UTA Theatre Arts and Dance presents pop-punk musical “Head Over Heels”

Musical is a mashup of Renaissance poetry and 1980s pop music by The Go-Go’s

Monday, Feb 26, 2024 • Cristal Gonzalez : contact

The University of Texas at Arlington Department of Theatre Arts and Dance is presenting “Head Over Heels,” the 2018 Broadway musical mashup of Renaissance poetry and 1980s pop music by The Go-Go’s.

The show runs for six performances from Feb. 28-March 2 at 7:30 p.m., with matinee performances on March 2 and 3 at 2 p.m. UTA musical theatre program head J. Austin Eyer is director, with lighting and scenery by UTA design faculty Leah Mazur. The show is written by James Magruder and Jeff Whitty.

Loosely based on Sir Phillip Sidney’s “The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia,” the plot follows a royal court warned by the Oracle of Delphi that its members will soon lose their divine “beat.” King Basilius, whose title is at stake, forces the royal family to try to escape their fate. The plot explores unconditional love and includes usurped kingship, unlikely lovers and gender-fluid disguises.

“I am incredibly excited to bring this work to UTA’s campus,” Eyer said. “When the show premiered, it was the first Broadway musical to feature a nonbinary character and feature a trans actor in an original leading role. The people of Arcadia reflect the students in our Department of Theatre Arts and Dance incredibly well.”

A person in regal costume attended by a man in a black suit

Sarah Jo Adams, a senior musical theatre major, said her favorite part of the production is its “positive queer representation.”

“We don’t see happy endings for queer characters very often in the arts, especially in the theatre,” Adams said. “But ‘Head Over Heels’ allows for an acceptance of one’s true authenticity.”

Eyer, the director, has performed on Broadway and national tours. He co-authored the book “Broadway Swings: Covering the Ensemble in Musical Theatre.” Scenographer Mazur heads the design and technology BFA program at UTA. Recent work in DFW includes “The Visit” at Amphibian Stage and “Artemisia” at Circle Theatre.

Tickets are $16 for the general public and $12 for seniors and UTA students, faculty and staff. For tickets, visit https://utatickets.com/. The show is not recommended for children under 16.

The Department of Theatre Arts and Dance in the College of Liberal Arts at UTA provides comprehensive undergraduate education through theory, research, and practice in the performing arts, theatrical design and dance.