“Go-Go music really makes us dance, Do the pony, puts us in a trance”
HEAD OVER HEELS IS ROCKING FUN
The beat is fun and hopping in the new Broadway-Bound musical HEAD OVER HEELS, now on stage at the Curran Theatre through May 4th. The music of the iconic punk pop girl band, the Go-Go’s, meets the Elizabethan era in a fun over the top story. The mosh of the Go Go’s classic songs drive the sometimes silly story to sheer pleasure. The Curran theatre Artistic Director Carole Shorenstein Hays says “I instantly fell in love with “Head Over Heels” rollicking spirit of fun, and with the brilliance of matching together this story of good hearted scallywags with the celebratory anthems of the Go-Go’s. I have always been inspired by their music, so it has been a distinct joy to revisit so many of my favorite tunes in such a unique way.”
The book is adapted by James Magruder from original story conceived by Jeff Whitty, based on “The Arcadia” by Sir Philip Sidney. Music and lyrics by the Go-Go’s, with orchestrations and arrangements by Tom Kitt and over the top choreography by Spencer Liff (Think you can Dance, and Hedwig). Directed by Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, Hedwig) is pleased to open this new musical in San Francisco. “I opened the national tour of Spring Awakening at the Curran. There are so many great luxuries in getting to present our production in San Francisco. It’s very helpful for all of us to work together in a concentrated, uninterrupted way, far from the prying eyes of New York theater.”
The story is an inspired mash-up of punk pop 80’s tune, set to an unpredictable Elizabethan romp about a royal family that must prevent an oracle's prophecy of doom. In order to save their beloved kingdom, the family sets of on a crazy journey mixed with mistaken humorous identities, jealous lovers, sexual awakening, a huge serpent, where everything and everyone is not quite what it seems and have unpredictable needs. The two act musical includes some eye catching musical numbers and a company of New York bond actors that is sure to set off a buzz when the show arrives on the great white way.
The principal cast of HEAD OVER HEELS features the entertaining Andrew Durand (Spring Awakening), Taylor Iman Jones (Groundhog Day), Jeremy Kushnier (Cirque du Soleil Paramour), Bonnie Milligan(Kinky Boots tour; Broadway debut), the elegant Miss Peppermint ("RuPaul's Drag Race"; Broadway debut; the first trans-woman actress to create a principal role on Broadway), Tom Alan Robbins (The Lion King, original cast), Alexandra Socha (Spring Awakening) and Rachel York(Disaster!). The two and half hour romp opens with “We Got The Beat” featuring the amazing vocals of the marvelous Taylor Iman Jones and the entire company that set the pace for this full throttle musical.
HEAD OVER HEELS features seventeen of The Go-Go's iconic hit songs including; "Get Up and Go," "Cool Jerk," "Vacation," "Our Lips Are Sealed," "Lust to Love," "Head Over Heels" and Belinda Carlisle's solo hits "Mad About You" and "Heaven is a Place on Earth." Based on the 16th century fable “Arcadia,” this pop musical takes you back to in time and Spencer Liff’s flawless choreography is the highlight of the show. Costume designer Arianne Phillips’ brilliant Elizabethan look of color and class took the sold out opening night audience to a Shakespearean world. Opening night members of the all-female Go Go’s rock band were in attendance, as well as fan girl and show producer Gwyneth Paltrow.
Director Mayer has a cast of eight leads and eight ensemble members with the Broadway talent to create the exaggerated Shakespearean ramble of lyrics, dance and self discovery. Mayer keeps the romp moving and the story engaging, funny and naughty with sexual innuendos that make the story work behind the pop of the 80’s. There is an edge to the story including one character who boasts he is ready to go all masculine to welcome that feminine part of himself, asking for “they” rather than “he.” The craft team includes the exquisite lighting of Kevin Adams, his bright fantasy look brings a vibrant mood of colors especially when Miss Peppermint is on stage as the tremendous mythical Serpent. Sound designer, Kai Harada keeps the band mix perfect and pop. Music director Kim Girgsby's, all-female six-member band rocks out every number as they blow out the Curran Theatre. We get to greet the band at the end of the evening when Julian Crough's wonderful set reveals the musicians that have been perched in in the skies of Arcadia the whole show. Crough’s set is very colorful and full of sensational drops that change one after the other to reveal this vibrant city and adventure.
HEAD OVER HEELS will bring the “Summer Pop” to New York as the show is set to open June 23rd at the Hudson Theatre. It's sure to inspire some Tony buzz, yes it needs some fixes before June, but it is sure fun and energy will make any none Go Go’s fan a true lover of the “the beat”. This eye candy new fairy tale musical will make you get up and dance and sing “Head Over Heels’ this is a spring Must See.
The Curran Theatre Presents
‘HEAD OVER HEELS’
Book by James Magruder,
adapted from the 16th-century comedy “Arcadia,” by Sir Philip Sidney.
Featuring music by The Go-Go’s
Directed by Michael Mayer
Orchestrations and Arrangements by Tom Kitt
Choreographed by Spencer Liff
Only Through May 6
Curran Theater, 445 Geary St., San Francisco
2 hours 40 minutes, one intermission
Tickets: $29–$175, sfcurran.com
Photos by Joan Marcus
MICHAEL MAYER DIRECTOR comments
THE PRODUCTION TEAM COMMENTS
OPENING NIGHT CAST AND CREW BOWS
OPENING NIGHT RED CARPET - GO GO’s INTERVIEW
THE GO GO’S PERFORM HEAD OVER HEELS
NEW YORK LAUNCH PARTY