BWW Review: HEAD OVER HEELS at The Ringwald Has Got The Beat and Laughs!
Run, don't walk to The Ringwald to see their production of Head Over Heels! The production is the first one since the hot Broadway debut of the show that features songs of the 80s music icons, The Go-Gos, closed in January and will be at the beloved Michigan theatre until June 10th in Ferndale. The hilarious and inclusive musical celebrates love in its infinite varieties and includes iconic Go-Go's hits like "We Got the Beat," "Our Lips Are Sealed," and "Vacation," plus Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven is a Place on Earth" and "Mad About You," and many more! It's the perfect show for The Ringwald's stage and the company does it marvelously. From the fantastic performances to the glorious costumes to the boppin' beat - The Ringwald's, Head Over Heels has it - and it should not be missed!
"Head Over Heels combines The Go-Go's music with a gender-queer sensibility that everyone from 16-60+ will fall in love with," said Joe Bailey, the director in an interview with BroadwayWorld Detroit about the show. (You can read it here.) "It's energetic, funny, breezy and the perfect spring musical!" The show is based on The Arcadia by Sir Philip Sidney and Head Over Heels was conceived by Jeff Whitty and adapted by James Magruder. A modern musical fairytale where once-upon-a-time is right now, Head Over Heels follows the escapades of a royal family who set out on a journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction only to find love and comedic complications along the way!
It is really hard to just not discuss everything about The Ringwald's production of Head Over Heels as the production was so much fun and so entertaining. You can tell by watching it that the performers on stage are enjoying themselves or, if not, they are doing a really good job of faking it - I mean that is what actors do... But if The Ringwald is faking the fun of Head Over Heels, I don't want to know because I loved it so much! Here are ten reasons why you should go see the first post-Broadway production Head Over Heels at The Ringwald:
1) Matt Wallace played the role of Musidorus. One word comes to mind when you think about Wallace's performance - exceptional. He is the whole package on stage because he keeps you engaged and involved in the show. He's hilarious and has great comedic timing. He, also, has a wonderful singing voice and "Mad About You" is one of best numbers of the show, although that would be his second attempt at the song in the production that I'm referring to as one of the best numbers as the first attempt is comedic gold.
2) Playing Wallace's significant other, Philoclea, is Katy MacCutcheon. This tiny human can sing! When she sang in the group numbers it was lovely, but she absolutely shined in "Good Girl." Wait for the end, trust me! MacCutcheon is, also, one with fantastic comedic timing and the interactions between Wallace and her are hilarious as they work so well together on stage.
3) A shining light through the show is Christopher Ross-Dybash as Dametas. His character is not even a main focal point of the show, but when he is on stage, he is bringing the laughs and he is doing it effortlessly. It was such a joy to watch him that it made me wish his role had more to do because I enjoyed his character so much! He knew the exact amount of comedy to bring without being too over the top. His little antics were some of the best parts of a lot of the scenes.
4) Jordan Gagnon's (Mopsa) singing "Vacation." It's one of the best musical theatre moments I've seen on stage this season.
5) This whole show is full of comedy as there is something always to laugh at it. I think that you will get one of the best laughs you've had in long time during "Heave in a Place on Earth." Kaela Green (Pythio), Suzan M. Jacokes (Gynecia), and John DeMerell (Basilius) are hilarious, yet they sound wonderful singing during one the most well-known Go-Go's songs of the show.
6) Ashlee Spry in the role of Pamela. If she can't make you laugh or, at least, break a smile - you have no joy in your life.
7) Cal Schwartz's costumes should be noted due to their splendid design for the production. They fit in perfectly well with the campy and unique show. Each of his designs let every character stand out yet seem cohesive as a whole.
8) Joe Bailey for the entire production. This is a wonderful production that is well thought out from beginning to the very end. The cast is well put together and each pairing complement each other perfectly. He did a fantastic job with Head Over Heels. Bravo!
9) It's the music of The Go-Go's. Hello - right there should be your perfect reason! So fun!! Believe me - you will know so many more songs than you think you do! You'll find yourself tapping your feet to the beat and trying hard not to sing along!
10) When all else fails, you're supporting Michigan theatre. That should be enough right there! More importantly, this is a really big deal for Michigan theatre as The Ringwald is the first theatre post-Broadway to perform Head Over Heels. This means that they are making the nationwide premiere of the show since it left the Great White Way in January. The official Instagram of the Head Over Heels Broadway musical even announced it (click here to see the post) - it's a big deal! Supporting Michigan theatre is important at any point throughout the year, but supporting it when theatres like The Ringwald get a special opportunity such as this is extra important.
If I haven't convinced you by now to go see Head Over Heels, I'm not sure what I else I could say. I could tell you that Suzan M. Jacokes (Gynecia) will have you dying of laughter during "This Old Feeling." I could tell you that Molly Zaleski did fabulous choreography that is fun, fresh, and went with the beat of the show! I could tell you that Phoenix Eldridge, Tyler Goethe, Shelley Fager-Bajorek, and Tess Hannah are some of the hardest working ensemble members in a show. I could tell you that this show is pure joy and pure fun, but at this point if you haven't decided to go buy tickets and see Head Over Heels, I don't think there is anything else I can say. Go! Live! Laugh! Love! I promise you, you will have fun and leave with smile, tapping your feet to the beat!
Head Over Heels is currently running through June 10th at The Ringwald in Ferndale. For more information and tickets, call 248.545.5545 or visit www.TheRingwald.com.