Greetings blogosphere, we meet again! I'd like to come up with a legitimate excuse for my lack of posting in the last few days, however I seriously really don't have one. I kinda sorta entered into a technology coma over the holidays, although now I'm back in action and making daily trips to my institution of learning, which funnily enough means I'll probably be posting more frequently (never doubt the immense powers of procrastination).
Anyway, enough about me, let's get this show on the road. I was recently able to find a (totally legal) copy of 'Heathers: The Musical' online which I have been searching for over the past few months, and can I just say, excitement doesn't begin to cover how pumped I was to watch it in all its glory. Of course, I would've loved to have seen it when it was showing Off-Broadway in New York at New World Stages, however the fact that I live in Australia and am not the proud owner of endless amounts of money kind of stopped me in my tracks. But whatever the medium, I managed to find it, and now folks, I've decided to review it for you all. Did it live up to my admittedly high expectations? Was it an explosion of awesomeness? You'll have to read on and see.
Okay, I'm just going to put you out of your misery and tell you now - it was ridiculously awesome! Yes, I am known to be an avid fan of quite a few musicals, however there honestly isn't any bias prevalent here with this one. Ugh, I've seriously been fangirling to the extreme about it for a couple of weeks now! The songs, the acting, the staging, everything was just brilliant, and believe it or not, I really don't think I could fault a thing (which is pretty much a first for me given my inherently judgemental nature). It's super funny, yet at the same time manages to incorporate some really genuine moments. So yeah, I can obviously say that without a shadow of a doubt, you won't come close to being disappointed.
Heavily based upon the 1988 cult classic movie by the same name, 'Heathers' focusses on protagonist Veronica Sawyer (Barrett Wilbert Weed) as she struggles with her position on the ever precarious Westerburg high school social hierarchy with her best friend Martha 'Dumptruck' Dunnstock (Katie Ladner). On the other end of the spectrum are dream team Heather McNamara (Elle McLemore), Heather Duke (Alice Lee) and Heather Chandler (Jessica Keenan Wynn), the popular group of girls who seem to just float above it all.
Impressed by her forgery skills and innate potential, Veronica is welcomed into the group by leader Heather Chandler and opened up to a litany of new experiences and possibilities.
Before we know it, obligatory love interest Jason 'J.D' Dean (Ryan McCartan) is introduced also, a mysterious, trench-coat wielding bad boy.
Of course, Veronica and J.D hit it off right away, and he's the first person she turns to after being harshly rejected by Heather C. With plans to rectify the situation the following morning, the pair head over to Heather's house, however instead of fixing her the hangover remedy she requested, she is greeted with a wake-up cup full of liquid drainer. As you can imagine, this doesn't go down well (literally), and she drops dead pretty much instantly.
The murderous rampage continues, and Veronica seems to keep getting sucked into all of it at the hands of semi-psycophathic J.D. A bunch of other stuff happens also, however I'm stopping here in order to at least keep some of the mystery alive (unlike some of the characters).
Now, I'm not going to spoiler alert the ending for you if you haven't seen the movie, though let's just say things go out with a bang.
As I already previewed earlier, yes, this musical is in fact amazing. I may or may not have become completely and utterly obsessed with it over the past few weeks (and by may, I mean 100%, I definitely have). It's really just everything a musical enthusiast could hope for. The songs are amazingly awesome and catchy, the acting is superb, and it is beyond entertaining. As I've pointed out before, musical adaptions of popular movies don't always go over well to put it lightly, however this one doesn't even come close to slotting into that category. If you have any taste at all, you'll be able to recognise how spectacularly awesome this musical really is, trust me.
Of course everything that I've described so far is basically the recipe for a perfect musical, however there are always other factors to take into consideration. Fans of the movie, this one directly relates to you guys. The main reason why musicals based on films tend to tank is the fact that they're never able to re-create the magic caught on camera in the first place, and solely focus on replicating the original source rather than drawing inspiration from it. However, 'Heathers' movie enthusiasts, have absolutely no fear. This musical manages to strike a perfect balance between paying homage to the original film, while also managing to become its own entity. Obviously the plot points are practically identical, as well as some excerpts of dialogue, however the characterisation has been altered rather significantly.
Considering that Winona Ryder's portrayal of Veronica has become so iconic, re-creating that on stage would definitely be a hard feat. However, I can honestly say that Barrett does this incredibly. How has she managed to perfect something that's so hard to pull off? Simply because she takes the character in a totally different direction. If she had just tried to emulate Winona's performance, not only would it have been cringe-worthy to watch, but it just wouldn't have worked at all. But seriously, she just took the character and ran with it, and that's basically what made the musical for me. I know all you 'Heathers' lovers out there are still probably a bit dubious, but take it from someone who's a fan of the movie, you have nothing to worry about. They literally took everything good about the film and transformed it into a stage show extravaganza.
If you've never watched the movie, seeing the musical will still be an epicly enjoyable experience. Sure, there are a lot of references to the film in it (which is to be expected), however that doesn't mean you can't understand it and be totally entertained by it without any prior knowledge of the storyline or dialogue. In fact, if you've never seen the movie, you'll have nothing to compare the musical to, which in a way is better. I have to say, I liked the fact that I saw the movie first simply because I'm one of those people who absolutely loves picking up on all kinds of hidden references, but if you're a normal human being, this shouldn't worry you in the slightest.
Overall, I don't know if you've got the message, but you absolutely must see this musical immediately! It is seriously super duper funny, and the songs are amazing. I can guarantee that you'll find it entertaining, and hopefully we can all fangirl (or fanboy) together about it soon. The cast is all kinds of awesome, and I highly suggest you also hop on over to iTunes (or you know, Youtube at least) and get yourself a copy of the soundtrack. I mean come on, even the cast of the movie thought it was epic, so I really don't think it's possible not to enjoy it. After you see it, I guarantee you'll be all like:
Or you know, you'll at least understand why I like it so much. Perhaps the best thing is that it hasn't even come to Broadway yet, which not only means that we're ahead of the game (trendsetters for the win!), but that this is only the beginning of the 'Heathers: The Musical' journey. Excitement? I think yes. Just to recap, go watch it, right now! It may take you a while to find it (it literally took me a few months), but once you do, it's totally worth it. And if you don't see it, what will I hurt you with you ask?
I think you know what you have to do. And if you're not yet lured, seriously, what's your damage? Til' next time . . .