“Head Over Heels” is a production full of color and spunk. The vibrant, genderqueer adaptation of 16th century “The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia” features music from the famous female 80’s band, The Go-Go’s.
Texas Woman’s University Theatre Department opened the show on April 21. With an almost full audience, the production was a marvel and was received with admiration. From beach balls flying through the audience to the cast asking spectators to get up and dance, “Head Over Heels” is a night of pure hilarity and enjoyment.
Dinvela Adam took over the stage in the role of the cross-dressing shepherd, Musidorus. Adam did an especially exceptional job showing the blossoming love between his character and Philoclea played by Ashleigh Breeding from the very start of the production. Musidorus’s purposeful break in character to restart his proposal number to Philoclea is an exceptionally comical anecdote that highlights the technical contribution of the crew to the musical.
Breeding and Emma Dockum performed as the royal sisters, Philoclea and Pamela. The beautifully portrayed sisterly relationship was full of love and occasional jealousy. Dockum performed sensationally, showing the gradual journey of the character’s self-expression and sexual identity. Breeding played well to the younger sister’s childish manner and showcased her amazing vocal range.
Felix Ferris plays the eccentric King Basilius. Ferris did well in showing the stubborn, injudicious nature of the character. LeeAnn Ducker does a fantastic job showcasing the spunkiness and humor of her character, Queen Gynecia.
Adrian Theisen captures the attention of all in his role as the nonbinary oracle, Pythio. Theisen did a fantastic job not only with the fluidity of the character’s gender but also with the assertive presence the oracle requires.
Adrian Theisen performing his role as Pythio
Isabelle Malone, as Dametas, serves as a laughable, witty sidekick to King Basilius. They provided several comedic moments, such as collecting the recurring pride flags from the mouth of a beast. Brenna Petersen, in the role of Mopsa, gave a remarkable performance. Petersen gave the audience brilliant hints about the character’s sexual orientation and stunned the audience with her vocal talent. The father and daughter relationship between these two characters was given too subtly and missed until the second act.
The ensemble of five: Obrey Minor, Brooklyn Long, Molly Hudson, Dharma Saiz and Jasmine Cintora, gave an outstanding performance changing from dancers, to the body of a snake, to sheep, and many others. The adaptability of each of these actors was equally comical and impressive.
The cast had the time of their lives changing from scene to scene of singing, dancing and even a lion chase. Moreso, director Steven Young seemed to have more fun than any other, as he was beaming with pride and laughing through the entirety of the performance.
“Head Over Heels” will be running from April 21-23 and April 28-30 at the TWU Redbud Theatre.
Hannah Everett can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.