The Modernized Musical of the Beloved and Relatable High School Film
By: Brooke Price
The iconic high school film “Mean Girls” is now an uplifting musical about finding who you are in the world. The film depicts the struggles of adjusting to high school life and fitting in with the cliques at school.
When Cady Heron moves from Africa to Chicago, she’s not only in for culture shock, but also a rude awakening at how mean high school kids really are. After warming up to Janis and Damian, Cady finds herself wound up in the shenanigans of “The Plastics,” the most popular girls in school, who are worshiped by everyone.
Erika Henningsen plays Cady Heron, the new transfer student who has a knack for math and shortly gets molded into one of “The Plastics”.
“Queen Bee” Regina George and owner of the burn book is played by Taylor Louderman.
Barrett Wilbert Weed, who formerly played Veronica Sawyer in the Off-Broadway version of “Heathers: The Musical” personifies the outcast Janis in her own unique way.
The slow-witted Karen is played by Kate Rockwell. Gretchen Weiners, who obeys Regina’s every command, and wants to make “fetch” happen is played by Ashley Park.
Damian, Janis’s close friend, who’s “too gay to function” is played by Grey Henson.
“Mean Girls” opened in April 2018 at the August Wilson Theatre.
The musical is based on the book by Tina Fey. The music is composed by Jeff Richmond, Tina Fey’s husband and the lyrics of the songs are written by Nell Benjamin.
The musical is narrated by Janis and Damian as they welcome the audience to the freshmen orientation of North Shore High School.
Don’t worry, some of your favorite phrases and moments from the film were included in the musical such as; “she doesn’t even go here”, “fetch”, “it’s October 3rd”, the Halloween party scene and the bus accident.
However, everyone’s favorite Jingle Bell Rock dance routine has been changed to “Rockin’ Around The Pole”.
Karen’s ability to predict the weather isn’t showcased either.
The musical is supposed to take place during the present day, where social media is prominent in society. The characters in the play use social media to make it appeal to today’s teenage audience.
One cool aspect was at the beginning of the musical, the stage had scenery and costumes to resemble Cady living in Africa with her parents. Some cast members dressed as lions and ostriches.
Another interesting aspect was that the screens that made up the backdrop before the play started had pictures from Regina George’s burn book of the characters in the play with rude comments on them.
There was a song titled “Where Do You Belong” where Damian and Janis show Cady around the cafeteria telling her about all of the different cliques present in high school.
At the end of the musical, unlike the movie, the breakup of “The Plastics” was not shown. The play didn’t show Regina joining the lacrosse team, Gretchen becoming part of the Asian clique and Karen becoming a weather girl.
Even though some parts from the movie were cut from the musical, it still stayed true to the original film. The original songs helped to further educate the audience about high school life and the situations high school students face dealing with cliques.
“Mean Girls” is sure to entertain, educate and ensue laughter. Tickets are still on sale, get your clique together, wear your pink shirt and go see it.