Director Sam Horak went hands-on with Theresa Rebek's Spike Heels. Though many Fringe productions are original works, Horak (who recently directed and co-produced Sissydude: a dandy rock musical) has loved the piece since high school and felt the need to vindicate the play after seeing a less than satisfying Toronto production. Though Spike Heels is dear to her heart, especially Rebek's Georgie character, Horak didn't shy away from making the play her own.
"During the process the cast, crew and I attacked this play like auteurs, changed the ending, added in musical bits and even more scandalous make-out scenes and pretty much cut and tore the play apart," says Horak. "I had a very open approach and encouraged the actors to feel free to suggest and change aspects of the play that they didn't feel they connected with."
Starring Sean LePine as Andrew, Marina Maye Gwynne as Georgie, comedian Megan McKay as Lydia and Jimmy Jazz as Edward, Horak says the production may hit on some themes close to home for locals. Set in an apartment, Spike Heels is a reworking of Shaw's Pygmalion, dealing with feminism, sexual politics and power structures in relationships.
"It takes on that claustrophobic, incestuous nature of the Halifax community," says Horak. "We even added an extra make-out scene between the two female characters which developed somewhat spontaneously through rehearsals. This additional scene heightens the tension of the love triangle turning [it] into more of a love square."
Horak adds an element of rock 'n' roll to the piece, bringing the '90s era play into 2013. "There are still gender roles ingrained into our society, especially when the topic of sex is brought up," says Horak. "I think the character of Georgie attacks these notions and helps to further the question of what sex really means in our society to both males and females.
"This play has sex, wit and rock 'n' roll. what more could you want from theatre?"