By Sidrah Anees, June 9, 2017 —
Set in a bar in a galaxy not too far away, Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens combines musical-theatre and murder mystery in an interactive performance. The production features a serial killer and a string of murders, but the play is anything but dark.
As the final show in Simply Theatre’s current season, Saucy Jack caps off the company’s series of farcical shows. Artistic director Dale Hirlehey hopes to inspire joy and revelry in audience members, just as the musical did for him when he first saw it at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
“The realization of just what [the play is] and just how funny it is and how you kinda get swept up in the joy of the music and the theme — it’s just wonderful to see,” he says.
Saucy Jack incorporates the audience directly into the show. Rather than looking up at a stage, the performance unfolds around the audience as they enter a dance hall that has been transformed into a cabaret bar. The bar is not just a set, as it comes fully stocked with drinks that are served to the audience by the characters themselves.
Throughout the show, various thespians inhabit the bar alongside audience members. The serving staff and the musicians double as the crime-solving Space Vixens. The all-woman crime-fighting squad use the power of disco to fight injustice.
“This really does appeal to anyone who is geeky,” Hirlehey says. “It appeals to students and young people because it’s a bit of a party as the show goes on.”
Hirlehey says he thinks the show is valuable to Calgary audiences in a time of instability.
“In this time of divisiveness in the world — racially, sexually, everything — the message of Saucy Jack is be who you are and live how you’re meant to live,” Hirlehey says.
Saucy Jack and The Space Vixens runs from June 9–17 at the Alexandra Centre Society. Tickets are $25 and are available online.