Dallas — What better way to spend a summer evening than to put on a pair of your favorite glam sandals and catch a play at the Festival of Independent Theatres? Even better, make that a show about the love-love-love relationship between women and their shoes.
WingSpan Theater Company’s FIT entry this summer is documentary filmmaker and playwright Cynthia Salzman Mondell’s Shoe Confessions, a fresh and playful revue featuring a half-dozen classy middle-aged women looking back, looking forward, and generally reveling in the joys of shopping for the perfect shoes—and the dazzling dopamine effect of wearing those new stilettos to the gala. Stuff like that.
With wit and easy style, Susan Sargeant directs a cast of expressive comedy actors, each telling stories and singing about the shoes they’ve loved and lived with over the years, as they model a scrumptious variety of the objects of their desire—from Ferragamo boots to red-soled, black-patent Louboutin platforms. “Sole sisters” Whitney Holotik, Lorna Woodford, Laura Yancey, Candy Williams, Lulu Ward, and Sheila Rose recall it all, from the first pair of real shoes for a barefoot farm girl, to a pair of Jimmy Choo designer sandals delightfully charged to the credit card of a departing hubby.
The fun of the show is in the playfully expressed fetishism of the shoe-struck women. “Sometimes buying shoes is better than sex,” declares one knowing female. They sing of bridal shoes, and the pure delight of the search for the perfect shoe. They all agree the sure cure for a broken heart is a new pair of shoes. There’s even a paean to shoes as one woman’s personal pay-off for surviving chemo-therapy.
“Dearly beloved high heel, I’ve loved you since the first time I saw you,” says one woman, holding a pair of red shoes to her heart like a beloved child. Of course, as with all relationships, “there have been times when you have hurt me,” says another gal, recalling her swollen feet after dancing all night in four-inchers.
Barbara C. Cox costumes her exuberant women in simple black outfits with red accents, with room to change footwear frequently and gracefully. Lowell Sargeant’s upbeat sound design and delicious film footage of shoes to die for adds to the femme fun of the evening.
“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world,” said Marilyn Monroe.
The “sole sisters” would agree.
» Shoe Confessions continues in the following blocks:
- 8 p.m. Saturday, July 25
- 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1
» Read our interview with Susan Sargeant of WingSpan Theatre Company:
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