I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was when I heard Mean Girls was coming to Broadway. Better yet, this now 12 time Tony Award Nominated Show including one for Best Musical was opening up around the time of my cross-country road trip. So obviously, it was meant to be! I purchased tickets as soon as I could, saw it on a Wednesday, and of course, I packed my best pink outfit (Because on Wednesday's We Wear Pink). Read on below for my review of Mean Girls on Broadway.
Please Note: If you did not see Mean Girls the Movie I highly suggest watching it before reading below.
The show starts off with narration from Janis and Damian (Cady's friends who help put into motion the whole Mean Girls mess) who keep it going throughout the entire show. The actors who play them Barrett Wilbert Weed and Grey Henson are brilliant! The chemistry between the two of them and their interaction with the audience keep us engaged throughout the entire show. After the setup, we are introduced to our leading lady, Cady Herron, played by Erika Henningsen who opens up the show singing a song called “It Roars” which then flows nicely into the other songs and heart of the show.
As we all know, high school can be a tricky place to be. It’s all about figuring out “Where You Belong” one of the show's songs that lets us know what it’s like to enter hallways and find the right crowd or wrong crowd to fit into AND we all know the infamous “wrong crowd” in this show. The Plastics - Regina George, Gretchen Weiners, and Karen Smith played by Tayler Louderman, Ashley Park and Kate Rockwell, these ladies all bring something new to the show, especially Ashley Park to Gretchen Weiner's character.
The play pretty much follows the flow of the movie but there are some elements (some a little different) that in my mind really stood out in relation to things in today’s society.
Social Media - One of the many things that we have to deal with these days to “fit into society” is portraying a "perfect" image on social media. The show did a great job sharing that especially in small cliques, social media can make or break you. What you put on “the gram” has the power to influence many people beyond yourself and can have a direct impact on someone whether you know it or not. Hopefully in a positive way but, sometimes depending on your content it can touch even the strongest (Such as Regina George) in a not so positive way allowing for an "Apex Predator" (one of the songs in the show) to come out. This play reminds us that words and images are powerful, so choose them wisely.
Insecurities (Practicing Self-Love) - They really added depth to Gretchen Weiner’s character played by Ashley Park. In the movie, it’s noted that Gretchen is smart and she’s a trailblazer (It can't be easy to want to start “That’s So Fetch”) BUT one of the things that we didn’t see too much in the movie that was a focus in the play are her insecurities. The way Regina George treated Gretchen really impacted her ability to flourish. Gretchen knew she could do better and break free and was smarter than the situation she was in but, she didn’t know how to break free. This can happen to many people, at the end of the show she did find herself, but not all do. It’s important to find the strength inside to always love ourselves enough no matter what situation we may be in.
Dumbing Down - We all know that on October 3rd Aaron Samuels asked Cady Heron what day it was and, the rest is Mean Girl’s history. BUT what was really emphasized in the show was how Cady really dumbed herself down to get this guy to notice and pay attention to her. I LOVE how Ms. Norbury played by Kerry Butler (who by the way plays 3 roles in this show, talk about talent!!) does not let it go throughout the entire show that she knows Cady is doing this. As women living in this time where we are taking back our power through movements such as #metoo and #timesup we need to make sure that dumbing down is a thing of the past as well. No longer are we living in the age where we marry the guy in power but we can be that woman in power because of many trailblazers who came before us. So make sure you take back your power ladies, mansplaining is a thing of the past!
And of course, all of this is done through AMAZING set decoration, lighting, choreography, humor, and song. The songs made me feel like I always knew them, a good musical always does. Thank You, Tina Fey, for bringing this to the stage. It made the high school me VERY HAPPY.
And this article ends with the beginning of the show where we’re told this is “A Cautionary Tale”. And it is, there are soo many things relevant to Mean Girls that has allowed it to stay mainstream since it hit the theaters in 2004 (WOW, Soo long ago!). One of which is the truth and honesty of how one can lose their innocence getting lost in the wrong crowd or fighting for more power. Make sure to stay true to yourself always, there’s not enough power in the world that should make someone become a Mean Girl.
And just for fun, who’s your favorite Mean Girl Character?? I’d LOVE to hear, let me know below.
P.S. You should enter this contest to go see Mean Girls on Broadway in NYC. They gift you two tickets to the show, $500 hotel voucher, $750 airfare voucher, $500 gift card to Kenneth Cole, and a $500 gift card to Three Eighty Two. Saw this yesterday in my e-mail from Keep. Talk about perfect timing to share with you! :D
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