Heathers: The Musical- A Review

Note: Please be advised that if you or someone you know has struggled with or continues to struggle with suicide, parts of this production may be difficult to watch.

In the show’s program, director Robert Seale begins his director’s notes by stating: “Heathers is an interesting piece of theatre…” and that it was! Acadia Theatre Company’s production of Heathers: The Musical was fantastically weird and I think everyone who is able should check it out.

The play takes place at Westerberg High, a school in rural (and seemingly boring) Ohio. Veronica Sawyer is struggling to navigate the complexities of being an angsty teen in the hierarchy that is high school. When Veronica’s quick thinking gets her an in with the school’s ruthless popular girls, The Heathers, Veronica is forced to fight a nuanced battle over popularity or basic human decency. When Veronica meets edgy teen Jason “J.D.” Brown, her life as she knows it begins to unravel.

Here are some reasons why this was a great production that you should go see:

Heathers deals with sensitive topics like suicide and school violence, while never trivializing the genuine reality and seriousness of those issues. With that being said, this play was absolutely hilarious. The script itself was funny enough on its own, but the actors had impeccable comedic timing throughout the entire show. If you are someone who is typically not overly fond of musicals, I think you will still enjoy this production because of how outrageously funny it was. If you are someone who is overly fond of musicals, you will most certainly enjoy this production. The singing was amazing across the board, the acting seemed effortless, the costumes were awesome, and the pacing of the show was spot-on (it was a two hour play ad I never once found myself bored).

As noted, the actors had impeccable comedic timing and by that I do mean all actors. Even the actors who held roles that had very little speaking parts were some of the funniest parts of the play. All secondary characters stayed in character at every moment in every scene. If you can make an entire audience laugh just by the expressions you’re giving in the background, that’s a talent! If I had to write something negative about the experience, I would warn future play-goers that the theatre is basically hotter than the depths of Hell, so don’t wear your nice warm wool sweater.

It is abundantly clear that a lot of effort went into this production and that very positively reflects on the finished product. Everything from lighting, to props, to band music was well-done and meshed together wonderfully.  Acadia Theatre Company’s adaptation of Heathers: The Musical was witty, well-paced, hilarious, and surprisingly profound. Go check out this awesome play while you still can (as of writing this, the show sold out on its first five nights!).

Heathers: The Musical will continue to run on the following dates and times in Lower Denton Theatre, tickets can be purchased online or at the Acadia University Box Office:
7:30pm shows: November 27th, 28th, 29th 30th
1:00pm shows: November 24th and December 1st

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Author: Katie Winters

Katie is a first year Bachelor of Education student with teachables in Sociology and History.

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