Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Philadelphia

Head Over Heels
Theatre Horizon
Review by Rebecca Rendell

Also see Rebecca's recent reviews of Unfinished Women Cry in No Man's Land While a Bird Dies in a Gilded Cage, Empathitrax and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The Cast
Photo by John Hawthorne
Boundlessly energetic, unapologetically queer, and awash in the dazzling neon veneer of the 1980s, Head Over Heels is making its professional regional debut at Theatre Horizon in Norristown, Pennsylvania. This jukebox musical features the songs of the popular 1980s all-female rock band, the Go-Go's, delivered by a cast that absolutely rocks. Fans of 1980s tunes may be be especially smitten, but this epic celebration should make anyone cheer with their heart and dancing in their seat.

The story is part mythic tale and part romantic comedy, set in a musical kingdom called Arcadia where the royal family is in crisis. The king is trying to stave off a prophecy that predicts the end of the world, and the queen is trying to keep the family together while dealing with the king's incompetence. Meanwhile, the princesses are all dealing with their own romantic entanglements, including forbidden love, unrequited love, and unexpected attractions.

The show features a diverse cast of talented actors and singers. Lexi Thammavong is dazzling as entitled princess Pamela. Anna Lieberman delivers powerful vocals and authentic vulnerability as Mopsa. Pax Ressler is every bit a mythical deity and divine presence as scheming Pythio. Izzy Sazak and Trey Lyford have a wonderfully bleak and bawdy chemistry as Gynecia and Basilius. Their accidental love scene is uniquely hilarious.

Sanchel Brown's choreography is lively, upbeat, and loads of fun. Costume designer Rebecca Kanach helps create a stunning alternate reality with creative costumes that feature bright colors, bold patterns, and cool cuts. The entire production has a wonderfully imaginative and lighthearted feel. A near-perfect feel-good musical, Head Over Heels is sure to delight audiences and send them home with the beat in their hearts.

Head Over Heels runs through March 12, 2023, at Theatre Horizon, 401 DeKalb Street, Norristown PA. For tickets visit

Songs by The Go-Go's
Based upon The Arcadia by Sir Philip Sidney
Conceived by and Original Book by Jeff Whitty Adapted by James Magruder

Sydney Banks*: Philoclea
Pax Ressler*: Pythio
Aaron Bell*: Musidorus and Dance Captain
Trey Lyford*: Basilius
Thomas Choinacky: Dametas
Anna Lieberman: Mopsa
Izzy Sazak: Gynecia
Lexi Thammavong: Pamela

Director: Rebecca Wright
Music Director: Elle.Morris
Choreographer: Sanchel Brown
Fight and Intimacy Director: Eli Lynn
Scenic Designer: Jennifer Hiyama
Lighting Designer: Krista Smith+
Costume Designer: Rebecca Kanach
Sound Designer: Michael Kiley
Production Stage Manager: Sarah E.T. Jackson*
Assistant Stage Manager: Patrick L. Johnson*

* Appearing through an Agreement between Theatre Horizon and Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

+ Member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829 of the IATSE, the union representing Scenic, Costume, Lighting, Sound and Projection Designers in Live Performance.