by Destiney Warren
The University Theatre’s production of Heathers: The Musical in Fresno is one you don’t want to miss. While dark humor is a fickle craft, this cast managed to hit all the comedic moments perfectly. I had never seen this play, but it has been a cult classic for so long that I was wary of the love that everyone seemed to have for it (Oh, the cynic in me), but after this performance, I’m sold.
The play begins with Veronica Sawyer, in her senior year, attempting to just get through it and graduate if she’s “not dead by June.” We follow her and her high school as she gets in over her head with her fellow classmates, the popular It girls (the “Heathers”), and a new kid in town (JD). Be prepared for lots of sexual humor, some death and despair, but always with a song that gets stuck in your head forever. I can’t be the only one who can’t stop singing “We can be seventeeeeeeeen.”
The cast did a fantastic job. Kindle Lynn Cowger, who plays Veronica, kept the audience laughing with her ability to pull off the dry humor in the play—which is way more difficult than you think! I was blown away by her voice, especially on the songs “Dead Girl Walking,” “Our Love Is God,” and “Seventeen.”
While Cowger definitely stole the show, William Aaron Bishop who played JD, held his own alongside her. He had me laughing and crying; he played the role of the new kid/bad boy to a “T.” JD is a tough character to play (I won’t give too much away here), but his ability to portray all the different aspects of the character was amazing. Bishop made sure that you couldn’t help but love JD.
The “Heathers” played by Laura Folland, Jana Price, and Hannah Huyck were hilarious. They each played the queen bees of the high school while also making you genuinely feel for them. Their song “Candystore” had the whole audience laughing.
Don’t miss this production! Word to the wise though, this play deals with some tough issues and has a lot of dark humor as well as sexual innuendos and language. It says mature audience for a reason! But I still suggest you go see it.
You can catch it at the John Wright Theatre at Fresno State on Tuesday, May 9, through Saturday, May 13, all at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $12 for students. You can buy your tickets online or at the Box Office.
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