Set to the electric and iconic music of The Go-Go’s, Endicott’s new Mainstage production Head Over Heels follows the journey of a royal family as they try to save their kingdom from losing its “beat” (as in, “We Got The Beat”). The musical comedy, which ran on Broadway from 2018 to 2019, features various characters in the LGBTQ+ community and is a contemporary spin on Sir Philip Sidney’s 16th-century The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia.
Tickets are available now for the show directed by Katie Clarke, which runs from April 13 through April 15 in the Rose Theater. We recently chatted with Amanda Fox ’22 M’23 who stars as Pamela, and Rebecca Kenneally, Chair of Performing Arts, to discuss the upcoming show.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
How did the Endicott community react to Head Over Heels being chosen for the spring musical?
RK: Everyone’s been really excited from the beginning, excited about the music and the message. I had a number of students on their audition forms who said that they felt grateful to feel represented on stage. I heard that people felt like the show spoke to them and was really making them feel represented. I’ve been so excited to do it and bring it to life.
Why do you think it’s important to do a show that showcases inclusivity?
AF: We need to not only be an advocate for it, but we also need to demonstrate it—having a musical that has such a focus on [inclusivity] really shows it in a great light, in such a simple way, and the characters accept one another.
RK: There’s a lot of effort right now in our country to push out inclusivity. At Endicott, our theme this year is “belonging as our sixth sense.” If we’re talking about people having a place, Head Over Heels is about everybody having a place.
What’s your favorite song from the show?
AF: There’s a song that I didn't know before starting the show called “How Much More” and it's just a super rock song and my character goes crazy during it. One of the hardest songs I’ve ever had to learn singing-wise.
RK: “Mad About You,” no doubt. I’ve always loved that song and the choreography for it is just so cute.
How does the choreography fit with the show?
AF: The choreography is great. We’ve incorporated some really fun aspects to it—we have a section of feature dancers, and then our entire ensemble. We do a really nice job splitting those two up and getting to see the skill set that the feature dancers bring, while also showing the volume that the whole cast brings on stage. There’s a lot of us on a smallish stage.
RK: I love how the dancing comes out into the aisles quite a lot. So, you’re in the audience, you’re part of the production. I love how it just so captures the vibe of the ’80s. When you see ’80s dancing, it’s just so iconic, so recognizable, and it feels that way in the freshest and most energetic way.
What do you hope audiences take away from watching Head Over Heels?
RK: I’m one of the trainers for the Safe Zone Training. Something that I’ve learned from Safe Zone Training is that people are in very different places about how they feel about LGBTQ+ people and society. Some people will be shocked by the show, and other people will not be shocked at all. But I think that it’s so much fun and that people will take away the feeling that this topic doesn’t have to be so heavy and fraught all the time and that we can actually have fun and sing and dance and talk about loving one another with joy.
AF: I hope they just see these messages in such a fun light. We’ve done some amazing things with our set design and our costume design, pairing the Renaissance feel of the text with the really exciting rock vibes of the music.
Want to see Head Over Heels? Tickets are on sale now for April 13, 14, and 15.
Photo courtesy of Madison Durfee of Madison Noel Photography