Heathers: The Musical
By Laurence O’Keeffe and Kevin Murphy
Direction and choreography by Angela Cotto
Music Direction by Angelyn Rhode
Starring Elliana Rogers and Hector Sanchez
Breakthrough Theatre, Winter Park FL
Ostensibly a black comedy, this high energy tour through high school hell scoots close to the uncomfortable edge of school shootings and terrorist bombings. In good old Westerburg high, the roost is ruled by some cool kids known as “The Heathers.” Bitchy and beautiful, their watch word is law and they wield it like third world dictators. The football team enforces their rules, and the teachers are ineffective or absent. Pretty Veronica (Rogers) wants into the perfect hair club and her forgery skills is her ticket to coolness. Veronica trades her soul for a place at their lunch table, and as an initiation she must forge a note that will break her best friend Martha’s (Kendall Leamey) heart. When Veronica tries to pull her punch the Heathers enforce discipline and a choice must be made. About this time 7-11 connoisseur and explosives expert JD (Sanchez) appears; he helps Veronica put uber bitch Heather C (Leigh Ann) six feet under. Next it’s a double header when the football team loses its quarterback and his buddy (Erick Antonio and Zachary Smith) and Veronica askes “Where does this all stop”? How about a big bang ending from her serial killer boyfriend?
It’s a big show on a bare stage but Director Cotto fills it with a big cast. Footballers Antonio and Smith are particularity mean; this makes their double murder and disgraceful death most satisfying. Roger and Sanchez have a well built arc; she is first impressed with his ability to defend himself but when he moves on to vengeance she thinks: “will I ever escape this high school hell?” There are always two choices: drop out or wait it out in a mental bunker. Ms. Lemay has the sad air that the unloved exude, and it’s a close race between Ms. Ann and Savana Cassidy as Heather D for title of biggest bitch on the boards. There’s plenty of great, high energy songs (“Beautiful”, “Big Fun”, “My Dead Gay Son”) and even local comic Larry Stallings stretches out of his comfort zone. I’m not sure how close Westerbrook high is to Edgewater, but you’ll either see yourself on this stage somewhere, or blissfully just blank the teenage years out of your memory banks and replace it with this whizz bang comedy.
For more information, please visit http://www.breakthroughtheatre.com or look them up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Breakthrough-Theatre-of-Winter-Park/