There are perhaps no harsher critics of well most things in life, than theater teens. They’re snarky, often well read, and generous with their opinions. Mean Girls just opened in previews on Broadway, if you are unfamiliar with the movie, then you clearly don’t have a theater teen. It’s a cult classic, a good movie, but not worthy of its stature in my opinion (sorry kids). Given that the musical was based on the movie, I had low expectations for any sort of theater greatness. I was wrong. The theater teens were right. They always are, as they so often tell me.
If you haven’t seen the movie, this part won’t mean much, if you have, get some popcorn girl. Damian always needed a tap number, and a tambourine. He goes from being a snarky, yet lovable character, to a theater god in the musical. Regina George becomes both more fabulous, who knew that was possible, and more likable. How has she not always had a smoke machine and male dancers to carry her everywhere? I know that I’m not supposed to want to be her, but I do. The girl is a GD boss. Karen gets a solo, and she’s funnier and smarter than we ever knew. And blessedly, there is less of Lindsay Lohan, the world is made right onstage. I also need to note that they cast actors who look so much like the original movie talent it feels as if they stepped from screen to stage. The actors have also taken a master class in their predecessors voice style and mannerisms. The onstage principal clearly spent untold hours watching old Tim Meadows skits to get his voice quirks nailed. Kerry Butler plays Tina Fey so well that the audience briefly thought it was the real Tina Fey. Amazingly, she also plays Amy Poehler’s version of the “cool mom” and Cady’s granola recently moved from Africa mom. So yes, the cast is sublime. The same bits you expect, the burn book, the pink polo shirt, all of it are exactly the same, line for line, word for word. But because Tina Fey is a freaking genius, the rest of the script is smarter and funnier than the movie. There are amazingly timely jokes, the message about social media is poignant and if the movie was about girl power, the musical is about girl world domination.
My theater teens are so obsessed they have plans to have someone sneak in and record the songs (the score isn’t recorded yet), not so they can sell it bootleg style, but rather so they can all sing the songs. I’m not exaggerating when I say a few of them cried, but I won’t name names. They thought the end message about everyone just being themselves was too preachy, because you know, they know better than everyone else. I will get on my soapbox for a moment and shout out to Tina Fey for once again putting a female positive piece of work into the world. Our girls need to keep seeing and hearing this, and so do our boys.
If you are in New York, go see it. Bring your kids as long as they are over 13 or you are comfortable with them reading words like masturbation, etc. Maybe I’m just a prissy old WASP but I found it a little shocking in print, but as I said, I’m old. You can still get tickets, but many shows are sold out over the next few months. If you want to see it a certain night and it’s sold out, send me a note, I’ve got a guy. Kim-Marie@luxurytravelmom.com
Most of the cast came to the stage door so my teens got their programs signed. If you’ve never done that before, beat feet as soon as the curtains close to this door, the cast will come out (at some point) for autographs.
This was not comped, by anyone, cost me a fortune, don’t care, would do it again.