Heathers: The Musical

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Heathers: The Musical
Music Laurence O'Keefe
Kevin Murphy
Lyrics Laurence O'Keefe
Kevin Murphy
Book Laurence O'Keefe
Kevin Murphy
Basis The 1989 film Heathers
Productions 2010 New York Concert
2013 Hollywood
2014 Off-Broadway

Heathers: The Musical is a rock musical with music, lyrics, and a book by Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy and based on the 1988 film Heathers. The show is currently playing at New World Stages.

Background[edit]

The show's director, Andy Fickman, had been working with Daniel Waters (the screenwriter of the film) on the musical. After seeing what O'Keefe did with Legally Blonde and how he transitioned film to theatre, he decided to pair him with Reefer Madness collaborator Kevin Murphy. Flickman said of the experience, "we found that Heathers gave a great deal of opportunity for ‘80s commentary and a great chance for music and storytelling".[1]

Synopsis[edit]

ACT I

In a high school in 1989 Veronica Sawyer becomes our narrator on her first day on senior year. She reflects on how everybody used to be friends in elementary school but now everybody teases her and her best friend, a plump girl named Martha dumbstruck. Veronica is constantly sexually harassed by Ram and Kurt, the two most popular boys in school. The most popular girls in school are the heathers, a clique of three girls each named heather. The members are: Heather Duke, a bookish bulimic girl, Heather McNamara, the head cheerleader and Heather Chandler, their leader. One day Veronica skips class in order to hide from Kurt and Ram. In the bathroom she meets the heathers. She asks them if she could sit with them at lunch so that Kurt and Ram won't harass her because they would never do that to a Heather. They refuse but are caught by a teacher, Veronica forges them a hall pass which works and impresses the heathers who realize her forging skills will be useful. They invite her into their group and give her a makeover (Beautiful). They then ask her to forge a love note to Martha from Ram (whom she had a crush on since kindegarden) and Ram agrees to give it to her. Veronica says no so the heathers tell her she can either do mean things with them or go back to her old life (Candystore ) Veronica plays the prank. Kurt and Ram pick on a new, shady kid in the cafeteria who gets into a fight with them. Veronica begins to like the kid (Fight for me). The Heathers take Veronica to Kurt and Rams party after stopping by her house. Veronica's parents like the Heathers but wonder why she is suddenly shutting Martha out of her life. On the way to the party Veronica stops by a 7 eleven to buy Heather chandler some corn nuts. She runs into the new kid from earlier who says his name is JD. He is surprised when Veronica says she doesn't like slurpees since that is his way of coping with his hard life since his mom died and his father takes him around America for his demolition job (Freeze your brain). Veronica takes a sip and likes it but then leaves for the party (Big fun). At the party The Heathers play a mean joke on Martha by dressing up a pig piñata to look like Martha then telling Martha to hit it. Veronica decides to draw the line and throws away the piñata and tells Martha to go home. Heather Chandler is so shocked and angry at this that she tells Veronica she is going to kill her on Monday. For extra measure and to prove she is serious Heather Chandler strangles Veronica making Veronica extremely sick and she throws up on Heather. When Veronica tells Heather to "lick it up" she kicks her out of the Heathers. Veronica, now extremely scared breaks into JDs room and tells him to "loose those tighty- whities". (Dead girl walking) the morning afterwards Veronica imagines Heather Chandler tormenting her about sleeping with JD and she realizes Heather would actually say that so she and JD break into Heathers house to make her Hangover cures as an apology. Veronica sabatoges her by spitting into her prairie oysters but JD puts drain cleaner into his drink. Veronica pleads with him not to give Heather the Drain cleaner but JD reflects to her that Heather purposely almost Killed her. In order to get Heather to drink the drain cleaner Heather forces her to apologize on her knees, embarrassing her in front of JD. Heather is killed and Veronica realizes what she did so she forges a dramatic suicide note for Heather. (The me inside of me). Veronica goes to visit the other two heathers as a sign of goodwill back into their clique but before letting her back in they lock her out if the car where Kurt and Ram appear and harass her again in front of the Heathers and rape her (Blue). Veronica comes to JD, crying about the incident and JD comforts her. Meanwhile Heather Duke (now the head of the Heathers) spreads a rumor that Veronica had a three way with Kurt and Ram (Blue (Reprise)). JD stands up for Veronica so Ram and Kurt beat him up, angering both JD and Veronica who fights Ram and Kurt. JD comes up with an idea to humiliate Ram and Kurt by shooting them with rubber bullets to stun them and make it look like a gay pact. Veronica refuses but JD says that they have to pay for what they did to her. Veronica calls them saying to meet her to "make the rumors true". Veronica is extremely scared but JD reminds her of what a terrible thing they did to her and that he will never let anybody hurt her (Our love is god). They show up to the cemetery where they begin to harass Veronica. JD shows up and shoots them. With horror Veronica realizes that the bullets were real.


