Mean Girls / our review
Fun HYSTERICAL brilliant
Sep 27th, 2018
Fun Fact: Bullies are humans too.
Target Audience: Girls, girls, girls! Go and see this and remember; be kind to one another!
Best Bit: Tina Fey! There is no doubt that this production's success is from the pure genius that is Tina Fey! She lives and breathes in every beat.
Morning After Effect: Shoulder poppin' my way through the day like Regina George! Singing her song on repeat!
Tina Fey's acclaimed film Mean Girls has been a huge hit on Broadway in this new HYSTERICAL musical adaptation! The story compares life in high school with that of animals trying to survive in the wild. Essentially, life is brutal and one must either claim their territory or be small and quick enough to appear invisible. Having grown up in South Africa and been lucky enough to witness the circle of life in the wild I am a huge fan of this quirky film and was very excited to see the production! With a book by the incredibly talented Fey, and direction and choreography by Book of Mormon's Casey Nicholaw, can you really go wrong? These two story-tellers have a distinct sense of humor and knack for making fun of the absurd. Nicholaw has managed to capture the essence of Fey in EVERY part of this production, you feel her sardonic wit in every beat and every line. Of course, Nell Benjamin's lyrics along with Jeff Richmond's music and vocal arrangements are worth mentioning as they all fit perfectly and could not stand alone - like a Plastic's boob in a push up bra. Perky, petrifying and desperately comical!
Taylor Louderman introduces Regina George in song with "Meet the Plastics". Her portrayal of this role is right on point and despite being an incredibly vain villain she reveals a deep seeded vulnerability which makes this character obsessively likeable, despite her evils. Louderman earned a 2018 Tony nomination for this role, and deservedly so! Every hair flick, hip pop, and dramatic slow-motion enunciation (with perfectly pouted lips) draws you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what she will do next! She is terrifying and, in an instant, you wish you were her so you wouldn't have to deal with her! Besides, being the top of the food chain is always appealing, right? We witness the flurry of her mousey minions trapped in this cage (known as high school) as she seductively and cunningly flicks them around deciding who will be her next victim! Ashley Park (Gretchen Wieners) has strategically aligned herself to Regina and obeys her every command. Park's comedic timing is perfection and these two make a powerful pair!
This new musical allows us to laugh at the harsh realities of fitting in and surviving the most awkward years of our life! Fey has smartly flipped this world upside down by plotting the ultimate "revenge party" for the bully - which then allows everyone to realize revenge is nasty too and we should probably all get along - whether you're in high school or the outside world!
Scott Pask has created a simple set design with a panoramic screen that smartly encapsulates the youth and represents the over powering digital presence and extended bullying platform! Having seen the looming presence of screens in these productions aimed at youth (Dear Evan Hansen, Be More Chill) one can only imagine how much tougher high school must be these days!
Overall the ensemble of Mean Girls is excellent and I LOVED every minute of this production! Even the ushers at the August Wilson Theatre are strangely friendly making you feel part of the cool kids and giving you the impression that "you can sit with us" despite the obvious ticket you hold to do so. It clearly all adds to the giddiness as this was the most responsive audience I have witnessed yet! Everyone was laughing out loud, cheering enthusiastically and I guess, releasing their high school traumas and celebrating the discovery of self!
Be sure to get your tickets and don't forget - on Wednesdays we wear pink!
View our show pages for more information about Mean Girls, August Wilson Theater.