I discovered Heathers when I was in 6th grade during a theater class in which we were asked what is arguably the hardest question for a theater kid to answer: What’s your favorite musical? I remember panicking in the moment, doing a quick google search of popular musicals, and spouting off the first one that nobody else had said. After that class I listened to it and was instantly hooked.
Heathers tells the story of Veronica, an outsider at school who gets sucked into the world of being popular through a chance encounter with the 3 queens of the school known as The Heathers. As she rises up the social ladder, she meets a boy who rejects the social system entirely named JD. Together, JD and Veronica find safety in each other and they fall deeply in love. This love however leads to the murders of multiple classmates, and attempted destruction of the entire school. It is an emotional rollercoaster with a killer soundtrack (pun very much intended).
Heathers unique characters, dark humor, and serious themes sucked me in. Before long I was walking around my school, one earbud in, humming along to “Candy Store”. I love that it was by pure coincidence that I stumbled across what would become my favorite musical of all time.
Trying to get tickets to the show was impossible. It was never being performed where I was, and so I accepted the fact that all I would ever be able to see was the bad bootleg on YouTube. This changed when on the plane to London, I realized that the west end version of the show was extended through the duration of our program. It was upon landing that I made it my personal goal to make sure that we got to go see it before the end of the program.
I worked my way through the group, introducing the show to those who had never heard it, and reintroducing it to those who had. The soundtrack worked its magic on them like it did with me, and before long it was a strange thing to not be hearing a clump of kids singing along with JD or Veronica.
After days of begging, pleading, and pulling strings, on Saturday our group got to see Heathers the musical. While I’d like to think it was my constant requests that made this happen, it was more likely the fact that nearly all of the students in session 1 were always singing or humming one of the songs from the soundtrack as we worked our way through London. As we arrived at the theater, the excitement in the group was palpable. I don’t doubt that our excited squeals echoed all the way to greenwich!
The show was a dream come true. After 5 years of listening to it on repeat, I finally got to sit in Westerberg high slurping a slushie as JD sang “Freeze your brain”. It was surreal and so much fun. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried multiple times during the show, and I know that I wasn’t the only one.
Seeing heathers was truly “Big Fun” and everyone in our group agreed that it was “Beautiful”. I’m grateful to our chaperones and staff for helping to make it happen, and in turn help to make our trip much more memorable!