Review: “Heathers” performance brings down the house

The shocking moment hit the actors and the audience at the same time: Veronica (played by senior Ava Dalton) wasn’t dead after all. She was walking across the stage toward J.D. (played by senior Ben Bonick).

The two stars of “Heathers: The Musical” then sang a reprise of the song “Dead Girl Walking,” by far the most exhilarating moment of the show, as everyone watched the two former lovers fight one another over the fate of the school at hand.

Ovation Academy put on its performance of “Heathers” at the Madison Street Theatre May 12 to 14.

The production was directed and choreographed by seniors Tori Hutson and Ellie Medina, and included students from several schools ranging in between seventh and 12th grades, with a majority being upperclassmen.

The musical, inspired by the 1989 movie starring Winona Ryder as Veronica Sawyer and Christian Slater as J.D., has been a popular Broadway hit since its debut in 2014.

The play explores topics of popularity, teenage romance, murder and suicide, hitting many sensitive sides of being a high schooler through an exaggerated lens.

Auditions for the play were held via video submission, and once the cast was decided, students began rehearsals right away.

The performers of “Heathers” take their bows.

Rehearsals included choreography and staging by Hutson and Medina, while junior Trevor Schonman coached the cast on vocals.

“Heathers”’ most admirable aspects included the vocal capability of the actors, the excellent costume designing done by junior Jules Weir and the immense effort put into the production by both the cast and crew.

Every person that was a part of the show, whether they were included in the ensemble or was cast as a lead role, had a voice that intrigued the audience. Just looking around while at the show there was not a single person distracted. The focus was glued to the stage.

When Ms. Fleming, played by junior Lyra Arvetis, let out her high note and held it, there was a sudden rumble of applause filling the room.

Costumes for the show were carefully constructed and perfectly fit the setting, and more importantly, the decade of the play. There was a consistent theme of what clothing looked like in the late 1980s as designers played with different textures, patterns and styles.

Not only that, the costumes fit the tone and mood of each scene. For example, the black leather jacket JD wore over a worn white tank sent the message that there was something ominous going on inside him.

While watching the performance on stage it was evident that the cast and crew had put many hours into the final show. There was not a single place on stage left empty and the lighting, props and costume design that went with each scene were flawlessly executed throughout the play’s two acts.

Besides the seemingly effortless execution of the production the audience was clearly engaged. The focus was sharp, there were no lights from phone screens shining in the crowd, and barely any whispers could be heard. Even the snacks purchased were mostly unopened in fear of making a noise that could interrupt the magic happening on stage.

The audience participated through clapping after songs and natural cheering at the end of each scene. By the time the production came to an end nearly every single person was standing up and cheering for the cast.