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BWW Review: HEATHERS at Boise Little Theatre

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Heathers, based on the cult classic film by the same name, follows Veronica Sawyer as she learns what it takes to fit in.

BWW Review: HEATHERS at Boise Little Theatre

Boise Little Theatre is known locally for their bright environment and Broadway quality shows. Since opening in 1948 they have built a reputation of offering great performances. Heathers, the Musical, was no different.

Heathers, based on the cult classic film by the same name, follows Veronica Sawyer as she learns what it takes to fit in. When she befriends the queen bee and her followers, Veronica is in for the ride of a lifetime. Throw in a bad boy named Jason Dean and Veronica's senior year plans are destined for disaster. With music, lyrics, and book by Lawrence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy, the show premiered Off Broadway in 2014. The initial opening received mixed reviews, reviewers saying it didn't own up to it's movie counterpart. Truthfully though, the show just needs the right audience in order to live up to it's true potential.

The audience at the show I was at cheered loudly, laughed at the jokes and at some points there were audience members dancing in their seats. The show, despite being very dark, really knows where a laugh is needed, and when the moment calls for a more serious, somber mood. I was surprised by how young some of the audience members were. This 80's based show gained a following through TikTok with songs like Candy Store and Meant to be Yours, but I don't think I realized how big of an impact there was until seeing it live.

Now onto the cast, to quote Heather Chandler, they were "So Very."

Each cast member truly made their presence known in this production. Let's start with Veronica Sawyer, played by Abby Price. Abby was featured in a few highlights from this production. *SPOILER* I was impressed by Ms. Price's ability to share emotion through facial expression and body language. This skill was evident when Veronica realizes she and JD have killed Heather Chandler. I truly believed her shock and disbelief based on body alone, no words were necessary. Her vocals were killer and truly I can't wait to see what she does next.

Jason Dean (also known as JD) portrayed by Nico Lanza was phenomenal, his voice on Freeze Your Brain was beautiful, and he managed to show a range of expressions as he continued to grace the stage. Partnered with Price's Veronica this duo was a match made in Heaven.

Martha Dunstock, played by Jewels Love, truly had my heart as she sang "Kindergarten Boyfriend," a mournful ballad in the second act. Her character was relatable and this actress played her in a light that illuminated every single time she walked onto the stage.

The Heathers were impressively portrayed by Alissa Shirts , Brooklyn Blair, and Taylor Vickers. Blair, who played Heather McNamara, shone in act two with her song "Lifeboat." The way her voice showcased the emotions of the song allowed me to feel connected with her character. Vickers, who played Heather Duke, shined in act one with "Never Shut Up Again." This song really showcased the characters power hungry move to the top after the *SPOILER* death of Heather Chandler. Finally, Shirts, who portrayed "The Almighty" Heather Chandler, was convincingly compelling and honestly, frightful. I was legitimately afraid of the character she portrayed. She carried a commanding, powerful presence on stage, and her voice...Absolutely incredible!

Kurt and Ram were played by Christian Grey and Maximiliano Juarez. This duo left me both laughing out loud and disgusted by their characters' vulgar, misogynistic actions. Their vocals were clean and impressive. These are two actors you need to watch out for.

The adult company had Stephen McKinney, Brynn Lafluer, Doug Clemens, Fran King and Annie McKinney who rounded out an incredible cast. Moments of pure joy were with Lafluer signing Shine a Light and Clemens and McKinney singing Dead Gay Son. This group's acting was phenomenal and their facial expressions were something to definitely pay attention to as you watch this show.

If you see this live, which you should. Be aware of the following themes: teen suicide, drinking, guns and gun violence, sexual themes and drugs.

Heathers runs at the Boise Little Theatre now through October 30th.


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