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Tales of Little Miss Type A

Pearls, Politics & Perception

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Musicals for Millenials

Heathers: The Tale of the Original Mean Girls

By Veronica U-K.

Heather, Heather, and Heather. If you thought Mean Girls was the best production of high school drama, allow me to suggest that you listen up “before I slap your face off.”

The show is a rock musical with music, lyrics, and a book by Laurence O’Keefe & Kevin Murphy, and is based on the 1988 film: Heathers. After a Los Angeles tryout, the show had a production Off-Broadway in 2014. Although I have yet to see this show live, I would just like to take a moment to thank my two friends, Siobhan and Mattea, for introducing me to this glorious rendition of high school.

So the story begins with Veronica Sawyer. She is a high school student who is the seemingly only person to see through everyone else’s ignorance at Westerburg High School. She looks to the Heathers, (a group that would make even Regina George scared) who seem to “float above it all,” as they are admired, hated, and envied by all. At first, the group seems to take to her, until she begins hanging out with J.D, the irresponsible heartthrob in a trench.

The story continues with murder (WHAT?) and chaos, as the ever present themes of finding true love, coming of age, and embracing individuality are all so eloquently reinforced through Murphy and O’Keefe’s collaboration.

It is not very often that a story not only manages to capture the beauty of youth, while also degrading the very essence of it.

Here’s the first song, “Beautiful.” (One of my favorites!) Find more one youtube.com

The Book of Mormon

By Veronica U-K.

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!

For those of you who’ve yet to see the arguably best satirical musical, The Book of Mormon is a religious and comedic story of two missionaries who’s mission is to evangelize the people of Uganda. U-ganda be kidding me right? While attempting to convert the natives, the two men are plunged into a world filled with war, famine, AIDS, and a need for frogs?

Yes, the musical had me at “Hello.” After the first song, I looked at my friends I was sitting with and I could tell we all had the same idea…if this was how the religion truly was, we would all convert. Perhaps that is why there was a group of real Mormons standing outside the theatre asking if audience members would be willing to change religions.

Much of the show’s seemingly ever-lasting freshness comes from its unabashed identity, as an archetypal musical. The show is a celebration of the ridiculousness of humans to do the impossible, when put in the most extreme situations, if they “just believe” by putting their sorrows and joys into melodies of revelation.

Well, that and the incredible ability of the cast to perform at such a high level…from the beginning one can’t help but see how much the musical is not only “selling” the show, but also the religion, in such an eloquent way.

Just take a moment to examine the many dance numbers, including the tap routine in “Turn It Off.” While hilariously articulating the religion’s no-tolerance policy for homosexuals, the show reminds the audience they are still watching a musical, as any aversion such beliefs should just be crushed.

One of my favorite moments definitely had to be when Elder Price runs into the camp of the warlord and sings of how he believes the warlord is under the influence of Satan. (The link for “I Believe” is at the bottom of this article: You need to hear it to understand…or just go see the show!)

So, unless you have no sense of humor I suggest you get your tickets now and allow yourself to just believe.

Kinky Boots

By Veronica U-K.

With entrancing music by the lovely, Cyndi Lauper, and a basis of the 2005 film by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth (which was inspired by a true story) the musical tells of a struggling, Northampton shoe factory’s young owner, Charlie Price, who forms a surprising partnership with Lola, a drag queen, to save his father’s business. Charlie intends to produce custom footwear for drag queens and kings (rather than the men’s dress shoes that his father made the factory so well-known for). Finding this new niche market, Charlie soon learns what it really means to be a man, in love, and an individual.

I will admit, when the musical’s theme, “Price and Son” first began playing in the empty shoe factory, on stage last month, I was weary of the show…I mean really Cyndi Lauper? You had such potential…that is until the cast was unleashed belting the sweet, genuine chorus of “The Most Beautiful Thing in the World” (which mind you, not even an eight hour train ride home will be able to get out of your head). From that point, I was drawn into an ethereal world full of leather, stereotyping, misunderstanding, prejudice, and of course, SHOES!

Overall, the show is easily relatable with its shameless, emotional, “button pushing” disposition. With the archetypal themes of finding true love and acceptance, you don’t need to wear stilettos to relate to the characters. As the story progresses, life lessons are handed out as readily as a broken gumball machine.

The main theme of overcoming stereotypes and prejudice is especially present in the relationship between Lola and a worker in Charlie’s factory, Don. The two hardly see eye to eye, in the beginning, as their relationship is that of the typical playground bully picking on the “new kid.” But after a glamorous boxing match, the

two seem to finally learn to get along and realize the main problem of Charlie’s failing factory is the bigger issue at hand.

Likewise, the sub-plot story of Lauren, another one of Charlie’s workers is equally relatable, with her teenage-like cries of crushing on someone who just doesn’t seem to see her. (I swear Ms. Lauper based her song, “The History of Wrong Guys” on my love life.) Her story is sweet and light-hearted; yet, still addresses the main theme of acceptance, as she waits for Charlie to see how much better she is for him than his uptight, status-conscious girlfriend, Nicola.

Of course, none of this story would even be remotely interesting if it wasn’t for the genuine lyrics and chords of Ms. Lauper. Ever since her debut, 1983 album, “She’s So Unusual” the finely tuned and genuine cries of emotional distress, among the glittered goofiness, bring a poignant, lamentful joy to the show, as both Lola and Charlie find they are “not their fathers’ sons.”

So if you don’t gain anything else from the show, at least take a lesson from Ms. Lola and “change your mind about someone.”

And because this is my friend AJ’s favorite number, here is a production of “Sex is in the Heel.”

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