Cyndi Lauper: Tony Awards 2013 prove her night to have fun

Cyndi Lauper’s post-Tony Awards tweet was to the point: “I won!” she said succinctly Sunday night. And she underscored the victory with a fierce photo of herself with her freshly won Tony for the musical “Kinky Boots.”

The ‘80s pop star has proved her resilience, yes, time after time. She was back in the limelight Sunday at Radio City Music Hall after winning her first Tony for best score for “Kinky Boots,” which was also named best musical of 2013.

The Brooklyn-accent Lauper was as colorful as ever when she met with reporters backstage after winning her award.

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Lauper recalled how she was approached to work on “Kinky Boots” with Broadway juggernaut Harvey Fierstein, the multiple Tony winner and nominee. We’ll let Lauper take it from here:

“I had just come off one of those tours where you’re going out there bare-bones,” she said. “It was in Europe, and I was on a doubledecker bus ... being thrown around in the back every time the bus turned, like a bushel of vegetables, almost like [an ' I Love Lucy’] episode.

“He called me and he said, ‘I’m writing a book for a musical. How would you like to write the music?’ ” I said fine. That would be great.”

The musical is based on the small 2005 movie “Kinky Boots,” about a shoe factory owner who meets with an outsized entertainer.

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“I had always wanted to work with Harvey, and he walked me through it. And maybe ignorance is bliss because I didn’t think about it. I just saw the opportunity of what kind music I could do for those two characters....”

“I thought, ‘They’re going to the church of shoes, which I understand, not that I’m Imelda Marcos.’ ”

“I thought that this story was really bigger than me. You want to be involved in something that’s bigger. Maybe it’s like Dorothy. I click my ruby boots three times and say there’s no place like home, the Hirschfeld Theater and ‘Kinky Boots,’ there’s no place like home, Broadway and New York City.

“Diversity and acceptance has always made the city thrive, and that’s what makes ‘Kinky Boots’ thrive, and that’s what it’s about diversity and acceptance and that’s something worth rolling your sleeves up and toiling for no matter how many years.

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It was pointed out to Lauper that she is the first woman to win a Tony for score on her own, without sharing with a man.

“I guess I’m the first woman, so maybe I’d do it for my mother and my grandmother who could not have careers, [and] for all the women that’ll follow me, because there’ll be lots of them...

“You go around the world looking for acceptance. You forget that all you’ve got to do is look in your own backyard.”

Times staff writer Meredith Blake contributed to this story.

Follow @sherrystern on Twitter.


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