Heathers Are Back & S(w)inging


(DGIwire) — Heathers: the Musical at the New World Stages in NYC is deliciously evil, dark and very, very fun.  It’s the new “must see” on Broadway for teens of all ages.

Whether or not you’ve seen the movie version of this 1989 teen cult classic is irrelevant to the captivating nature of this show:  Teen angst remains alive, well and still a topic worth exploring twenty five years later.  This script adaptation is smart.  It gives a nod to just enough of the original material while adding unique style, humor, and songs that rock.

The sharp, instantly engaging and campy book, music and lyrics are delivered by the very talented Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness) and Laurence O’Keefe (Legally Blonde).  They’ve managed to add a light touch of humor to serious topics of good vs. evil, bulimia, bullying, sexuality, school violence, teen suicide and peer pressure.

As subtly as a chainsaw, Heathers serves up scene after deliciously mean and evil scene as reminders that trying to fit in may have some serious downsides.

Andy Fickman, director and one of several producers including Harvard’s renowned Hasty Pudding Institute, does a fine job inspiring a fabulous cast, dressed quite colorfully in every sense by costume designer Amy Clark and expertly choreographed by Marguerite Derricks.

Yet it’s the actors that shine and bring energy, life and boundless enthusiasm to their respective roles.

Barrett Wilbert Weed makes a positively preppy Veronica with a perfectly deep and catchy, dirty laugh that gives her just enough edge. The “Heathers,” Jessica Keenan Wynn, Elle McLemore and Alice Lee, bring beauty, talent and acting skills that demand the audiences’ attention – like every power-clique that has ever existed naturally seems to know in order to rule a school.  Recent Julliard grad, Evan Todd, embraces the role of Kurt Kelly with a panache that is sure to earn him accolades and plenty of roles during what is likely to be a long career, and UCLA graduate and popular YouTube writer/actor Jon Eidson is right there as his counter-part with strong presence:  together they are cast as the perfect jock buddies.  Ryan McCartan’s J.D brings the right amount of sex appeal and charm for just enough swoon-factor, making it wholly possible to understand Veronica’s fast attraction.   Martha, the socially struggling teen who is the butt of much bullying, is played by Katie Ladner who aces an emotionally charged solo. Other talent certainly worth noting includes Daniel Cooney, Anthony Crivello, and Michelle Duffy, who expertly move between a few different characters throughout the show.

Heathers: The Musical is a winner.  There is a bit of a “warning disclaimer” that should be noted:  the show contains a fair bit of shocking language and simulated sex.   However, the language is nothing a teen hasn’t heard before—nor, for that matter, is the somewhat sexual nature of the content.  In fact, if you want to start a discussion about the issues that really matter to your teen…buy your tickets today.  Guaranteed this will be a fun night for all that will get all kinds of important conversations started.

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Photo Credit: Chad Batka