If you missed it last July at Halifax Pride's Queer Acts Festival, Sissydude: a dandy rock musical—ode to Halifax's north end, hoarding and dysfunction—is being remounted in all its camp glory February 14-17.
Featuring lead actor and playwright Ian Mullan, Sissydude tells the story of Jamie, a character whom Mullan describes as "somewhere between drag queen and confirmed bachelor" who is forced to reassess his life path after roommates Laurie and Frank (Michelle Skelding and Conor Purdy) move into his Gottingen Street apartment.
Director and co-producer Sam Horak and technical director Adrian Bruhm collaborated with Mullan, bringing their knowledge of the local scene to the table. Together they reworked the play for this run, adding in new songs and tightening up story lines.
"Queer Acts was a great starting point, but we wanted to have a bit more say in it this time, we didn't want to constrain it to just one hour," says Bruhm. "So we added four new songs, there's an intermission, which is kind of nice and there's more of a conclusion to the first act."
Bruhm considers the set construction a major change with this performance, and with good reason. "Last time the set had to be be put up and torn down in 15 minutes, this time it's more stable," Bruhm says. One performance during Queer Acts proved particularly disastrous. "The set fell down, but all Ian had to say was 'What a shithole' and the audience lost it. If anything goes wrong this time, he can handle it."
Sissydude: a dandy rock musical
February 14-17, 8pm, $15
the Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen Street