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10 Reasons Why You Need to See ‘Head Over Heels’ Right Now

Category Broadway

|by Marshall W. Mabry IV |

A ‘Head Over Heels’ fan walks us through why this history-making show is a must-see

When it comes to Broadway shows, you’ve got plenty of options. Do you want to see a classic musical comedy of the Shakespearean sort, brimming with romantic misunderstandings, like the upcoming revival of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate? Perhaps you’d rather revel in the rich mise en scène, and understated feminism, of a female-centric period piece like Bernhardt/Hamlet. Or, maybe you’re in the mood to sing and dance along to the songs of one of your favorite artists with a jukebox musical like Beautiful, Summer or The Cher Show.  But only one show on Broadway right now – the Go-Go’s musical Head Over Heels – will allow you to do all three in one night. ShowTickets contributor and HoH fan Marshall Mabry takes us through his top 10 reasons to go(-go!) see this unique and groundbreaking show.   

Bonnie Milligan as Pamela in ‘Head Over Heels’ on Broadway (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Bonnie Milligan as Pamela in ‘Head Over Heels’ on Broadway (Photo: Joan Marcus)

10) It’s redefining what a classic is
Head over Heels is a modern retelling of The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia. It tells the story of how the royal family of Arcadia find love, light and “the beat.” We encounter the oracle, Pythio, who is the story’s narrator. They are the guiding force for this story – which, although it starts with a classic, romantic musical comedy premise, has many modern twists along the way.

9) Classic Go-Go’s Tunes
In addition to being a love story, Head Over Heels is backed by the punk rock and high-energy music of the Go-Go’s. You will encounter this show and hear infectious music you didn’t even know was in the band’s repertoire. The show opens with the most famous song from their catalogue, “We Got the Beat,” and escalates with hilarious musical comedy takes on “Vacation,” “Our Lips are Sealed” and “Heaven is A Place on Earth,” among others.

8) Explosive Choreography
The explosive energy of this show is only catapulted by Spencer Liff’s choreography. It is, in a word, “fierce”; there is no better way to describe it. From the golden drumsticks, to the highest kicks you could imagine, this cast is working hard for your entertainment!

7) LGBTQ Representation
This show is opening the gates for a new wave of theater, and can only be called history-making. Head Over Heels represents the LGBT community in a way that no other show has before. This is due to the fact that, on top of it being a love story, it’s also a period piece. Set around the 16th century, Head Over Heels tells this story in a way that reminds us that queerness is not a product of our own times, and that love of any kind, in any age, is worthy of musical celebration.   

6) Pure Rock Vocals
This cast is full of powerhouse Broadway voices. Bonnie Milligan and Taylor Iman Jones are serving up Broadway’s purest punk rock belts. They are singing their faces off to the music of the Go-Go’s eight times a week, and we love them for it.

5) The Infectious Energy
When your show opens with “We Got the Beat,” there’s nowhere to go but up. The energy of this show, thanks to the actors’ comedic timing and the Go-Go’s upbeat score, is consistent throughout. It’s purely explosive in its presentation, and the audience’s reactions only serve to bolster “the beat.”

4) The Spectacle of Pythio
Played by Peppermint (of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame), Pythio is one of the first explicitly non-binary characters in musical theater. Peppermint is also Broadway’s first transgender lead in a musical. There’s literal history being made within this show, and we’re here for all of it!

3) The Costuming
The costuming of this show alone is to die for. Not only is it some of the most original work to be put onstage in recent history; it’s easily among the most beautiful. Arianne Phillips’ designs perfectly marry the up-tempo, light-hearted nature of this show and its historical setting. From the sheep costumes (yes, they are as cute as they sound) to the grand medieval gowns, these looks are stunners.

2) It’s a love story
In true Go-Go’s fashion, this show is charged with rebellious feminist energy, and it carries throughout the show. Head Over Heels breaks the rules and creates a new format that makes this show unique. Every character is on a quest for love – whether it’s self-love or romantic love – and finds it by the end of the story, but not necessarily in the way you might think.

1) It’s an unexpected concept that just works
Head Over Heels eschews any self-seriousness of all the Broadway traditions it draws upon, which is what allows it to succeed through a combination of humor and show-stopping numbers. It somehow finds its footing in the mix of classic punk rock hits and its 16th century Shakespearean dialogue, in a way that you just have to experience to believe. At the center of its giant, rockin’ heart, though, Head Over Heels is ultimately, like many of the best shows of Broadway’s heyday, an escapist romp. When leave the theatre, you’ll remember the laughter, and how it made you feel, the most.

For more of the best of Broadway, check out our list of the Top Shows in New York in October 2018

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