While in NYC covering NYCC I decided to check out Mean Girls on Broadway at the iconic August Wilson theater. When I first heard it was coming I was pumped to check it out. Also since Tina Fey was involved with it, she truly showed she was “a pusher” with getting this off the ground. Safe to say I was not disappointed and one of my favorite films was shown in a whole new light. Has it really been 14 years since Mean Girls first made its big screen debut? Sitting down to watch this it felt like almost no time had passed at all.
The original Mean Girls defined a generation and now the new Mean Girls on Broadway continues that trend by updating itself to Present day 2018. We get nods to how addicted we are to social media, followers, likes, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook etc. It literally showed how these platforms can make or break who you are especially in high school, but really beyond that too. Multiple video screens placed behind the actors changed from scene to scene and really added to the overall effect of the show. For example instead of physical sets they relied on technology to set the scene (eliminating the need for that like the movie). It fit with technology being a heavy focus of this version compared to the 2004 Mean Girls film where we saw cell phones and the internet rarely being used.
Remember 2004 was really the beginning of social media so now in 2018 this production wanted to capitalize on how heavily we rely on it in our daily lives. I wanted to point out a few notable differences from the movie to the production.
If you remember the famous Burn Book scene at North Shore, Regina in the production no longer refers to herself as a “fugly slut” instead she is a “fugly cow.” This was probably to tone down the language and make it more family friendly.
Also her on again off again boyfriend Aaron Samuels (“Your hair looks sexy pushed back”) is actually in the Burn Book this time around. It turns out he is at North Shore High illegally and doesn’t actually live in the school’s district. His secret, which he told Regina, comes out in that Burn Book reveal scene(Regina photocopies pages of the book and scatters it across the school halls) something that was never mentioned in the movie. I liked that little addition but was sad when he got kicked out school. Another important plot point was Regina cheating with Shane, instead of them getting it on in the projection booth they get it on the Lion Mascot costume(cringe) — yes this was acted out on stage and I felt for parents with young kids who had to explain just what was going on in there.
Some nods to current events (without getting too political) were also included and funny jokes throughout. One of the main messages I got out of this new take on Mean Girls was how important it is to stay true to yourself and not let rumors or social media define who you are.
My favorite numbers from the show include “I’d Rather Be Me” sung by Janis who has a much bigger role in the film alongside Damion who serve as your Narrators for the duration of the entire show.
The other number’s I enjoyed included “Fearless” and “Where Do You Belong?”(which was staged so well using the set design as well as all the amazing choreography). Every minute of this show I was kept engaged and just laughed at the nods to the original film while still keeping it fresh.
Overall, I literally loved every second of this show and I highly recommend it for Mean Girls fans and those who have just discovered the film. It’s definitely worth taking in and yes you are guaranteed to want cheese fries after. I was lucky enough to catch some of the cast outside after the show ended and even ended up meeting Cady Heron herself (Erika Hennigsen) who signed my homemade Burn Book. Well done Mean Girls cast and to Tina Fey for really showing how this 14-year-old film can be adapted for 2018 without losing any of its original charms. Let us know how you feel about the new version of Mean Girls and how its more geared towards a 2018 world.
Mean Girls is currently booking tickets through July of next year with tickets starting at 80 dollars and ranging up to 300 for fetch seating. If those prices make you scream then there’s always the Broadway traditional rush where tickets are $42.50 for those who line up early enough. Keeping in line with the titular Mean Girls there’s also a limited number of tickets priced at 42.50 for those who wear pink on Wednesdays.