I feel a bit guilty saying that I really enjoyed Heathers–the Musical. The play, adapted from the 1988 film ‘Heathers’, remains fairly faithful to the story and keeps most of the classic lines. Although the movie died at the box office, it became a cult classic for the Gen-Xers and has now been re-imagined as a musical.
The play takes place somewhere in suburbia. Two high school teens, Veronica and J.D. stand up to their fellow students who bully and humiliate those they deem less worthy. It begins innocently enough, and you might even consider these two heroes, but J.D. is a homicidal psychopath who ratchets up the revenge.
It’s hard to explain how I could find this play thoroughly enjoyable especially after the last 25 years of school shootings. But the musical’s creators make it fun and give it a bit more depth with musical numbers which deal with teenage angst. The story is still dark, but the cast plays it campy. You can almost sense that they want to wink at you and say “we’re just kidding”.
Heathers (the movie) was the flip side to the sunnier John Hughes 1980’s teen movies. And now Heathers-the Musical appeals to a new generation. This was obvious in the makeup of the audience who hooted and hollered throughout the play. They loved every minute of this dark, yet light play – as did I. LAR
New World Stages, 340 W 50th St.
Runs through 8/4.
Discounted tickets available at Theatermania. http://www.theatermania.com/off-broadway/discount-tickets/heathers-the-musical_302169/