“What’s your damage, Heather?” Contributor Lindsay B. Davis finds out at Heathers: The Musical.
The Daniel Waters film Heathers hit theaters in 1989 starring Winona Ryder as Veronica Sawyer, a newly indoctrinated fourth wheel member of a high school clique of three Alpha girls named Heather. With her fresh-faced innocence, quirky tomboy beauty and wry take on high school life informed by her outsider-turned-insider status, she is the perfect love interest for Christian Slater’s J.D., a sexy rebel with a murderous cause capable of seduction with a glance, raise of the eyebrow or simple “Greetings and Salutations.”
J.D. melts any target in his path and the chemistry between the couple motors a Bonnie and Clyde-like take down Westerburg High School’s popular crowd by way of murders successfully disguised as suicides. Heathers exposes the darker sides of 1980s high school life—from bullying and bulimia to scrunchies and shoulder pads—with a tone that feels part teen dramedy and part horror film camp. It was very ahead of its time. “How very?” Heathers deservedly found cult classic status, introduced such unforgettably delicious one-liners as “Lick it up, baby” and “F—me gently with a chainsaw”—into the cultural lexicon. Twenty-five years later, it is the inspiration for a dynamic off-Broadway musical at New World Stages with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe (Legally Blonde) and Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness). Andy Fickman (also of Reefer Madness) directs a terrifically talented ensemble cast and the show’s seamless choreography is by Marguerite Derricks (Fame, Charlie’s Angels, Austin Powers films).