A MUSICAL WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
From the countdown to curtain call with background music videos from Young MC’s Bust A Move to The Cure’s Love Song to Peter Gabriel’s Big Time and Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time, it’s painfully clear director Jennifer Walls is determined to set the tone for September 1, 1989 when different musical flavours stirred different musical folk.
This, of course, was an era that signalled an end to the decade of overindulgence where was the freedoms and rule-bending was rue of the day.
But before that occurred, college/university folk flocked to the big screen for the year’s final black comedy called Heathers which was instantly established as a cult hit. If Christian Slater and Winona Ryder hadn’t won you over before, they easily did so with this astonishingly funny tale of revenge that goes way too far.
Heathers: The Musical borrows plot points buy is by no means Heathers the movie. It doesn’t want to be, it doesn’t try to be given the fact that there’s just no point in fixing what’s not broken. Instead this musical walk on the wild side delivers a fabulous salute to teenage autonomy that plays out with dire consequences.
This is Sherwood, Ohio, the land of Swatchdogs, Diet Coke Heads, and Corn Nuts snackers. You’ll find them all at Westerberg High School—the misfits, the jocks, the preps and, of course, a feared trio better known as ‘The Heathers’ who demand loyalty and obedience if you want in with the in crowd.
‘Why are you so determined to hurt me?’ vents a frustrated Veronica (Emma Sangalli).
‘Because I can, responds the never apologetic lip gloss Gestapo leader Heather Chandler (Mary Bowden).
Along comes the antagonist new kid in town, J.D. (Justan Myers), to assist Veronica in improving behaviour around the school.
The book shoots for laughs more than fear while choreographed moments reverberate with pure energy. Regardless of what your ‘damage’ is this month, you’d ‘better motor’ to Hart House Theatre for big, bright, snappy tunes with sharp hooks.
HEATHERS: THE MUSICAL book, music and lyrics by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe September 21- October 6, 2018 HART HOUSE THEATRE, 7 Hart House Circle, Toronto TICKETS $12.00 – $28.00 www.harthouse.ca 416-978-8849 CAST Emma Sangalli, Justan Myers, Mary Bowden, Paige Foskett, Becka Jay, Moulan Bourke, Wade Minacs, Aaron Cadesky, Mark J. Umphrey, Hunter Agnew, Rose Ingrid Benjamin, Taha Arshad, Justin DeSouza, Connor Ferris, Maggie Gallagher, Fay Gamliel, Jacob Moro, Bohdan Onushko, Madison Sekulin, Allison Leia Wall DIRECTOR Jennifer Walls MUSIC DIRECTOR Giustin MacLean CHOREOGRAPHER Amanda Nuttall SET Brandon Kleiman COSTUMES Erin Frances Gerofsky LIGHTING Melissa Joakim STAGE MANAGER Lacey Juk BAND Jonathan Corkal, Micheal Henley, Lain Leslie, Erik Larson, Pieter Huyer, Kevin Yue