Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical
Calling all 90s teens: this film-to-theatre adaptation is bringing its 90s soundtrack and dangerous liaisons to Melbourne.
March 24, 2022
Life might be a bittersweet symphony, as The Verve told us all back in 1997, but right now is a pretty great time to be a fan of a hugely influential late-90s teen flick that helped immortalise that very track. The movie in question is Cruel Intentions, of course, and it's about to hit the stage in Melbourne. And yes, the musical's soundtrack is filled hits from the era, including 'Bittersweet Symphony', obviously.
Indeed, if that song and Placebo's 'Every You Every Me' get you thinking about Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair, then you're clearly a fan of the film. And if you were a 90s or 00s teen who watched and rewatched the 1999 classic over and over again — soaking in all those dangerous liaisons, the scheming that went with them, Joshua Jackson's blonde locks and Gellar in a decidedly non-Buffy role — then you'll probably be first in line to see Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical.
The movie-to-theatre production has been unleashing its teen tumult and throwback soundtrack in America since 2015, and now it's finally heading to our shores. Its Melbourne leg will kick off on Wednesday, May 25 at the Athenaeum Theatre, and run through till Saturday, June 25.
Because it's a jukebox musical, Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical is also filled with a heap other tunes from that late 90s, early 00s era; think: *NYSNC's 'Bye Bye Bye', Britney Spears' 'Sometimes', No Doubt's 'Just A Girl', Jewel's 'Foolish Games', Christina Aguilera's 'Genie In A Bottle' and Sixpence None the Richer's 'Kiss Me', for starters.
If you've seen the movie — the original, not the direct-to-video 2001 and 2004 sequels, one of which starred a very young Amy Adams (Dear Evan Hansen) taking over Gellar's role — then you'll know the story. Based on 1782 novel Les Liaisons dangereuses, which was also been adapted in the 1988 film Dangerous Liaisons with Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer and Uma Thurman, Cruel Intentions follows step-siblings Sebastian Valmont and Kathryn Merteuil. Manipulating each other's love lives is their main hobby, a pastime that levels up a few notches when Kathryn places a bet on whether Sebastian can sleep with Annette Hargrove, the headmaster's daughter at their exclusive prep school.
Updated June 6.