Curt Lang, co-director of Chicago Heights’ Drama Group’s “Heathers, The Musical,” did not need to look far to note the relevancy of the big screen black comedy which serves as the source material for his production.
“My daughter, before she was even aware of the musical, I think watched it about seven times,” he said. “She thought the movie was hysterical. Thanks to Netflix, the magic lives on.”
Opening Friday and running through Aug. 6. “Heathers” is the tale of Veronica Sawyer, who infiltrates her high school’s dominant social clique consisting of a trio of upper-class girls, each named Heather. Veronica’s plans for the trio and other classmates turn diabolical when she meets and falls for J.D. a troubled new student.
Taking it’s cue from the acclaimed 1988 comedy starring Winona Ryder, Christian Slater and Shannen Doherty, “Heathers,” which features songs such as “The Me Inside of Me,” “Shine a Light” and “Seventeen,” was a hit when it made its debut Broadway in 2014.
Additionally, a TV series based on the film is scheduled to debut in the fall on cable station TV Land.
Drama Group’s production of “Heathers” marks its regional debut.
“It’s not your typical boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back story,” said Lang, who is directing “Heathers” with his wife, Tammy. “It’s nice when that formula’s broken and you can still get a message across.”
“The music is witty,” he added. “”The movie is funny in some ways but the music puts it in a funnier tone.”
Jane Rapisarda is Veronica and Jimmy Poynton is J.D., leading a cast of more than 20 area thesps, in Drama Group’s “Heathers.” Additionally, Alexandria Irby plays Heather Duke, Isabella Andrews is Heather Chandler and Chloe Jancosek is Heather McNamera.
More than 200 actors turned out for “Heathers” auditions, according to Lang.
“It’s such a cult classic with the younger people where if you asked them ‘what play would you like to be put on from the last four years?’ they’d say ‘Heathers,’” he said. “Because we had so many people audition, we were able to get the cream of the crop. The cast is stacked with real good talent.”
Due to adult themes and language, “Heathers” may not be appropriate for young or sensitive audiences.
“Heathers, The Musical” is the inaugural production of Drama Group’s 86th season. Their next production, the thriller “Wait Until Dark,” is scheduled to open at the Studio Theatre Sept. 22.