It's October 3rd, The Mean Girls have hit Philadelphia, and they’re leaving a trail of laughs, tears, and big lessons behind while they’re here. The musical is based on the iconic 2004 movie, and it has found a new lease of life on stage. With its on-point casting, snappy one-liners, and timeless theme, Mean Girls is definitely a must-watch show. But don’t take my word for it; read on to know more!
The cast, first and foremost, is what makes this musical stand out. The actors bring their own personal flair, adding to the movie’s already stellar characterizations. Particularly commendable is Natalie Shaw, who successfully portrays Cady’s journey from a naïve newbie, flitting between being a mathlete and a mean girl, to an introspective loner who realizes her mistakes and tries to make amends. Maya Petropoulos, who plays Regina George, adds layers to the infamous queen bee that was not present in the movie. She has a voice that commands attention, and her acting prowess had the audience hooked from her first mention. Kristen Amanda Smith, who plays Gretchen Wieners, has a voice and dance moves that are not easliy forgotten. As the gossipy, insecure secret keeper, you could not help but want her to see her self worth. Maryrose Brendel, who plays Karen Smith, on the service was a vest loving airhead but proved that while she appears to be a barbie doll, she has feelings and demads to be heard. Her iconic quote, “Just teach boys not to take nude pictures of women and put them on the internet” was perfectly delivered and met with a round of applause. Shawn Matthews, who plays Kevin Gnapoor, kept us in complete belly laughter with his antics and confidence. It was so refreshing to see this “Indian” character play a role that goes against the common stereotypes of Indian Americans. I could go on and on about each cast member as they each brought their own charisma and style to the character, making it more captivating than ever
The musical is perfectly paced, with not a dull moment. The scenes transition smoothly, and the scene changes are choreographed. We can attribute this to the director, Casey Nicholaw, who has made a true masterpiece with this show. The catchy soundtrack is going to have you humming “Where Do You Belong” and “I’d Rather Be Me” days after. The song-and-dance numbers are cleverly executed, and the costumes are on point. The production is thought to be a millennial’s dream with its countless pop-culture references.
While all the laughter can make you forget that the show has a message at its core, Mean Girls leaves you with a lot to think about once the curtain falls. The bullying, fitting in, feeling responsible for how people perceive us might be in a high school setting, but they represent struggles that every age group can relate with. The show conveys that the big bad world is full of nobodies trying to be somebody and how our own insecurities can lead us down the wrong path. After watching Mean Girls, you will find yourself reflecting on your own life choices and perhaps reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in years.
The tour is directed by Casey Hushion and choreographed by John MacInnis, based on the original Broadway direction and choreography. Set design is by three-time Tony® Award winner Scott Pask, costume design is by three-time Tony® Award-winner Gregg Barnes, lighting design is by Tony® Award-winner Kenneth Posner, sound design is by two-time Tony® Award-winner Brian Ronan, hair design is by Josh Marquette, and the make-up design is by Milagros Medina Cerdeira. The music supervisor is Mary-Mitchell Campbell. Vocal arrangements are by Mary Mitchell Campbell, Jeff Richmond, and Natalie Tenenbaum; orchestrations are by John Clancy; and dance and incidental musical arrangements are by Glen Kelly. The music coordinator is John Mezzio. Casting is by The Telsey Office.
Mean Girls- The Musical is a production that will stay on your mind long after it's done. Its comedic genius, soulful singing, and poignant message leave you in awe of the creatives. There is never a dull moment in this show, with enough comedic relief to keep you chuckling. And while you're enjoying all the humor, don't miss out on the powerful message that this show imparts. So put on your pink, get your tickets, and head to the Kimmel Center by October 8, 2023 for an unforgettable experience!
Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999 or online at www.kimmelculturalcampus.org. In-person ticket sales can be conducted daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Academy of Music Box Office, located at 240 S. Broad Street. See www.kimmelculturalcampus.org for more information.
For more information about Mean Girls, please visit www.MeanGirlsOnTour.com