“Head over Heels” at The Hudson Theater started out with such energy and excitement to the opening song “We Got the Beat”. The show was written around the Go-Go’s songs and the performance had excellent choreography. The shows main nexus was based around the king of Arcadia,Basilius(Jeremy Kushnier) and his family. The king is looking for a suitor for his cherubic Pamela(Alexandra Socha) but she is not interested in a man. Her younger sister Philoclea is interested in a boy, however, Musidourus(Andrew Durand), a shepherd who is of no Royal blood. This leads to a problem because the King will not allow it. The Queen Gynecia(Rachel York), is non commital toward anything. She goes through the motions without any conflict. She sees a lot but says nothing as she would rather not rock the boat.
The family travels to Bohemia as The Oracle of Delphi( Peppermint), (yes that’s his/or her name) predicts the older daughter will marry a women. Pretty rash prediction since this is the Middle Ages. Yet the family goes on a long trip to Bohemia just in case.At this point, the musical is pretty funny with Musidorus dressing up like a girl to follow his young love into the desert. The shepherd is liked, (a little too much) by the King, Pamela, and the Queen. The tunes by the Go-Go’s are very effective along the play lines but it is not enough. The book is just to stupid and silly. The show starts off campy then get’s ridiculously campy. It is unfortunate because this musical has some of the best lighting, dancing and Scenic Design I have ever seen in Theater.
Kevin Adams does a masterful job at lighting this show. From the Disco strobes to the patio type lighting, Adams get’s what this show needs to keep it upbeat and fun. Julian Crouch is also terrific in the Scenic Design. From the King’s castle; The drawing room; the King’s Court to the scenes in the desert, Crouch’s Scenery is spectacular. The Choreography by Spencer Liff captures the mood and personality of this musical. The singing and dancing is all great. The only thing that does not work here is James Magruder’s book. It is confusing to have the play in Olde English, it is not necessary for what should have been a lay up for the writer to make this musical successful. The other thing that was confusing is that the King’s viceroy( Tom Alan Robbins) who is white has a black daughter,(Taylor Iman Jones) which confuses the audience. It takes a long time to decipher what is her relationship to this show.