great restaurants, great museums and it’s really the only place you can see Broadway. It’s like no other place in the world.

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And did you know Broadway brought in more money last year than all of the NY Sports teams combined – how cool is that? I’m thrilled to have been involved with the show. It definitely feels like a big, wacky family!"

Now the star, who's had hits with Time After Time and True Colors, says she’s excited for the West End to experience Kinky Boots in London.

"I can't wait for London," she says enthusiastically. "Especially since the show takes place in England. I always say the show is like a happy factory - the audiences have such a great time and leave so entertained and happy. American audiences have embraced it in such a thrilling way and hopefully UK audiences will feel the same."

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For more information on the current season of Broadway musicals, including classics, revivals and new shows, visit broadwaycollection.com.

Don't wait to see Kinky Boots in the West End – use these top tips for where to stay, eat and visit during your stay in the Big Apple.

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HOTEL
The Strand Hotel is a real find for UK tourists. In an overcrowded city like New York it’s important to find somewhere that manages to give you solace and peace. The rooms aren’t too small – like so many NYC hotels – the staff are wonderfully attentive and the location, within the Fashion district on West 37th street between 5th and 6th Avenues could not be better.

And all this before you take into account the fact the hotel offers one of the most extraordinary views possible in the city. From the comfortable roof terrace you have an uninterrupted view of the Empire State Building that truly takes your breath away. thestrandnyc.com

 

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WALK BROADWAY
One of the latest carrots to entice the donkey, so to speak, is a walking tour of Broadway by Walks of New York. You quickly realise Broadway’s truly drenched in history and isn’t all about the LED advertising screens and neon lights of Times Square. walksofnewyork.com

EAT
Hanging on every wall of the main restaurant at Sardi's are caricatures of the famous faces that have frequented the restaurant over the years. The rules are simple – if you’ve been on Broadway, you should be on the wall and will be drawn by their in-house artiste when you swing by. In the heart of New York’s Theatre district, Sardi’s has been the toast of Broadway for over 90 years.  

NEW YORK BY BOAT
Get a whole new perspective on the city via the water of the Hudson River. NY Water Taxis do an amazing tour of the city’s iconic skyline and world famous landmarks including the Statue of Liberty aboard the Zephyr yacht. The Freedom Tower is truly mesmerising during the morning sun, you get a real sense of perspective of Mahattan and the lay out of the infamous buildings and not to mention the fact you get to see the Statue of Liberty in all it’s glory. nywatertaxi.com

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