EHS Production of “Heathers: the Musical” Presents Talented Cast and Crew, Mature Themes

From left to right, junior Lily Randall, junior Joey Deegan, senior Emily Rice-Slothower, junior Carmen Wesselman, and junior Cris Sanchez-Carrera in EHS’s spring production of “Heathers: the Musical”.

Theo Teske, staff writer

When Heathers first came out as a movie in 1988, it caused a sensation with its dark and nihilistic take on high school drama. The cult movie was adapted into a musical in 2014, which was similarly successful. Now, the Edina Theater Department is performing Heathers as its spring musical.

The first thing many may have noticed from the posters for Heathers is that it’s only appropriate for ages 13 and up. This is probably a warning to heed. The word “skank” pops up in the opening number, and language throughout the show is similarly scandalous. Beyond that, sexual innuendo and violence abound throughout the musical.

The plot of the musical closely follows the plot of the movie. The protagonist is Veronica, an unpopular girl who longs to be friends with the popular girls at school, the Heathers (each is named Heather). Eventually she integrates herself into the group by forging hall passes. At this point, Veronica meets JD, an enigmatic loner with whom she shares an immediate connection. He lays out his vision to her of a high school where prejudice and cliques are no more, and Veronica quickly becomes just as committed as he is to making it a reality. Eventually, JD makes Veronica realize that the Heathers aren’t necessarily the best friends to have.

Here, the plot of the musical begins to go off the rails. Multiple murders ensue, and social revolution takes place. Veronica has to decide how far she’s willing to go to make her school a better place, and to wrestle with the morality of her actions.

Outside of the plot, the musical is professional and well-run. Some impressive lighting effects are carried out well, and the sound (although it sometimes comes in and out) is generally steady. The musical takes place largely on one set, but the backdrop  matches the various scenes well. Musical numbers come thick and fast throughout the show, and most of them are upbeat. This can sometimes cause tonal whiplash, as the dark and disturbing events are quickly followed up by high-tempo singing and dancing.

Overall, the actors do a great job with their roles, believably portraying troubled characters while also doing well with the musical numbers. This makes the musical an entertaining and fun rollercoaster ride that any mature viewer would enjoy.