Goof: Todd Clark leaves Guilford to star in “Kinky Boots”

Recently%2C+Guilford+College%E2%80%99s+Vice+President+of+Student+Affairs+and+Dean+of+Students+Todd+Clark+left+to+star+in+the+Broadway+production+of+%E2%80%9CKinky+Boots.%E2%80%9D+%2F%2FPhoto+courtesy+of+Beatriz+Caldas
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Goof: Todd Clark leaves Guilford to star in “Kinky Boots”

Recently, Guilford College’s Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Todd Clark left to star in the Broadway production of “Kinky Boots.” //Photo courtesy of Beatriz Caldas

Recently, Guilford College’s Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Todd Clark left to star in the Broadway production of “Kinky Boots.” //Photo courtesy of Beatriz Caldas

Recently, Guilford College’s Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Todd Clark left to star in the Broadway production of “Kinky Boots.” //Photo courtesy of Beatriz Caldas

Recently, Guilford College’s Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Todd Clark left to star in the Broadway production of “Kinky Boots.” //Photo courtesy of Beatriz Caldas

Disclaimer: This story is a part of out April Fool’s edition, The Goofordian. This story was created by Guilfordian Staff and is not based in fact.

It looks like saving a shoe factory has become Todd Clark’s new passion and priority. The Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students has recently announced that he will be saying goodbye to his “favorite” campus to make a dream come true.

“Since I was seven, I dreamed that one day I would star in a Broadway show,” Clark said. “The day has finally come.”

Clark is set to begin his run on the acclaimed “Kinky Boots” on May 25. The musical, which is inspired by true events, tells the story of Charlie Price. Price inherits his father’s shoe factory, “Price and Son,” but to his dismay, discovers that the factory is close to bankruptcy. To save his father’s legacy, Price forms a partnership with a cabaret performer and drag queen named Lola.

In 2013, during its original run, “Kinky Boots” was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and won six, including the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Stark Sands originated the role of Charlie Price on Broadway, followed by other celebrities, such as Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie. Now, Charlie will be portrayed by one of Guilford’s finest.

“I wasn’t planning on leaving the College anytime soon,” said Clark. “But I visited New York City over winter break and something told me I needed more in my life than just … this.”

A few weeks before classes began, Clark found out through a friend that Cyndi Lauper, composer and lyricist of the musical, was looking for a fresh face.

“I went in the audition thinking, ‘This is all just a big joke,’” said Clark. “But as soon as I stepped on that stage and started singing, my heart told me that this is what I should be doing. I have always loved theater, and this is the opportunity I needed to show the world what I’m capable of.”

The Guilfordian received exclusive access to Clark’s rehearsal at the Al Hirschfeld Theater in New York City over spring break. The ensemble was going over the last song of Act 1, “Everybody Say Yeah.”

“Todd is already in sync with everyone in the cast,” said director Neil Patrick Harris. “He came out of nowhere with this amazing voice, and all I could think was, ‘Where have you been all of this time?’

“I know this is going to be a big transformation for Broadway. He brings so much passion to the role of Charlie. I have never seen anything like it in my entire life. We are very lucky to be working with him.”

Lauper also complimented Clark.

“I had tears in my eyes when Todd sang ‘Charlie’s Soliloquy,’” said Lauper. “He has so much to share with others. Part of me wishes we had found him a long time ago, because I wish he were part of the cast album. Everyone should be able to hear him before they die.”

Clark has had previous experiences with theater, but nothing like a Broadway show. However, the challenge does not scare him at all.

“I know eight shows a week sounds like too much,” said Clark. “But when you do something that you truly love, you don’t even notice how tired you are. All you can think about is getting to be someone else every day and making people happy. They will be coming all over the world just to see you. This is truly a blessing.”

Although happy to be embarking on a new journey, Clark is also nostalgic.

“Guilford College was my home for so many years now,” he said. “I’m sure it will be difficult to say goodbye to the students and to the staff I work with, but I have now given them a reason to come to New York.”

President Jane Fernandes released an announcement by email to the community on March 23 about Clark’s decision to leave. A farewell party will be held the night before graduation, and all students are invited.

“Here at Guilford, we celebrate our own,” said Fernandes. “Seeing Todd this happy makes me happy as well. I wish him all the success in the world.”

When asked about who will be replacing Clark as vice president of student affairs and dean of students, Fernandes said the administration is still waiting to open a job application on Guilford’s website. But some believe that there is no point in hiring someone else.

“Nobody can fill Todd’s shoes,” said sophomore Holden McGroin. “They are too big and too bright.”

McGroin is right. Clark is indeed wearing big, bright, red shoes.

“Oh, I’m not too concerned about the heels,” said Clark. “I’ve been practicing with my wife’s high heels at home, and I must say, I’m a natural.”

You can catch Clark in “Kinky Boots” starting this summer at the Al Hirschfeld Theater on 302 West 45th Street. Tickets are already on sale at www.broadway.com.

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