I float in a boat
On a raging black ocean,
Low in the water
And nowhere to go.
The tiniest lifeboat,
With people I know.
Storms are approaching,
There's nowhere to hide!
If I say the wrong thing
Or I wear the wrong outfit
They’ll throw me right over the side!
Heathers the Musical
New Line opened its 25th season with the regional premiere of the outrageous,
musical thriller HEATHERS, written by the award-winning team of Kevin
Murphy (Reefer Madness) and Laurence O’Keefe (Bat Boy, Legally Blonde),
based on the 1989 film written by Daniel Waters, who has said his story is
girl who meets the Antichrist as a teenager." He's not far off.
It’s September, 1989, and Westerberg High is terrorized by a shoulder-padded,
scrunchie-wearing junta: Heather, Heather and Heather, the hottest and
cruelest girls in all of Ohio. But brainy misfit Veronica Sawyer rejects their
evil regime for a new boyfriend, the damaged new stranger J.D., who plans to
put the Heathers in their place. For good. Deliciously, wickedly funny, oddly
romantic, relentlessly intense, and occasionally powerful, this is a surprisingly truthful parable
for anyone who’s ever been in love, in trouble, or in high school.
The cast of New Line's HEATHERS included Anna Skidis
(Veronica), Evan Fornachon (J.D.), Sicily Mathenia (Heather Chandler), Larissa
White (Heather McNamara), Cameisha Cotton (Heather Duke), Grace Seidel (Martha
Dunnstock), Omega Jones (Ram Sweeney), Clayton Humburg (Kurt Kelly), Brenda Bass,
Kevin Corpuz, Colin Dowd, Alex Glow, Joel Hackbarth, Lindsey Jones, Chris Kernan, and Victoria Valentine. The show was directed by Scott Miller and
Mike Dowdy, with music direction by Jeffrey Richard Carter, choreography by
Robin Michelle Berger, scenic design by Rob Lippert, costume design by Sarah
Porter, sound design by Benjamin Rosemann, and lighting design by Kenneth Zinkl.
Today, in this era of bullying and school shootings, HEATHERS
takes on a powerful new relevance. As a 2014 Atlantic article said, "Heathers
has the courage to sympathize with a psychopath who exposes how dangerous it
can be when fads and gossip are more influential than basic decency." Today
the original movie, released a full decade before Columbine, seems weirdly
prescient. And the musical takes on this weight of our more recent history,
without ever losing its satiric touch or its outrageous comedy, in songs like
"I Love My Dead Gay Son."
The New York Times called
Heathers a "rowdy guilty-pleasure
musical," and The New York Post called it "ingenious, naughty, and
very funny." TimeOut New York called it, "sassy, sexy, and
oh-so-smart." The Associated
Press said, "This dark demented comedy keeps us in stitches!"
New York Daily News noted the show's more serious side: "The writers aren’t just going for jokes — there is real
heft in the touching song 'Lifeboat,' which depicts kids fighting for survival,
and 'Seventeen,' about youth." USA Today wrote, "As the true motives of
Veronica's new beau, J.D., become clearer, and the couple's relationship more
intense, Murphy and O'Keefe ask that we also consider them, and their classmates
— even the more despicable ones — as human beings." Variety said, "The
show still deals with the serious issues that gave the movie its cutting edge:
school bullying, teen sexuality, campus shootings, bomb threats and suicide
epidemics. After 25 years of horrific school violence, J.D.’s terrorist persona
and homicidal activities are actually more chilling today than they were when
the movie came out." Heathers was originally directed Off-Broadway
by Andy Fickman and choreographed by Marguerite Derricks.