Giddy.

You’ll feel absolutely giddy leaving “Kinky Boots,” which Broadway in Tucson presents through Sunday. It opened Tuesday to a packed house at Centennial Hall.

Cyndi Lauper’s score, full of wit and swagger, is one reason.

Harvey Fierstein’s script, though sometimes a tad too sentimental, is another.

But mostly it’s because of a cast that embraced the material, delivered it with heart and honesty, and gave us full characters even when there were no lines.

The story is pulled from a small indie film about a man who saves his family’s shoe company when he teams up with a drag queen to make high-heeled boots strong enough to support a man.

Yup, “Kinky” is kind of kookie.

Lola is the drag queen decked out in sequins and walking a straight line in spite of the 6-inch-or-so heels. Out of drag, Lola is Simon, a tortured man rejected by his father and unsure of who he is when he has trousers on. Timothy Ware’s contrast between his Lola and his Simon was striking. As Lola, no one messed with her. She strutted with confidence and strength, and demanded respect. As Simon, he looked frail and small; he was unsure of who he was or what his place was. Ware, who played the role on Broadway as a stand-in for Tony-winner Billy Porter, made the audience fall in love with him immediately. And that’s not because it’s so easy to fall in love with a sassy drag queen — it is, you know. It’s because he oozes truth. You believe every pause, every word. And he is a pretty gorgeous she.

Many standing next to Ware as Lola would fade away. Not so Curt Hansen, who played the shoe factory owner desperate to find a way to keep paychecks in his employees’ pockets and his father’s legacy alive. Curt has a charm that at one point turns vicious; it is a testament to Hansen’s skill that he still kept the audience on his side. He made it clear that the character’s ugly burst of anger in the second act was the result of fear and loss, not a black heart.

Curt’s love interest is the goosey Lauren, who works at the factory and figures Curt is out of her league. Julia McLellan stepped in for an ill Rose Hemingway on opening night and she made it look as though the part is hers alone. She was goofy and beguiling.

Much of the cheering Tuesday was for Lola’s backup singers, called Angels. The men in drag kicked high, wore bouncy short skirts and had an abundance of attitude. They were worth cheering for. Some of those loudest cheers came from a half dozen or so decked-out local drag queens scattered throughout the theater. They are not part of the play; they were just there as enthusiastic audience members. But there was something so right about seeing a 6-foot-plus blonde in a flowing dress, perfect makeup, whiskers and solid biceps weave in and out of a crowd of theater goers that smiled and made way for them.

Here’s the thing about “Kinky Boots” — it’s a bit derivative (you know, uptight guy learns to loosen up and feel thanks to a struttin’ drag queen), sometimes didactic. But the music is infectious (“Raise You Up” will make you want to rise up), the talent is immense, and the message at the heart should be said over and over: We are who we are, we love who we love. Accept and embrace our differences.

So, there’s nothing really kinky about this musical.

It’s life-affirming and sweet and lovely.

And that’ll surely make you giddy.

Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at kallen@tucson.com