Presented by Segue Productions
Reviewed 13th September 2019
Heathers the Musical is an adaptation of the 1988 Daniel Waters film starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. The dark comedy centers on the ill fated pairing of sociopath J.D and Veronica Sawyer, with long time musical theatre performer Gus Robson as the dark and broody J.D and Friendly Feminism for the Mild Mannered Caberet producer/performer Millicent Sarre as the brainy Veronica Sawyer.
Both are high school misfits for different reasons however unlike many high school based shows that grapple with universal teenage themes such as anxiety, sex, teen angst, peer pressure, bullying, suicide, popularity and fitting in, this cult classic is completely unorthodox and playful. It is not your average misfit-turned-popular-girl-in-high-school entertainment.
Unlike J.D who is bitter and resentful and has no desire to ingratiate, Veronica Sawyer is desperate to be popular. The musical starts with her entry into a clique of the most popular, wealthy and beautiful girls at Westerburg High School known as the Heathers, three girls that all share the same name. Other main characters include obese student and long time friend of Veronica Sawyer, Martha Dunnstock and, dim witted jocks Ram Sweeney and Kurt Kelly.
When one of the Heathers discovers obese Martha’s crush on jock Ram and forces Veronica to forge a letter from Ram to Martha inviting her to his house party as a special guest, the gloss of being part of the popular group starts to lose its shine. J.D criticises Veronica for betraying her friend Martha, fights the jocks in a hilarious slow-motion scene and, garners Veronica’s attention.
As Heather falls for her new boyfriend J.D and becomes entwined in his ominous ways she flits between wanting to be part of the Heathers and wanting to be indifferent to the social hierarchy. What transpires is not your typical love story. The cast is fantastically attired with the bold and bright 80s fashion of power suits, shoulder pads and big hair.
If you have seen the film you will love the show, the songs are profound yet feel lighthearted in this transition from film to live theatre. I thoroughly enjoyed this production and highly recommend it for a fantastic night out, such a great cast fused with splendid music and choreography – there is not a dull moment to be had!
Heathers the Musical is brought to you by Segue Productions, a South Australian production company founded by Ben and Kristin Stefanoff in 2017. Ben (Director) and Kristin (Musical Director) both have extensive experience in musical theatre and along with Choreographer Asleigh Rathjen-Robson, bring together a fantastic show.
Please Note: the show may be triggering as it includes themes such as sexual based violence and suicide.
Reviewed by Rebecca Wu
Venue: Goodwood Institute Theatre
Season: 12th – 21st September 2019
Duration: 2hrs 30 minutes
Disclaimer: Ben Stefanoff is an Arts reviewer for Glam Adelaide