Mustang Laundry

Frances Griffey
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Click, click, click.

Hot pink pumps clack along the floor as she walks across the stage. The set is a typical living room; sofa, coffee table, bookshelves. Everything seems serene — until the woman in heels walks in.

“Spike Heels,” written by Theresa Rebeck, is a play that tells a hectic story of the relationships between four characters. The theatre and dance department production has profanity, romance, anger, blossoming (and crumbling) friendships and — of course — more than a few pairs of glamorous high heels.

“It’s this idea of this man who takes a woman under his wing and tries to transform her or make her over in his image of what she should be like,” director Heidi Nees said, “and the struggle and conflict that comes along with that.”

Georgie, the main character, a gorgeous, strong personality who has a loud voice, great style and an endearing fondness for the f-word. The dynamics between her, her friend Andrew, Andrew’s fiance Lydia and her boss Edward make for a hilarious show wherein the characters are at each other’s throat one minute and lovingly embracing each other the next.

Conflict immediately ensues when Georgie reveals to Andrew that after she turned down Edward’s sexual advances, he got upset and threatened her. Georgie soon forgives Edward, however, and decides to date him in order to make Andrew, for whom she had recently developed feelings, jealous.

Leaving a slur of profanities in her wake, Georgie blazes her own trail and learns to make decisions for herself.

“We all have different relationships and I think that there are characteristics of relationships that everybody will be able to identify with in this play,” Nees said.

Indeed, many audience members could relate to the characters and their situations.

“Watching the play was frustrating because I know how frustrating it is when you can’t put into words how you’re feeling and how stressful it is that you want to change but the other person’s not hearing it,” anthropology and geography senior Jesse Pozgay said.

For Pozgay, the play excellently depicted the reality of relationships and how absurd they can sometimes be.

“From a removed standpoint you’re like, ‘Okay, sit down,'” Pozgay said. “‘Just tell her that you don’t like her, that you love this other girl. Let’s just be honest. Don’t make it this whole complicated thing.’ But that’s just how it works.”

Nees described the play as a “dramedy,” and according to the audience’s frequent bursts of laughter, she was correct.

“It was really funny,” Pozgay said. “I laughed out loud a lot.”

But through fits of laughter, the plot touched on serious themes. Biological sciences senior Courtney Cape said the play shed light on sexism in a unique way.

“[Edward] was being super sexist and then they show the human side of him,” Cape said. “So it wasn’t a one-dimensional person. I think it was an interesting way to bring up a controversial topic in a way that’s not extremely attacking [toward men].”

Spoiler alert: In the end, things take an unexpected turn. Georgie, fed up with being controlled by Andrew, decides to take a real chance on Edward.

“I was antsy about what was going to happen next,” biological sciences sophomore Brandon Brown said. “I had a feeling of what was going to happen, but it didn’t happen the way I thought. That was refreshing.”

The audience grew attached to Georgie’s character, and many thought it was better she dated Edward instead of Andrew.

“The guy that wound up with her in the end was the one that didn’t feel like he needed to change her,” Cape said. “Even though he seemed like a jerk in the beginning, at least he was honest. Andrew was lying and trying to change her and own her. At least [Edward] was accepting.”

Pozgay was not satisfied with the play’s ending, but thought it was realistic. He didn’t like that Georgie ended up with Edward so quickly.

“It was on her terms, but at the same time it just feels weird,” he said. “I feel like she should have had more time by herself.”

Nees expected “Spike Heels” to resonate with viewers and make them seriously contemplate their own relationships. The show met her expectations.

“I hope audiences will take away from this just self-reflection about their own relationships and where they might be feeling imbalanced in those or within themselves because it’s really [about]
discovery of self worth and finding that worth within one’s self,” she said.

The moral of the story: “Don’t get involved in love triangles,” parks and recreation sophomore Rachel Staal said.

“Spike Heels” will be showing in Spanos Theatre at 8 p.m. May 7-9 and May 14-16. Tickets can be bought from the PAC box office or website.