Act V Productions brought a 1989 cult classic movie to life in Memorial Auditorium with their rendition of “Heathers” this past Thursday through Sunday. The off-Broadway musical, based on the 1989 movie with the same name, follows the story of 17-year-old Veronica Sawyer, played by Shippensburg University junior Mackenzie Brouse, and her boyfriend Jason “JD” Dean, played by senior Brad Barkdoll.
Veronica is in the popular girl clique, but she is not happy with how the three other girls in the clique, ironically all named Heather, live in a self-created social hierarchy, and longs for the simpler days in elementary school.
At the end of the big dance number “Big Fun,” which just like the name suggests is certainly big fun to watch, the Heathers make a piñata degrading unpopular Martha Dunnstock played by sophomore, Sophia Jones. When Veronica puts a stop to this, Heather Chandler, played by freshman Andrea Crawford, tells her that her high school social life is over for attempting to rebel against the Heathers.
Brouse as Veronica then goes into her showcase song “Dead Girl Walking.” Brouse blows the crowd away with her vocal stylings and shocks the audience when she strips down on stage with Brad in their pseudo sex scene on stage.
Following the onstage nudity, the couple goes to Heather Chandler’s house to apologize, but they inadvertently poison Heather with drain cleaner and must fake a suicide note to avoid getting in more trouble. But that is not the last the audience sees of Heather Chandler, as she comes back as a ghost throughout the rest of the musical.
High School Jocks Ram Sweeney and Kurt Kelley played by seniors Jesse Nitchkey and Aaron Kirk, had the audience rolling with uncontrollable laughter with their song unexpected song “Blue,” about how Veronica gives them the bluest of balls.
Junior Trent Bauer received his chance to shine with his character, Mr. Sweeney’s song “Dead Gay Son,” which was received well from the audience.
Brouse gives the audience chills once again during her duet with Barkdoll in “Seventeen.” Senior Alexa Moran, would have probably done the same with Mrs. Flemings “Shine a Light” if the audience were able to hear her. Unfortunately due to technical difficulties it was impossible to hear her over the orchestra.
During rehearsals for the play, numerous tech issues were plaguing the cast’s progress, Nitchkey said. The cast essentially missed an entire dress rehearsal in a failed attempt to get the 18 mics on stage to work together.
Despite the microphones being hit or miss throughout the show, “Heathers” was overall a wonderful and hilarious musical performance. The cast had the audience laughing hysterically from “Candy Store” all the way to “Back to School.”