It's kinda hard to believe that it was almost five years ago that Tina Fey announced she was working on a musical adaptation of Mean Girls.
On the night of the aforementioned announcement I stayed up late casting the project to my liking for this web log. Over the course of the next few days quite a few people shared it and I got kudos from friends, colleagues and even some strangers. Then, as things tend to do on the World Wide Web, the post faded away. A few months later popular millennial-focused website Thought Catalog picked it up and a whole bunch more people read it (a few of whom used Thought Catalog's comments section to call me a racist for my casting choices). Needless to say, I've been waiting for this shiz for quite a long time and now finally, as of last month, Mean Girls the Musical is an actual thing. I know this because I saw it last night in it's five-week, pre-Broadway run at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C.
Because I wanted to fully enjoy my theater-going experience (and allow those sitting next to me to do the same), I didn't take notes during the performance, but below are some things I wanted to make mention of.
- The set's backdrop is a series of massive television screens that change to reveal different locations (Cady's living room, the high school cafeteria, etc.) throughout the show. Before the show starts, however, said screens display the Burn Book. Its digital pages turn every few minutes to reveal dozens of harsh but hilarious burns such as "David Kendrick pops boners on the bus" next to one poor teen's picture and "Like if corn flakes were a person" above someone else's. It's dope.
- Grey Henson, the guy who plays Damian, should get a Tony nom. He and Janis take turns narrating the show and he's very much flawless.
- Unlike in the 2005 movie, social media plays an appropriately large role here. In fact, in one scene it's revealed that Donald Trump has blocked Regina George on Twitter because she cyber-bullied him.
- Janis Ian (Janis Sarkisian in the musical version) may or may not sing a delicious second-act power ballad about flipping the bird to her haters.
- In 2013 I wrote of Janis, "I can already imagine her "Where You Sit in the Cafeteria is Crucial" monologue turning into one of the show's big numbers." Although my casting choice was off, my song idea was not. It made it in. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, it's the second song.
- After seeing her play Campbell in Bring It On: The Musical in San Francisco, I just had to cast Taylor Louderman as Gretchen Wieners in my version of Mean Girls. Apparently I wasn't so far off as, five years later, she plays Regina George in Tina Fey's official MGtM production.
- The best lines from the movie and so many gut-splitting new ones land just as well, if not better, on stage. I mean, come on, Tina Fey wrote 'em.