by Lorie Lewis Ham
Valley theatre always seems to be bringing us something new to see, and this summer has been no exception! Right now the Valley premiere of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story is on stage in Reedley, and next month the Valley premiere of Heathers the Musical is coming to Selma, presented by the Raisin’ Cain Players. We took a moment to chat with the show’s director Dominic Grijalva about the show!
For those who have never seen the show here is a description from their press release: Heathers the Musical is based on the 1988 cult film, Heathers, starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. This dark-comedy musical follows Veronica Sawyer, a misfit at Westerberg High who works her way into the most popular (and ruthless) clique on campus: the Heathers. But before she can enjoy life at the top of the social food chain, Veronica falls for J.D. a dark and sexy stranger who hatches a plan to put the Heathers in their place—six feet under. How very!
KRL: Why did Raisin’ Cain Players pick this show to do?
Dominic: We decided to do this show because we knew the talent was here in the Central Valley. We also really like the title and knew it would be a great fit for our season, given it’s edgy material and pop-rock score.
KRL: Why did you want to direct it?
Dominic: I was brought in to direct once the title had been chosen. After our run of In the Heights last year, I think they thought this would be a good show for me to helm. I personally wanted to take it on because it’s just so fun. The topics are serious, but there is a level of fluff that makes the pill a little easier to swallow. To me, that’s what makes a dark comedy really successful.
KRL: This is the Valley premiere of this show correct?
Dominic: Yes, it’s the Central Valley premiere production.
KRL: What has been the most exciting/fun thing about directing this show?
Dominic: The most exciting thing for me has been getting to work with my friends and colleagues on a show that we all know very well and love. Rehearsals have been a blast so far and the work being put in is top-notch.
KRL: What has been the biggest challenge?
Dominic: Oddly enough, the same answer for the last question. It’s fun to work with my friends, but it’s also very intimidating. I’ve worked with most everyone in this cast at least once, and they’ve all worked with some of the most esteemed directors, companies, and theatres in the Valley. Then there’s little ole me trying to put on a show with them. It can be a very daunting thing!
KRL: After seeing In the Heights last year I don’t think you should be worried. That was an amazing show. Are there cast members we might recognize from Valley theatre?
Dominic: Yes, you will recognize most of the cast as they have all starred in various shows at Good Company Players, COS, Reedley River City Theatre Company, StageWorks Fresno, CMT and even past shows at the Selma Arts Center.
KRL: Anything else you would like to add?
Dominic: The show is rated ‘R’ for adult content, strong language, violence and the like. It’s not meant for children. Do not bring them!
Also patrons and media are invited to attend a special cabaret performance by the cast immediately following the performance on August 12. The Selma Arts Center will be featuring original artwork inspired by Heathers and submitted by local artists.
Performance dates and times are Friday, August 5, Saturday, August 6, Thursday, August 11, Friday, August 12, Saturday, August 13, Thursday, August 18, Friday, August 19, Saturday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m., with matinee performances on Saturday, August 6, Sunday, August 7, Saturday, August 13, Sunday, August 14, and Saturday, August 20 at 2 p.m.
Tickets for Heathers the Musical are available at tickettomato.com or at the Selma Arts Center box office located at 1935 High Street, Selma, CA 93662. Box office hours are Tuesday–Friday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors. Content is rated ‘R.’ Tickets will also be available at the door for the same price, until sold out–doors open half hour before show time. For information visit the Selma Arts Center website at selmaartscenter.com.
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