Broadway Review: Mean Girls

MEAN GIRLS

Image result for mean girls broadway poster

Official Blurb:  YOU CAN’T SIT WITH THEM. BUT YOU CAN SIT IN THE AUDIENCE. MEAN GIRLS is now a ferociously funny new musical from director Casey Nicholaw (Aladdin, The Book of Mormon), composer Jeff Richmond (“30 Rock,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), lyricist Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) and book writer Tina Fey (“30 Rock,” Bossypants).Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the wild and vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. How will this naïve newbie rise to the top of the popularity pecking order? By taking on The Plastics, a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung.Produced by Lorne Michaels, Stuart Thompson, Sonia Friedman, and Paramount Pictures, MEAN GIRLSgets to the hilarious heart of what it means to be a true friend, a worthy nemesis, and above all, a human being. Get tickets now and be the first to see it on Broadway 

My take: There is usually that stereotypical moment in school when they tell someone that they have so much potential but they’re not living up to it. That is exactly what is happening with Mean Girls. Unfulfilled potential. I got in wanting to have such a fun time and left with a mehh feeling. I needed a bit more. It’s not bad, its just not as good as it could be. I am the ideal demographic for this. I absolutely loved the Broadway Adaptations of  legally Blonde and Bring it On, and i am a sucker for fun happy musicals. However Mean Girls has a fabulous source material but the show just doesn’t light up on stage. The main issue I think is the music. I don’t think it’s Poppy or catchy enough for  what they’re actually trying to accomplish. You need some tunes you remember, some catchy upbeat numbers, or maybe things you might actually be hearing on the radio. However that’s not what you get. Most song were just completely forgettable. Some where actually terrible, like Apex predator, which just was Bad with a capital B. Also sadly the lyrics were even worse that the music because even though the music was forgettable the lyrics were just painful in some cases.

However not all is bad. There are things that the show has going by what that I’d like:

  • The set is done in projections, which I don’t usually love, but here it works really effectively it gives coloring and a lot of life to the stage and I ended up really enjoying it.
  • There were some stellar performances. I think Taylor Louderman as Regina George is fabulous. She takes over the show. It’s actually really a shame in the second act where she is out of it for a while, because you miss her. I really enjoyed Kate Rockwell as Karen, she was the right amount of ditsy and cute. I was a bit confused about Ashley Park as Gretchen. Some moments I loved her and I thought she was fantastic and some moments she just grated me. Erika Henningsen as Cady was an OK performance but she really didn’t steal the show the way Taylor did.
  • The staging is quite good. I loved a lot of the dance numbers and the creative use of chairs and bathroom stalls in the staging. Although i could have done with just one number with cafeteria trays, i did not need 2.

Other not so put together things:

  • I’m not sure I was into the guys in the chorus cross dressing when it was just girls numbers. It solved a situation, but it was a bit awkward.
  • The beginning just lacks impact. Spoiler alert: instead of having Janis and Damian spoil the ending and bus hitting Regina (There are people like my dad who had never seen the movie potentially) , they should have just started from Cady in Africa moving. (that is a terrible song to start but at least it makes more sense story-wise, because the narration starts but it doesn’t carry on.

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