As If! - Clueless, The Musical

Location: 
Manhattan, New York
United States
US

This iconic line, uttered by an even more iconic character, is instantly recognizable. “Clueless” is a well-loved 90s film so it makes sense that it would become a musical. In fact, Amy Heckerling (writer and director of the film and writer of the musical) explained to The New York Times that “even when we were shooting the movie, it felt like, at any point, it should burst out in song.” The classic story of the materialistic- yet optimistic- Beverly Hills teenager known as Cher Horowitz took to the Off-Broadway stage on December 11.

Hardcore fans of the movie need not worry, because most of the stand-out lines have been retained in the musical (i.e. “Oh my god, I am totally buggin’!”). Even the quintessential Cher yellow plaid is included. The stage version draws heavily from the 90s (which makes sense considering the film’s release in 1995). The music consists of hits from the time period with a twist to the lyrics in order to make each song fit the storyline (Cher sings “Torn” about her dress and jacket following her mugging and “What if God was one of us?” is turned into “What if Cher didn’t have a trust?”). This theme continued before the show and during intermission, with bands like Coldplay and Green Day being played on the speakers as the audience filed into their seats. “Kids in America” and “Supermodel,” which were featured in the film, are in the musical’s soundtrack as well.

The costuming, by Amy Clark, is perfect for the 90s (and even present day). Cher (portrayed by Dove Cameron) has multiple variations on her classic skirt-and-blazer combo, which holds to her archetypal keen fashion sense. Even though the patterns are often slightly different, they mesh together flawlessly. Her computer’s outfit-picking feature is present, assisting the selection of her daily looks.

The cast is fantastic and the show is extremely uplifting and optimistic (which I particularly appreciated on the rainy and cold Thursday of finals week). It even has some empowering messages which especially important in today’s society. While I didn’t see Dove Cameron as Cher, I did see Swing Katie Goffman step into the character’s suede Mary Janes and she was incredible. The musical shines a spotlight on Travis, the underachiever, who was played by the charismatic Will Connolly. There was even some interaction with the audience, though I won’t spoil anything. Ephie Andreas as Tai was excellent and perfectly channeled Brittany Murphy’s on-screen portrayal of the same character.

Overall, Clueless the musical was a feel-good romp through the 90s, and I would recommend it for any fan of the movie.