I wrote my dark, outrageous comedy, The Lady in Shoes from Hell about 30 years ago. But it was not until I showed it to Rosemary Doyle, the Artistic Director of the Red Sandcastle Theatre, was the work to be fully realized, and imaginatively presented.
The Lady in Shoes from Hell is a Texas tale—simple, diabolical, and sexually impure.
It’s the 1950s. While working in a West Texas cafe, located on the side of a desolate highway, a waitress doesn’t like her tip, kills a cowboy, steals his truck, and speeds off on a wild killing spree that decimates the male population of three states. But this is no ordinary serial killer. In the newly-born atomic age, Thelma is a woman awash in a high-octane obsession, on a sensational journey that takes her to the heart of quantum physics, wrenching apart the forces that bind human love. And that’s even before the audience is properly seated!
In The Lady in Shoes from Hell, wit flies like bullets, and the stage is filled with indecent sex scenes, deadly car chases, graphic lingerie and suggestive footwear that illustrate human depravity. This is a comedy with no brakes.
The set—all modular pieces—permits nimble changes in locations, morphing the stage from a restaurant, to bus station, to a hotel room, and into a car racing down the night road, complete with overhead projections. Collectively, those watching the show react like kids on a joyride, cheering at the end of each scene!
Actors Rosemary Doyle and Adam Bonney, and director Robin Haggerty, captured the play’s comic frenzy.
The Lady in Shoes from Hell is a true “cult drama” with unforgettable characters, compulsions, and bizarre encounters. Hopefully, this play will find its proper home in a small New York City theatre, off-off-off Broadway, where it can run for a hundred years, like other beloved cult classics such as Lesbian Vampires of Sodom or The Rocky Horror Show.
Mooney on Theatre Review:
All photos by Burke Campbell
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