Posted in Theatre

Anatomy of a Scene 2-Ways: HEATHERS

Heathers might be the ultimate cult teen flick. After amassing a fanbase in the early 90s and beyond onscreen, it came to New York as a musical a few years back and completely exploded (just check Tumblr).

I read the libretto of the musical, then watched the movie. I noticed that there were quite a few changes made in the stage adaptation- most notably the combining of Veronica’s two friends into one. But the dynamic of her relationship with J.D. also struck me as interesting between the two.

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Spoilers! The scene I’m thinking about is at the very end, when J.D. is trying to blow up the school. Onstage, Veronica decides to stop him, singing a brief reprise of “Dead Girl Walking” as she accepts her fate. She does the same in the film, just without the song. They meet in the boiler room, where Veronica ultimately wins as J.D. implodes the bomb without harming anyone else.

Onscreen, I was puzzled as to why Veronica and J.D. ever were together, as he had next to no redemption. This is actually where I think the stage version triumphs; it manages to humanize him. At the climax, he sings “I Am Damaged,” telling Veronica to do something good with her life.

Movie Veronica obviously loved J.D., but the relationship felt underdeveloped. But I get why stage Veronica fell for J.D., and he becomes a symbol for the complexities of human nature.

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Posted in Theatre

Goodbye, Amelie: Shows That Could (in theory) Play at the Walter Kerr Theatre

The theatrical industry is kind of a funny animal. You just never know what will catch on and what won’t. Many things factor into this: word-of-mouth, critics, award season, marketing, and pure luck. And for one reason or another, Amelie (a musical adaptation of the beloved 2001 French movie) just couldn’t make enough stars align. The show (which I quite enjoyed) will play its final NYC performance at the Walter Kerr Theatre on May 21st.

This venue is named for Pulitzer Prize-winner Walter Kerr and opened in 1929. (Today, it is operated by the Jujamcyn Company.) With a seating capacity of just over 900, it is one of the smaller Broadway houses and therefore well-suited to plays and cozier musicals. Its external marquee, with the bright blue lights, is one of my favorites.

That being said, let’s look at a few shows that might inhabit this theatre as well as a few that won’t…but could, in theory.

heathers5 Heathers (New World Stages, 2014). Many a fangirl wished this show, based on the cult teen movie, would transfer to Broadway after its premiere run. Although that seems unlikely three years after the fact, it would still be hilarious to see a musical of this subject matter stand with the likes of Dear Evan Hansen or Come from Away.

taste0037_orig A Taste of Things to Come (York Theatre Company, 2016). Similarly, this small-scale show about women’s roles from the 1950s-60s probably belonged Off-Broadway. However, one of its calling cards was the fact that it also had an all-female cast and band; we could always use more of that!

cyclone0888r Ride the Cyclone (MCC Theater, 2016). This musical is about a group of teenagers vying for the afterlife in the wake of a horrid rollercoaster accident. It seemed to divide public and critical opinion but still managed to be nominated for several awards.

mbutterfly_content M. Butterfly (Planned for the 2016-2017 Broadway season). Now this production of David Henry Hwang’s classic play, directed by Julie Taymor, is confirmed to come to Broadway this year. The only question is which theatre will be chosen- and the Walter Kerr could be an ideal space.

twood_sg_07 The Secret Garden (Seattle Shakespeare Theatre, 2016). Rumors have been swirling that this acclaimed production of the show, featuring Daisy Eagan in a new role, has its eyes on a Broadway transfer.

Alternately, the powers-that-be could just annoy Lincoln Center Theater enough for them to bring Falsettos back.

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