The 2004 film is a cult classic.
The 2019 Broadway tour is an instant hit! At least that’s how I see it.
The frequently hilarious adaptation of Tina Fey’s 2004 high school comedy opened it’s touring production right here in Buffalo! Catapulted by sparkly set design and some truly stand-out performances, the musical — written by Fey, with music by Jeff Richmond — gives fans everything they want – and more – while bringing the saga of Regina George and the Plastics into the social media age. Sure, they still wear pink on Wednesdays and you’ll still be sent away for wearing sweats but for Fey to bring the story to present day the scurge of social media had to play a role.
The story revolves around a formerly homeschooled girl named Cady Heron (played on stage by Danielle Wade) who’s just moved from Africa. As the new girl, she’s trying to navigate the unforgiving halls of her new school, finding herself doing battle with Queen Bee Regina George (Mariah Rose Faith) and her sidekicks Gretchen (Megan Masako Haley) and Karen (Jonalyn Saxer).
The film was very much about Cady, played in the movie by a very young, Lindsay Lohan. Cady rarely left the stage for more than a few seconds! The musical, though, is narrated by the two self-styled and hysterically funny outsiders in the school, Janis (Mary Kate Morrissey) and Damian (Eric Huffman), and you now see the story much more through their eyes. It’s a brilliant look from the outside in.
Visually, Mean Girls is a sensation. The set consists largely of a huge wall of digital screens, which display an always-changing array of backgrounds. It’s amazing how the surroundings can switch from a classroom to Kenya and then to Regina’s bedroom and back to a classroom almost instantaneously, allowing for seamless transitions between scenes. The entire show was so rapid-paced it felt almost like a movie – like there was editing involved!
The music and choreography were on point! My favorite numbers were “Apex Predator” – a rocking tribute to Regina and her top-of-the-food chain status and “Stop” a hilarious number on the importance of having a bit of self-control in the world of social media.
Of course, what I loved most about Mean Girls, though, is how the characters actually survive in Regina’s orbit. We knew that was the case, but you can’t help but cheer for the underdogs! Die hard fans will be happy to see that Tina Fey has made sure all of the movie’s greatest hits get their moment on stage!
The show is a bit long – about 2 1/2 hours – including a short, 15 minute intermission – but it truly flies by. Mean Girls is funny, sweet and reminds all of us just how important it is to be nice. Yes, nice!!!
The show runs at Shea’s Performing Arts Center through Friday, September 27, 2019. Tickets are still available at sheas.org
We stuck around after the show and got to meet some of the cast members and I can tell you first hand – they all really love Buffalo and the beautiful Shea’s Performing Arts Theater!
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