Updated: Dec 2, 2021
By: SHEA ROBARDS / STAFF WRITER
[For a comprehensive review of the return to live theatre at LIU and beyond, please read our article The Global Return of Theatre Thus Far.]
Long Island University had a delightful experience this past Friday evening to see the reworks of the play "Spike Heel" in it's own black box theatre located in the Humanities building.
The play, which was originally directed by Theresa Rebeck in 1992, is a contemporary comedy that expresses the issues of sexual harassment, as well as the manipulation and control of women.
However, while the piece expressed major social issues, it was also a work that created a sense of self-determination and identity.
Rebeck, best known for her work on the NYPD Blue and for creating the NBC series “Smash”, was the inspiration for the Long Island University Senior Actor and director Alexa Hinton.
Auditions for the show started in August, thus beginning the process to recreate the works of "Spike Heels" in a new way of expression for her audience.
Hinton connected and worked with each member of the crew throughout the months of rehearsal to build on the story Rebeck created.
Audience members were delighted throughout the night in part because of the well thought out setup of the stage placement and how fluid the actors were with the small stage technicalities that were extremely eye catching.
The actors, Leah Fahim, Bodi Johnson, Brady Marchak, and Anna Grace Crawford, performed splendidly with each portraying their character with the spark and charisma needed to speak volumes of the issues expressed in the play.
Hinton later stated after the show that the original piece is "still very powerful and very correct for our time right now".
The process of this show was the foundation for everything, with many of the actors choosing to read the books that were used throughout the show, as well examining the original script to better understand the characters they were representing.
Bodi Johnson, who played the character of Andrew, expressed brilliantly how it was working with Hinton saying, “[it was] our collective job to connect all the little bridges in-between everything.” Johnson speaks of both the connections between the book Pygmalion and the script of Spike Heels and the connections between the cast and the audience to which both were masterfully created.
“There’s always work to be done”, said Fahim after the performance covering the topic of how well the performance went in their personal opinions.
The well needed close-up space allowed the actors to express their characters' emotions thoroughly, and the absence of microphones allowed each of the actors to have an earthy texture to their voices and take their voices to higher places.
Although it was a last minute change to be placed in the small confines of the Black Box theatre, the nerves were outweighed by the confidence and familiarity of each other’s practice and dedication.
The show started and ended with a crash and had the audience laughing along with the well-placed jokes resulting in a night well spent at the theatre.