The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) third year musical theatre students give a comical, heartfelt and highly energetic performance in this musical based on the 80’s cult classic film Heathers.
Like the 80s film, Heathers the Musical is a black comedy full of laughs and a serious message about trying to make it through high school. Negotiating the skinny, blonde – god its hard to look that good every day – girls, the not so bright jocks trying to get laid, and the geeks, Heathers explores the subtle and not so subtle compromises necessary to survive the jungle called high school. And just in case high school wasn’t bad enough, Heathers the Musical adds a psychotic boyfriend!
Monique Warren as Veronica Sawyer is a delight portraying the geek turned high school bitch / bad girl with charm and wit. Her voice is powerful, delivering emotional ballads with ease. Nick Errol as Jason “DJ” Dean certainly looks the part but is unable to portray the psychotic edge needed for the role.
Jenna Curran, Daisy Valerio and Meg McKibbin are an excellent trio as the three Heathers. They bitch themselves through each scene in high heels and short skirts. The best comedic moments, however, are saved for the wild hippy social worker / teacher, Ms Fleming played by Mackensie Dunn as she calls the students to search deep within and explore their feelings.
David Cuny as Ram and Tom Gustard as Kurt, the two football jocks, deliver their menacing threats on the school population with cartoon character wit. Not the smartest tools in the school, their life consists of football and trying to get laid. It is this quest that sees the pair spend most of act two dressed in nothing but their white jocks.
Cameron Steens as Ram’s dad and Benjamin Colley as Kurt’s dad certainly give it their all during “I Love my Dead Gay Son” while Laura Jackson as Martha Dunnstock’s (Dump truck) emotional rendition of “Kindergarten Boyfriend” is a plea for acceptance and love.
The set designed by Kelly Fregon is elaborate and consumes the entire stage of the Geoff Gibbs Theatre. Lighting designer Kristie Smith seamlessly moves the production though the scenes and manages a special theatrical explosion. The orchestra was capably lead, as always by David King though at times the score drowned out some of the vocals.
Heathers the Musical plays at the Geoff Gibbs Theatre until Saturday 15 March. Word is tickets are selling fast so grab yours now from the WAPPA website.
This production is not recommended for students under 15. Strong high school themes.