"Act 2"

Act 2 begins with Ram and Kurt's joint funeral. Their fathers decide to accept their (fake) homosexuality and also reveal that they are gay and had a fling in the summer of '83 (My dead gay son). After the funeral JD proposes the idea of hurting Heather Duke since she spread the rumors but Veronica wishes they could be normal (Seventeen). The guidance councilor of the school begins a therapy session in order to discuss the suicides (Shine a light) she asks everybody to share their feelings but Heather Mcnarma is the only one to step up. She says she feels like she is on a lifeboat and if she wears the wrong clothes or says the wrong things then she will be thrown aside, leading to her thoughts about committing suicide (Lifeboat). Heather Duke and the rest of the students (except for Veronica and JD) make fun of her for crying and hating her life, Leading to Heather Duke being suspended. Veronica tries to admit she killed Heather, Ram and Kurt but everybody laughs at her and does not believe it. Heather Mcnarma tries to commit suicide by overdosing on pills while the students who were mean to her earlier call her pathetic and tell her to kill herself (Shine a light (reprise)). Veronica stops her and forces her to spit out the pills and then comforts her, the two of them become close friends. JD tells Veronica he plans to kill Heather Duke because she was now mean to both Veronica and Heather but Veronica draws the line and breaks up with him. Martha comes up to Veronica saying that she thinks Ram was murdered because he is not gay since he likes her. Veronica is forced to admit to her that she faked the note in order to hide her secret. This leaves Martha devastated so she throws herself over a bridge, she survives but breaks her arm and is now in a wheelchair (Kindegarden Boyfriend). On the night of a school pep rally JD comes after Veronica with a gun planning to force her to help him blow up the school as part of his master plan. (Yo girl) He arrives in her room to see that she has hanged herself. He talks to her and reveals that Heather Duke passed around a petition for him for the student body to have days off which was actually a mass suicide.(Meant to be yours) After he leaves Veronica's parents come in her room and Veronica reveals that she faked her death. She immediately leaves for the pep rally. (Dead girl walking (reprise))She finds JD in the boiler room. He has a bomb hooked up and Veronica begs him to detonate it. He tries to shoot her but they fight over the gun and JD accidentally shoots himself. Veronica goes to the outside of the school to discover JD is about to blow up the bomb and commit Suicide (Am I damaged). The bomb explodes, killing JD, injuring Veronica and shaking the building. The students and faculty discover the limping Veronica who announces that the Heathers are over. She puts on a scrunchie that belonged to Heather Chandler and dismisses Heather Duke. She invites Martha and Heather Mcnarma to have Jiffy pop and watch a video with her. (Seventeen (reprise)).

Productions[edit]

There was a reading sometime in 2010, with Kristen Bell as Veronica, Christian Campbell as J.D., Jenna Leigh Green, Corri English, and Christine Lakin as the Heathers. [2]

On September 13 and 14, it was presented as a concert at Joe's Pub. The show was directed by Andy Fickman, and it starred Annaleigh Ashford as Veronica Sawyer, Jeremy Jordan as Jason Dean, Jenna Leigh Green as Heather Chandler, Corri English as Heather McNamara and Christine Lakin as Heather Duke, James Snyder as Kurt Kelly, PJ Griffith as Ram Sweeney, Julie Garnyé as Martha Dumptruck Dunnstock, Eric Leviton as Ram's Dad, Kevin Pariseau as Kurt's Dad/Principal, Jill Abramovitz as Ms. Fleming/Veronica's Mom, Tom Compton as Hipster Dork/Preppy Kid, Alex Ellis as Goth Girl/English Teacher/Young Republicanette and Kelly Karbacz as Stoner Chick/School Psychologist.[3]

The show played at Los Angeles’s Hudson Backstage Theatre for a limited engagement on the weekends from September 21, 2013 to October 6, 2013. The cast included Barrett Wilbert Weed as Veronica, Ryan McCartan as J.D., Sarah Halford as Heather Chandler, Kristolyn Lloyd as Heather Duke, and Elle McLemore as Heather McNamara.[4]

In 2013, It was announced that Heathers: The Musical would be brought to Off-Broadway, previews beginning in March. In February 2014, the cast was announced. It included Barrett Wilbert Weed and Ryan McCartan reprising their roles as Veronica and J.D, Jessica Keenan Wynn as Heather Chandler, Elle McLemore as Heather McNamara and Alice Lee as Heather Duke.[5] The show began previews on March 15, 2014 and opened on March 31, 2014.

A cast album was recorded on April 15-16, 2014 with an in-store and digital release of June 17, 2014.[6] It was released a week early on June 10, 2014.

On June 9th, Dave Thomas Brown replaced Ryan McCartan as JD and Kristolyn Lloyd assumed the role of Heather Duke, replacing Alice Lee. On June 16th, Charissa Hogeland replaced Barrett Wilbert Weed as Veronica. Hogeland was previously the Dance Captain for the show and played the part of New Wave Party Girl, understudying the roles of Veronica, Heather Chandler, and Heather Duke.

On July 10th, It was announced that Heathers: The Musical will play its final perfomance at New World Stages on August 4, 2014.[7]

Principal roles and original cast[edit]

Character Original Off-Broadway Cast
Veronica Sawyer Barrett Wilbert Weed
Jason "J.D." Dean Ryan McCartan
Heather Chandler Jessica Keenan Wynn
Heather McNamara Elle McLemore
Heather Duke Alice Lee
Martha Dunnstock Katie Ladner
Kurt Kelly Evan Todd
Ram Sweeney Jon Eidson
New Wave Party Girl Charissa Hogeland
Young Republicanette Cait Fairbanks
Stoner Chick Rachel Flynn
Beleaguered Geek Dustin Sullivan
Hipster Dork/Officer McCord Dan Domenech
Preppy Stud/Officer Milner Aj Meijer
Ram's Dad/Big Bud Dean/Coach Ripper Anthony Crivello
Kurt's Dad/Veronica's Dad/Principal Gowan Daniel Cooney
Veronica's Mom/Ms.Fleming Michelle Duffy

Musical Numbers[edit]

•" Not featured on World Premiere Cast Recording

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2014 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Actress in a Musical Barrett Wilbert Weed Nominated
Outstanding Music Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy Nominated
Lucille Lortel Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical Barrett Wilbert Weed Nominated
Outstanding Choreographer Marguerite Derricks Nominated

External links[edit]

References[edit]