Head back to high school with Mean Girls! A newcomer to Broadway, Mean Girls is the screen-to-stage musical adaptation of the 2004 eponymous movie by Tina Fey. Fey’s Broadway smash hit was inspired by Rosalind Wiseman’s book “Queen Bees and Wannabes” and explores the treacherous, tricky and often hilarious world of high school cliques. Directed by Casey Nicholaw and produced by Lorne Michaels and Stuart Thompson, this epic musical has been delighting its often pink-clad audiences since its October 2017 premiere in Washington, DC and has since stolen the spotlight on Broadway ever since debuting in spring of 2018.
The story of Mean Girls centers on the up-til-now sheltered existence of high schooler Cady Heron. After spending most of her childhood growing up with her wildlife-loving parents in the heart of the African savanna, Cady’s family packs up and returns to their hometown in the Illinois suburbs. Cady finds it hard to fit in at school, and fellow outcasts Janis and Damian taker her under their wing to help her understand the school’s complex social hierarchy.
After much observation of her classmates, Cady finds herself swept up in the universe of “The Plastics,” a trio of superficial divas who are more concerned with wearing the perfect outfits and reigning over lunchroom politics than forging durable friendships. Queen Bee, popular princess and social puppeteer Regina George controls her cohorts Gretchen Wieners and Karen Smith’s every move – from dictating what they wear on certain days of the week to ensuring the rumor mill has plenty of fodder about their classmates, Regina schemes to gain Cady as another of her faithful followers.
Desperate to fit in, Cady tries to shed her nerdy, unfashionable and math-loving ways in hopes of becoming one of The Plastics herself. Through a series of highs and lows, social blunders and sabotaged friendships, Cady discovers that perhaps being just pretty and popular isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Mean Girls is a story about what it means to stay true to yourself and carve your own unique path in the world, no matter how others might seem to perceive you.
Fans of the Mean Girls movie certainly won’t be disappointed with its musical adaptation, which stays very faithful to the original version. The show’s beloved one-liners and witty song lyrics keep audiences laughing heartily throughout the two-and-a-half-hour spectacle. Mean Girls’ innovative digital set makes for seamless scene changes and helps to modernize the story for today’s more social media-centric generation – from Facebook to Tweets and Snap Chats, the characters’ social media interactions (and their consequences) are projected large for all to see, making the teen saga more relatable than ever. Mean Girls’ musical format allows the audience to take a deeper plunge into the characters’ psyches that presented in the movie, as memorable monologues and self-reflecting musings are belted out on stage. Audiences young and old alike can relate to the over-the-top drama of being a high school student, as most have found themselves swept up in these same petty, awkward and uncomfortable social interactions at one point or another. Above all, Mean Girls strikes a chord as it explores what it truly means to be friends, enemies, and ultimately human beings.
Music & Cast
While Tina Fey’s genius is behind the play’s plot, her husband Jeff Richmond composed the show’s catchy songs and partnered with lyricist Nell Benjamin who turned the movie’s classic quips into witty tunes. Mean Girls’ multitalented cast sings its heart out in a variety of songs, from the contemplative “What’s Wrong with Me?” to the ferocious “Apex Predator” and the heartfelt “Stupid With Love.” The original cast’s recording of the soundtrack was released in the summer of 2018 and climbed its way into the top 50 of the Billboard 200 charts, proving itself to be an immensely popular Broadway album.
The show’s cast may be comprised of many young newcomers, but their enthusiastic acting and immense musical talents are simply incredible. Erika Henningsen, known for playing Fantine in Broadway’s Les Misérables, stars as Cady Heron alongside Taylor Louderman as Regina George, Ashley Park as Gretchen Wieners, and Kate Rockwell as Karen Smith.
With nominations for 12 Tony Awards and 9 Drama Desk Awards, Mean Girls has been gaining momentum and notoriety since its Broadway debut. Critics agree that this fresh musical breathes new life into a beloved teen movie. As New York Magazine writes, Mean Girls is “Hilarious! A smart, splashy new musical with immense energy and a wicked sense of humor. It’s witty, worldly and wise!” The show is the perfect pick for Broadway novices and veteran theatergoers alike.
Where To Watch
Fans can join the frenzy of Mean Girls just off Times Square at the August Wilson Theatre in New York. And if you’re in the Big Apple for a show midweek, just remember: “On Wednesdays we wear pink!” The production sometimes holds drawings and giveaways for pink-attired attendees – you never know what you might find, so be sure to try your luck! Book your tickets for this fantastic musical now with BroadwayToday.
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