By James Magruder and Jeff Whitty
Music by The Go-Gos
Directed by Emily Ferrin
Music direction by Jim Martinez
From Wikipedia: “Head Over Heels is a jukebox musical that adapts the plot of The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, the 16th-century prose romance by Sir Philip Sidney. It resembles the Old Arcadia more closely than the New Arcadia. Unlike Whitty's original, which hewed to Sidney's story structure regarding a King outrunning four prophesies, the plotline of the Broadway story follows the royal family of Arcadia on their journey to keep their famous "Beat."”
Head Over Heels is the bold new musical comedy from the visionaries that rocked Broadway with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Avenue Q and Spring Awakening. This laugh-out-loud love story is set to the music of the iconic 1980’s all-female rock band The Go-Go’s, including the hit songs, “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation,” Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Mad About You.”
A hilarious, exuberant celebration of love, Head Over Heels 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.
Not only does this show feature songs that are already proven hits, it is based upon The Arcadia by Sir Philip Sidney (the dialogue is spoken largely in iambic pentameter verse, some of which rhymes), this subject matter would do much better in 2025 than in 2015 or 2018 when it was first released. It has gotten better with age. I see a lot of people talking about how this musical didn’t reinvent theatre, yet it is the only major commercial musical (to date) that cast a trans woman in a leading role, and is the only major commercial musical (to date) that cast a plus size woman in a leading role that didn’t not weaponize her buxomness for comedy and celebrated her for the full figure diva she is! Yes, yes, jukebox musical, I know, it’s not new, however, there are very few musicals (especially on Broadway in the modern age) that celebrate and showcase queer culture quite like this one does, with a staggering amount of the choreography that can be pulled from the traditional, ballroom, vogueing catalog etc! So, yes Head Over Heels in concept is not a new idea, but in execution it set records that no other major commercial musical has even managed to break in the years since and now we have the chance to bring it to The Majestic stage.
The music itself will invigorate the community. The nostalgic music reminds people of their youth, which is always fun. The Go-Gos represented “girl power” in their time. Although the play deals with some heavy issues, it does so in a way that is light and sparkling. The dialogue is great. The musical was relevant when it was written, but the themes surrounding identity and how a person identifies themselves and how others deal with that is in this current social climate more important than EVER.