Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Dear diary: my teen angst now has a musical

by Paige Johnson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Theatre | August 9th, 2017

‘Heathers’ hits the Empire stage in Grand Forks

Before the pink-clad Plastics or Cher’s group of popular beauties in “Clueless,” the shoulder pad-wearing, croquet mallet-wielding Heathers ruled the halls of Westerberg High in the 1989 cult classic “Heathers.”

Now, this group of mean girls are seeing a resurrection on the Empire stage in the contemporary musical that features all the same themes from the 80’s film: teen angst, popularity and murder.

“Heathers” follows Heather, Heather and Heather, and their misfit member Veronica Sawyer, as the girls maintain their rule as high school royalty. When mysterious new boy J.D. appears, Veronica’s loyalty to the Heathers begins to wane: but J.D.’s plot for revenge against the Heathers and the other popular members of their high school requires moral flexibility.

“Heathers” is the second production by Empire this season that features a high school setting, although its mature content is a bit different than the musical “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

“We actually didn’t give any thought to the school theme,” said Emily Montgomery, executive director at Empire Theatre Company. “This is the second production of our sixth season as the Empire Theatre Company. Our theme is actually strong female voices.

‘Heathers’ fits really well with our mission, which is to do shows that are rarely seen in our state, mainly contemporary plays and musicals, shows that are newer and maybe a little more edgy or controversial.”

“Heathers” definitely fits that bill. The musical not only features strong female characters and is based on a book by a woman, but its controversial content and language makes it what Montgomery considers a “bold choice.”

“The fact that it’s even being produced is really unique,” Montgomery said. “To my knowledge, it’s the first production regionally and in the state. It’s a fairly new musical. The movie’s rating is comparable to the musical, there are mature content and themes. It’s a bold choice in what I consider a conservative state.”

While the choice of production makes it stand out, its music, style and collection of actors also make it a must-see.

“The 80s theme is just a lot of fun,” said Montgomery. “It seems to resonate with people. It was a fun time and culture with its fashion, color. It’s been a real blast to the past… It’s so funny and the music is great and entertaining.”

Montgomery said that the plot and characters of the movie remain the same in the musical: the addition of dancing and singing are the only things that change the original “Heathers.”

“If you love the movie, I think you’ll love the musical,” Montgomery assured me.

A host of local artists star in the musical, including Brenna Skallet, Gina Uhlir and Emily Wirkus as the Heathers; Alexis Gordon as Veronica; and Christopher Knudson as J.D.

For more information on “Heathers” at Empire or for their sixth season, visit www.empireartscenter.com.

IF YOU GO ‘Heathers’

Aug. 10 - 12, 15 – 19, 7:30pm

Empire Arts Center, 415 DeMers Ave, Grand Forks

Tickets: $17 students/military, $22 adults

www.empireartscenter.com

Recently in:

Sophia Wilansky says she’s lucky she’s right handed. Since nearly losing her left arm from an exploding projectile on Backwater Bridge one year ago, cooking has become a tedious art. She can no longer be involved in circus…

The Transgender Day of Remembrance memorializes the trans individuals who have lost their lives due to violence this year. It is a day where we read their names and remember them—not how they died, but how they lived. This is also…

Thursday, November 16, 7-9pmUnglued, 408 Broadway N, FargoProof Artisan Distillers and Unglued present a craft party with four distinct projects and help from artists Ashley from AENDEE and Nicole Rae, not to mention a special…

“The experience of all ages has proved that the people constantly give away their liberties.” - John Adams“Man’s dishonesty with himself is his greatest enemy. When he makes a mistake, his memory admits, ‘I have done…

The thoughts and prayers of politicians will finally be answeredWe have had 307 mass shootings (four kills or more) so far in 2017, including the last one in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 26 mortals attending church, aged 18…

For the third week in a row, our panel of judges were out on the town with a thirst for cocktails and a focus on presentation, flavor, and creativity. This week’s adventures took us to a couple of hotspots in south Fargo, as the…

Colder weather, changing leaves, pumpkin spice and more are some of the few things that come to mind when many think of fall. But fall is about much more than sugary lattes and scarves, and you can fully indulge in fall flavors at…

I’m told that there is nothing quite like a live Green Jelly show, where anarchy and foam puppets reign. So perhaps it’s in the spirit of the upcoming show that my intended interview with the mastermind and vocalist behind the…

On Tuesday, November 14 at 7pm, the Fargo Theatre hosted a screening of “The Mission of Herman Stern,” a feature-length documentary chronicling the remarkable humanitarian efforts of the North Dakota businessman and founder, in…

Would you like to escape your stressful daily life with a relaxing arts event? Do you like to meet with old friends and make new ones? Or maybe you would like to start your Christmas and Holiday shopping early. FMVA has the event…

Ted Larson introduced me to Chris Jacobs one evening at Weld Hall in the late 1980s. I was in high school then, but Chris recognized fellow film fanatics, and we would chat a little bit each week. I learned quickly that he loved…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

Believe it or not, “The Holidays” are upon us. If you’ve been to Target lately, and I know you have, you may have noticed that the Christmahanakwanzika stuff is already up (if you’re unsure of that term, Google it).In fact,…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Anthony Paul [Editor’s note: This piece contains language that some readers may find offensive]It has been all over social media and the news lately, how our president and commander-in-chief called and spoke with one of these…