April 16, 2024
Contact: Chris Melville, [email protected]

Get Ready to Fall Head Over Heels at the Waterville Opera House

WATERVILLE, Maine—The 2024 theatrical season at the Waterville Opera House (WOH) continues April 26–May 5 with the outrageous musical comedy Head Over Heels.

This genre-bending romp defies theatrical convention to flip just about everything—expectations, the gender binary, some of the characters—on its head. The story reimagines and retells The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia (a 16th century poem by Sir Philip Sidney, one of Shakespeare’s contemporaries), a fantastical tale kings and queens, mistaken identities, and burgeoning romances. All that gets dialed up to an 11 in the hands of writers Jeff Whitty and James Magruder, and then up to a 12 or 13 when the whole thing is set to the earworm pop-rock hits of the iconic all-female ’80s group the Go-Go’s.

Audiences will follow 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.

“This story is incredibly fresh, well-written, and robust with love, and I can’t wait to share it with our audiences,” said Isabelle Grignon, who returns to the WOH stage for the first time since 2020 to play Pamela in Head Over Heels.

Head Over Heels is whacky, colorful, bright, and boppy, but also delivers poignant messages about personal acceptance and the importance of celebrating love in all its forms. These themes and the representation achieved onstage here are crucial to the mission of the Opera House and Waterville Creates.

“This show exists to communicate an acceptance that will hopefully be simply woven into theatre’s onstage future as naturally as it’s been woven into the offstage history,” said veteran WOH actor Jak Peters, who stars as Basilius in this production. “Whether or not the themes of a show are concerned with queer identity and exploration like Head Over Heels, these things have perennially been concerns of the artists and people putting on shows you enjoy. So much better to honor the real spectrum of people who populate the world—and the world of art—with visibility onstage.”

“Representation matters. I am glad that we get to celebrate every uniqueness of society with music, dance, and colorful costumes in this show,” said actor Wee Kiat Chia, who plays the oracle Pythio. “It is elevating to witness such an important, though sensitive, message be demonstrated in a theater with laughter and songs by a group of loving people.”

For regular audience members and newcomers alike, Head Over Heels has something for everyone, marrying familiar tunes with truly one-of-a-kind spectacle for an unforgettable night of theatre.

Head Over Heels opens Friday, April 26, at 7:30pm. Performances follow April 27, May 3, and May 4 at 7:30pm, with matinées April 28 and May 5 at 2pm. ASL interpreted performance on Sunday, April 28 at 2pm.

The Opera House’s production of Head Over Heels is sponsored by Surette Real Estate, New Dimensions FCU, and Maine Savings FCU.

Songs by the Go-Go’s
Based on 
The Arcadia by Sir Philip Sidney
Conceived and Original Book by Jeff Whitty
Adapted by James Magruder
Directed by Debra Susi
Musical Direction by Shannon Chase
Presented by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing, LLC. www.broadwaylicensing.com

Tickets are available now. Visit operahouse.org, call 207.873.7000, or visit the Ed Harris Box Office in the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, 93 Main Street, Waterville, to make reservations.

About the Waterville Opera House

Waterville Opera House (WOH) has been bringing the magic of the performing arts to audiences of all ages since 1902. This beautifully restored, 810-seat theatre hosts high-quality community theatre, dance, concerts, and educational programming. As part of the artistic community working to make Waterville a key arts destination, WOH encourages an appreciation for the performing arts and its creative expression by consistently producing exceptional performances for residents and visitors. We firmly believe that art and culture have the power to enrich lives, strengthen community bonds, and serve as an economic engine. For more information, visit operahouse.org.