Haven’t seen Heathers The Musical yet? What’s your damage?
Currently running off-Broadway at New World Stages, the show brings the iconic ’80s black comedy to life with words and music by Reefer Madness’ Kevin Murphy and Legally Blonde‘s Laurence O’Keefe. When popular girl Veronica starts dating angst-y loner J.D., her whole outlook changes—and the body count starts rising.
6 reasons why Heathers The Musicals is oh-so-very.
1. It’s true to the film
With a plot that’s far more faithful to its original than many other recent film-to-stage adaptations (here’s looking at you, Bring It On), Heathers includes the movie’s most memorable one-liners—“Fuck me gently with a chainsaw!”—and retro costumes ripped straight from the film, From JD’s signature trenchcoat to the Heathers’ knee-high socks.
2. But the changes make perfect sense
In Heathers The Musical, the audience gets to follow Veronica Sawyer on a more rounded journey than in the Winona Ryder flick: While Veronica is already part of the In Crowd when the film begins, the musical reveals how she first came to know the Heathers. And by giving the characters who die the opportunity to come back as ghosts who haunt Veronica, the show cleverly gives their deaths impact they never had in the movie.
3. There’s a song called “My Dead Gay Son”
Heathers contains music and lyrics that brilliantly reflect the show’s comedic energy — and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music to prove it. “Blue,” for instance, finds the jocks and Heathers singing about getting blue balls. “Freeze Your Brain,” an ode to Slurpees, establishes JD’s character, and you’ll be singing “Seventeen,” the catchy Glee-inspired blend of pop and showtunes that closes the show, in the shower for days after the curtain has closed.
But the real showstopper is “My Dead Gay Son,” a laugh-out-loud eulogy to Ram and Kurt, sung by their fathers at their funeral. “They’re up there disco dancing to the thump of angel wings/Grab a mate and roller-skate while Judy Garland sings!”
It’s exactly the type of over-the-top number we hoped the show would deliver.
4. Jessica Keenan Wynn slays the competition
As queen bee Heather Chandler, Wynn steals the show faster than the other Heathers try to steal her signature red scrunchie. Wynn (appearing next in Cinemax’s The Knick) has major comic chops, particularly when her character makes snide comments from The Great Beyond.
Wynn also has the strongest singing voice in the cast, making every moment she’s on stage a true highlight of the entire show.
5. The themes are still relevant
Bullying, guns, violence, suicide, sexuality, school massacres—sound familiar? 25 years after the film’s debut, the issues that plagued Westerberg High are still regular hits on our daily news cycle. Actually, in a nation where most schools drill students on how to react to a shooter on campus, the show is practically prescient.
6. Heathers is leading the pack once again
Heathers was the first of a long line of movies about A-list girls doing Very Bad Things. So its only fitting it was the first of the pack to get a stage adaptation—though Broadway versions of Clueless and Mean Girls have been rumored for years.
Heathers: The Musical runs at New York’s New World Stages through September 7