At intermission my sister Deedee, my wife Peg, and I stood up and just looked at each other. We had just seen teenage drunkenness, sex, and murder on stage and had no idea where the second act would lead us. At the end of the play we were all chattering away about the actors, the music, the singing, the performance, and all the combined issues and actions of the characters. We discussed the play non-stop until we dropped off Deedee at her home in University Place. That is a sign of a good play and an out-standing production.
Deborah Lynn Armstrong’s tiny orchestra (electronic keyboard, electric violin, electric guitar, and baritone Saxophone) were on stage wedged between the set and the side seats of the audience. They did not draw attention to themselves, but they certainly made themselves known. Kudos!
The off-stage singers did a great job filling out and blending in as they added their tones and depth to the production.
The Heathers’ pack of meanness was both part of the hatefulness as well as the final solution to the problem: one up, multiple put downs, and degrading behavior turned around! Kindness and a positive attitude along with appreciation of ability eventually won out.
The house was 3/4 full for this final rehearsal. From the show of hands, more than half were first time visitors and most of them were young people. This is always a plus for theaters who need audiences today and tomorrow.
Westerburg High School’s hellish social hierarchy is ruled by weak-willed Heather McNamara, “mythic bitch” queen Heather Chandler, and bulimic Heather Duke.
“Honey what you waitin’ for
Welcome to my candy store
Time for you to prove
You’re not a loser
And step into my candy store
At your feet
Pay the check
Help you cheat”
Jessica Keenan Wynn, Elle McLemore
17-year-old Veronica Sawyer (played by Molly Quinn) wants to be popular. The Heathers have the power to grant and confer the title of popularity . . . for a price. They give Veronica a makeover and elevate her to their inner circle.
“Heather! Heather! Heather! Veronica!
Heather! Heather! Heather! Veronica!
Veronica! Veronica! Veronica!
Laurence O’Keefe & Kevin Murphy
A new kid comes to town . . . a no nonsense, no prisoners kind of loner. He tends to settle scores based on his own judgment and the lack of that in others. JD has his own code of behavior. He finds solace at 7-11 in a Slurpee.
“Suck on that straw
get lost in the pain.
when everything numbs.
Who needs cocaine?
Freeze your brain.”
Freeze Your Brain
Ryan McCartan, Barrett Wilbert Weed
In the end a few kids die, we find appreciation of good old boys (real men), and the world of Westerburg High becomes normal. Teacher Ms. Fleming (Lydia Bill) attempts to spin gold out of the three unfortunate student “suicides” by shining a light on individual weaknesses.
“Deep inside of everyone
There’s a hot ball of shame
Guilt, regret, anxiety
Fears we dare not name”
Shine a Light
Kevin Murphy & Laurence O’Keefe
The set design, the choreography by Heather Covington Malroy, the music direction of Deborah Lynn Armstrong, the directing of Ashley Roy, the super voice of Avery Horton, the delightful team of Heathers, and the story telling of Molly Quinn were all just plain excellent. The two football players in their boxer shorts was worth the price of admission. The production was more than we expected . . . and we expected a lot. Thank you, Lakewood Playhouse.
For tickets, please visit: tix6.centerstageticketing.com/sites/lakewoodplayhouse/event-details.php?e=184