After a two-year hiatus from performing live before an audience, the cast and crew of the Western Connecticut State University Department of Theatre Arts newest production are “Head Over Heels” happy that they can once again perform live for the community. WCSU’s School of Visual and Performing Arts presented 13 virtual productions since March 2020 and are now ready to perform live.
The Department of Theatre Arts will present the Mainstage Theatre live musical production, “Head Over Heels,” a contemporary musical comedy featuring songs from the popular 1980’s group The Go-Go’s on Oct. 15-24, 2021. Performances are in the university’s Visual and Performing Arts Center on WCSU’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. Tickets are available at wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com.
“Head Over Heels” is a hilarious, exuberant celebration of love that follows the escapades of a royal family on an outrageous journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction, only to discover the key to their realm’s survival lies within each of their own hearts. Set to the music of The Go-Go’s, including the hit songs “We Got the Beat” and “Our Lips Are Sealed,” this high-energy production is directed and choreographed by Tony-nominee Elizabeth Parkinson and Tony-winner Scott Wise with music direction by conductor/composer Howard Kilik; all are adjunct instructors at WCSU.
The “jukebox musical” originally appeared on Broadway in 2018 and adapts the plot of “The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia,” the 16th-century prose romance by Sir Philip Sidney. “Head Over Heels” is a “mash-up of posh and punk” that includes mistaken identities, jealous lovers, scandal and self-discovery, where everything and everyone is not quite what it seems. It sends a message of unconditional love and acceptance of yourself and everyone you know, no matter their gender or sexual identity.
Audience members must wear masks at all times inside the Visual and Performing Arts Center, and three-feet social distancing will be enforced, with seating inside the Mainstage Theatre limited to every other seat. Tickets should be purchased in advance at wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com, and prices range from $15 to $25. Discounts for senior citizens, children under 12 and groups are available. This production is recommended for those aged 10 and over. Tickets are $10 each for current WCSU students. Performances are Oct. 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 17 and 24 at 2 and 7 p.m.
The cast of “Head Over Heels” (conceived and original book by Jeff Whitty; book adapted by James Magruder) includes Derek Alexander of Swansea, Massachusetts, as Dametas; Nate Bloom of West Haven, as Basilius; Olivia Hendrickson of Callicoon, New York, as Pamela; Teagan La'Shay of Seymour, as Mopsa; Cara Leahy of Pawling, New York, as Philoclea; Ariana Locasio of Southington, as Gynecia; George Pinnock of Queens, New York, as Musidorus; and Ulric Alfred Taylor of Brooklyn, New York, as Pythio.
The ensemble includes Berny Balbuena of Newburgh, New York; Jack Canevari of Pawling, New York; Ethan Chan of Queens, New York; Michelle D'Amico of Dallas, Texas; Victoria D'Orazio of Hopewell Junction, New York; Logan Farley of Belvidere, New Jersey; Katie Geniuch of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts; Jonah King of Cranston, Rhode Island; Chloe Kramer of Poughkeepsie, New York; Meagan Maher of Long Island, New York; Tyler Manemeit of Clinton; Alyssa McDonald of Nyack, New York; Antonio Porciello of Whippany, New Jersey; and Aurora Schlot of Avon.
Crew Members include Jessi Cohen of Brookfield; Mary Donovan of Wappingers Falls, New York; Jakob Kelsey of Bethlehem; Beckett Pais of Bethel; Tim Schoeberl of Lagrangeveille, New York; Courtney Skeens of West Haven; Sara Stone of New Milford; Meredith Yoho of New Fairfield; and Thresia Young of Rochelle, New York.