PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, March 29-April 4: If/Then Opens and Raisin Receives Glowing Reviews

By Robert Simonson
04 Apr 2014


Heathers stars Barrett Wilbert Weed and Ryan McCartan
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Off-Broadway, Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy's new show Heathers: The Musical, based on the cult 1988 comedy about the fatal price of popularity at one high school, opened March 31 at New World Stages to a pile of positive notices.

The New York Times called it a "rowdy, guilty pleasure." The Daily News said the show "is such a fun and satisfying Off-Broadway treat, you might be tempted to express amazement by quoting the show. Such as, 'How very.'" Variety, meanwhile, enthused: "The witty Off Broadway show, penned by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe, plays strong to a multi-generational [audience] ranging from digitized 20-year-olds to their parents and grands of the Gen X era, reaching all the way back to their Boomer forebears. Someone of the current generation should shake a leg and transfer this winner to Broadway."

Unlike the movie, which did not succeed commercially, this Heathers looks to have a healthy future ahead of it.


Studio Theatre of Washington, D.C., will not, in the end, present Taylor Mac's play Hir as part of its upcoming season, as was previously announced.

Mac's play, in which a character adopts a third gender identity, was scheduled to be part of the Washington DC-based theatre's 2ndStage program. It had previously been mounted in San Francisco at the Magic Theatre, directed by Niegel Smith, and the Washington Post reports that Mac had wanted Smith to also direct the Studio Theatre production.

However, Studio artistic director David Muse — in a move common at nonprofit theaters, where all-powerful artistic heads like to reserve to themselves the choice of play directors — chose another director, Holly Twyford, to pilot Hir. Mac didn't like that. So, in an unusual move, he pulled the play.

"They announced it before talking to me," Mac told the Post. "Niegel has been working on this play with me for the last two years. We just still feel that the play and our process with it have some more work to do." Mac said his decision was not related to Twyford's directorial skills.


Stage-shy music icon Carole King finally came to see the show about her life.

King surprised the cast of Broadway's Beautiful: The Carole King Musical during the April 3 curtain call at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. King, who watched the show from the audience, took the stage following the evening performance. She also performed her hit "You've Got a Friend" with the company.

King had previously stated she would not attend the musical, which chronicles her rise to stardom and much of the personal-life turmoil that accompanied it.

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Elle McLemore, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Alice Lee and Barrett Wilbert Weed
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN