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"Kinky Boots" suit "LIVE's" Michael Strahan

Written by Maria Sciullo on .

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We all knew Michael Strahan was a man of many talents, but could he dance in "Kinky Boots"? A national TV audience watching "LIVE With Kelly and Michael" this morning was treated to the sight of the 6-5, former NFL defensive end deftly working a pair of fire engine-red lace-ups in the finale of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical.

As part of the show's annual "Broadway on LIVE" week, the big guy took the stage for several walk-on roles at last Tuesday's performance at the Hirschfeld Theater in New York City. A taped segment on "LIVE" showed him running through a rehearsal earlier in the day, then speaking a couple of lines, first as a delivery man and then as a factory worker.

"Kinky Boots," which stars Pittsburgh native (and 2013 Tony winner) Billy Porter as a drag queen who teams up with the baffled owner of a small British shoe factory (Stark Sands) to save the company, has an especially wild dance number at the end.

Strahan wobbled a bit as he stepped onto risers for the big finale, then showed surprising grace in tackling132915 31355 the choreography. The "LIVE" audience, watching the taped segment on monitors from a studio in midtown Manhattan, roared its approval.

"He's a big guy, and these make him even bigger," said Michael Gelman, "LIVE" executive producer."

Other shows during Broadway Week this year featured Kelly Ripa dancing the "Stepsisters' Lament" in the studio with the cast of "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella," "Motown the Musical's" group of Temptations singing "My Girl" with Strahan, and Ripa getting a workout during a rehearsal of "Pippin."

Carnegie Mellon University graduate Patina Miller (Tony winner for best actress in a musical this year), gave Ripa advice on dancing like Fosse, and Ripa confided to the cameras that she hated Miller for being so talented and beautiful, yet desperately wanted to be her best friend.

Tomorrow, the Broadway week concludes with the four actresses who portray the title character in "Matilda" singing "Naughty."

"Broadway on LIVE" as gotten more elaborate in recent years but it's a highlight for all involved, Gelman said

"With pretaping and editing, it does take a lot of work to put all this together... there is a lot of coordinating with their [the Broadway actors'] schedules because they've got shows to do...

"Luckily, my producer who I assigned this to, John Ogle, he's a real Broadway aficionado and a great field producer. This has kind of been his baby for the last couple of months."

It also helps that the "LIVE" co-hosts are game for anything, he added.

"They are willing to put themselves out, trying all this stuff.  It always surprises me: Kelly and Michael are both such confident and talented performers, but when it comes to Broadway, they both get butterflies."

 

 

 

 

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