Review by Tony Bohn
I’ll be honest, after seeing no live theater or musicals for several years due to the pandemic, I was very ready to see a show, any show, and the musical “Mean Girls” did not disappoint. As a fan of the original 2004 movie, I was extremely excited to see what Broadway did with the source material. This production, 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), follows the original storyline while pleasantly enhancing it through hysterical writing, updated dialog, a catchy and modern musical theater score, fantastic performances, and a plethora of energetic dance numbers.
“Mean Girls” follows the story of Cady Heron, a teenager who grew up on the African savannah who moves back to America and who must now learn how to function in a suburban high school in Illinois. Navigating the ins and outs of the various social groups and friend groups leads Cady to join the notorious in-group known as the Plastics led by the extremely popular, but merciless villain Regina George. The usual high school drama ensues as jealousy, boyfriends, popularity problems, group hierarchies, bullying, revenge, gossiping, and self-esteem issues threaten to tear the school apart.
I was so thoroughly and delightfully entertained throughout the musical. So much of this show is sung which really added to the production. There were so many fun dance scenes, including a personal favorite of mine, an unexpected tap number. The sets, lighting, and costumes were very colorful, vibrant, and visually appealing. More importantly, this musical delivers an important message about how to treat other people (particularly our friends, but also everyone else), the importance of standing up for our own values and morals and not compromising who we are for others, and illustrating how toxic bullying and gossiping can be, particularly for high school kids.
“Mean Girls” runs from November 16 – 21, 2021 at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle. More info and tickets can be found here.