Friday, June 13, 2014

What's Your Damage?

Dear Diary: Heathers!  The film from my childhood, one of S's favorites, has come to the theatre as a musical.  The premise of the production is teen angst gone murderous, so I went in expecting absurdity of the best kind, and it lived up to my expectations.  It was cheesy and corny and outrageous in all the right ways.  At intermission, S, trying to keep an open mind, said that Veronica was being played as more naive than in the movie and JD wasn't dark enough (I mean, he was wearing black, but he wasn't living evil).  I could see where she was coming from, but I was more distracted by the odd singing.

I'll start by saying that I can carry a tune in the confines of my own house, and that I can sing a pretty decent rendition of the following songs: "I Got You Babe" (Cher's part), "Close To You" by the Carpenters, "One Less Bell To Answer" the first verse only, and "Sweet Child o' Mine" up until the Axl screamy parts.  I know my place in this world, and I do not get paid to sing.  That being said...

The singing could have been better.  The cast gave me hope that one day I, too, could be in Heathers The Musical, if only they include one of the aforementioned tunes.  Every song called for a rather big note somewhere either in a bridge or at the end, and every time one of those notes came, it was more of a cringe moment than a moment of glory.  The first time it happened, I actually thought to myself, oh that poor actress must have just gotten over a cold. But then it continued, and it wasn't Broadway great, but it was entertaining, and mostly the music got so loud that the lackluster notes got drowned out. Plus the visual comedy distracted from it--the slo-mo, the facial expressions--they made up for it. And I didn't go for the singing.  I went for the fun.

 There were quite a few scenes that were stopped mid-action where almost the whole cast froze, and there were others that were slow motion.  Combined with songs about getting blue balls and how a father loves  his dead gay son and drinking slurpees to get brain freeze, Heathers The Musical wasn't just a play; it was on another planet. The Heathers were awesomely mean and the football players were amazingly douchey, and kudos to the latter for wearing tight underwear for half the play.

The distracting part about JD was that, really, he wasn't a convincing psychopath or evil doer.  When the cast broke out into song and dance, he did too, complete with Broadway sway hands, and perhaps the character would have been more convincing had he stood off to the side or sat down in protest.  Also, as I explained to S, Christian Slater is pointy, so his features allow him to easily do badass.  This guy was a good actor but not pointy enough.  I'd make a great casting director, huh?

S was sitting next to a very heavy breather.  I thought the guy was sleeping, and the girls sitting in front of us were clearly annoyed by it.  But S assured me that, no, he was wide awake and all breathy.  If your breathing is loud enough for people in the audience of a musical to hear, you may want to get checked out by your local respiratory therapist.

Speaking of the girls in front of us, they turned around in annoyance as S and I were talking about the 30 Day Ab Workout during intermission and how my back hurt.  Excuse us for having a conversation.  Go eat some corn nuts.

On our way out of the theatre, we overheard a guy say to the women with him that it was an interesting take on the movie.  S was like, EXACTLY!  It was interesting.  There were a few things missing, of course, but the elements were there, and creative license is creative license--they made a musical out of a dark comedy that was already slightly absurd to begin with.  It's a film that probably would not be made today in the same way because of all the murder in the high school, complete with gun violence.  But back then, it was a movie that gave the world all the catch phrases and nastiness of its time.  Lick it up, baby.  Lick. It. Up.

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