I started to write a post on theatre in Los Angeles, but realized that I wanted to spend more time on it than I had. So for now let me say this: there is an immense amount of theatre in Los Angeles, and in general it gets a bad wrap. Shows like Spike Heels, however, are doing everything they can to combat that perception.
Spike Heels is playing this weekend and next (June 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27) at Theatre 68 in Hollywood, and I would highly recommend that you go check it out. The play itself was written by Theresa Rebeck in 1990, and 2 years later opened in New York starring Kevin Bacon as Edward. Directed by Robert Marra, Spike Heels points a keen eye on sex, relationships, and gender dynamics in life and in the workplace, with an emphasis on the myriad difficulties women face in particular.
For starters, the technical aspects of the play are wonderful (mad props to the technical team, including Danny Cistone as set designer and Matt Richter designing the lighting). Music is used perfectly to set the mood both prior to and during the play, and the fully realized set very much brings the audience into the world of the characters. My only complaint on that front is that the actors were staged behind the furniture a bit much for my taste, detracting a tad from their performances.
More than anything, though, wonderful acting by the ensemble cast provides a through line to the show. The energy of the play is sustained throughout, despite a smaller audience the night I went (fellow actors will appreciate the particular challenge in doing so). Lydia joins the cast in act two, but Alexis Boozer delivers a wholly crafted performance despite her short amount of stage time. As her fiancée Andrew, James McAndrew provides the most conflicted of the characters, endeavoring to be the moral compass of his friends, ultimately realizing the life isn’t quite as cut and dry as he’d like it to be. Unfortunately for him, life cannot always be reasoned with. Carolina Groppa (also the producer of the play) as the impulsive Georgie drives the energy–both sexual and not :)–though the play, delivering a delightfully charming performance. If we learn anything from the show it’s that, as Georgie says, “sex was never this complicated in high school.” Lastly, Daniel Kash as the smooth-talking lawyer Edward is, pardon my French, freaking hysterical. Go see the show if for no other reason than to see Kash’s smarmy brilliance.
As with any show, Spike Heels was not perfect, but the commitment and energy of the show more than make up for its flaws. If you’re looking for something to do this weekend or next, get your keester over to Theatre 68.
To purchase tickets and get more information please visit this Plays 411 link.