It's teen angst with more than a touch of blood and guts and death attached; a different kind of high school musical.
Or as lead actress McKenna Marmolejo puts it: "It's heightened high school with dead people."
Based on the late '80s cult film Heathers, starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, Heathers the Musical, about to be shown at the Hobby courtesy of TUTS Underground, tells the story of Veronica Sawyer, who breaks into the best girls clique – Heathers – at her high school and then wants out.
Marmolejo, who plays the Veronica role, describes her character as “very awkward and self-conscious, but she doesn't care what other people think. She's very easy to manipulate.”
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Equally important is the character of J.D., the mysterious newcomer to the school (played by Mason Butler) who befriends Veronica and spirals more and more out of control as Veronica careens from one mishap to the next and bodies start piling up.
Yes, bodies. Whether accidentally or otherwise, people start to die. Despite this, Marmolejo says, on the overall, her character is a good person. "In the end, she goes back to her best friends." And she adds, while dark, the story is still funny.
This being a musical, the cast sings about all the goings-on in the best tradition (we hope) of Sweeney Todd. With music, lyrics and book by Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness, “Desperate Housewives”) and Laurence O’Keefe (Bat Boy, Legally Blonde), audiences can expect to go beyond the purely comfortable in this send-up of teenager hierarchies and the characters in power. And this isn't one for really young kids, although teenagers will probably delight in it.
Performances are scheduled for April 28 through May 8 at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 8:30 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby.. For information, call 713-558-8887 or visit tuts.com. $29-$54.