Footlight Club’s ‘Heathers The Musical’ Opens April 13th

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The Footlight Club's "Heathers The Musical" is based on the cult classic 1980s movie starring Christian Slater, Winona Ryder and Shannen Doherty. That trio are not in the local show, but that's probably for the best as the drama will remain on stage and not behind the scenes in the Footlight's version opening April 13th.

Photo by Elizabeth Bean

Veronica (Tristyn Sepersky – left) introduces the Heathers, Heather McNamara (Cara Guappone), Heather Chandler (Christianna Moestue), and Heather Duke (Michaela Modica) flanked by the jocks, Kurt (Simon Rogers) and Ram (Jude Torres).

With music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy, the musical tells the story of Veronica Sawyer, originally played by Ryder, who is a brainy and beautiful teenager, and part of the Heathers, the most popular and powerful clique in high school. She finds out that being part of the clique means she's got to bully kids, including former friends of hers. She ends falling for a mysterious newcomer, Jason Dean (JD), originally played by Slater.

Things get dark when an accidental drink mixup ends with the death of one of the Heathers and JD convinces Veronica to fake the deceased teen's suicide.

Photo by Elizabeth Bean

J.D. (Jordan Lindley) explains to Veronica (Tristyn Sepersky) that likes the rush of drinking a Slurpee to freeze his brain.

The Footlight Club's musical stars Tristyn Sepersky as Veronica, Jordan Lindley as JD and as the three Heathers, Christianna Moestue, Cara Guappone and Michaela Modica.

“Growing up in the early 90's I loved the movie 'Heathers.' We owned the VHS and watched it regularly in high school," said director Eleza Kort, a former Footlight Club board member. "When they turned into a musical, I was incredibly suspicious and judgmental. Then while attending a conference for theater educators in New York I got to see it. I remember after the first number, 'Beautiful; turning to the woman next to me, a stranger mind you, and saying, "This is going to be really good!" And it was. At that moment I knew that if I ever had the chance, I wanted to direct it."

Photo by Elizabeth Bean

After Heather Chandler’s (Christianna Moestue, right) untimely demise, Heather McNamara (Cara Guappone) and Heather Duke (Michaela Modica) clean out her locker, while Veronice (Tristyn Sepersky) looks on.

“The movie helped shape my teen years. In high school, I was basically a combination of Veronica Sawyer and Daria -- to be fair, I think all brunette nerds who wore glasses felt a kinship with Daria. I'm also a big fan of Laurence O'Keefe's score. I'm fond of big group numbers and high belting,” said Tristyn Sepersky.

“I feel as if I would have identified with one of the students just swimming in all of this teenage angst. I was sort of a quiet kid with a lot of hope, so if I had to identify with a lead character, it would likely be Martha (the overweight misfit who is shunned by most of the school, but fights to keep her optimistic outlook),” said Jordan Lindley, who's playing JD.

The Footlight Club's "Heathers The Musical" is running from April 13th to April 28th. Click here for showtimes and tickets.

Photo by Elizabeth Bean

The students of Westerburg High have some big fun! (Foreground from left: Kurt (Simon Rogeres), Heather Chandler (Christianna Moestue), Veronica (Tristyn Seperskyi), Heather McNamara (Cara Guappone), Ram (Jude Torres) and Heather Duke (Michaela Modica).

Photo by Elizabeth Bean

Kathleen Comber plays Miss Fleming, the former hippie turned teacher who wants to find a teaching moment in a student’s suicide.