Life is still 'fetch' with Tina Fey's cult classic
Located at the August Wilson Theatre in the heart of Times Square is one of Broadway’s newest shows, “Mean Girls.”
The book was written by comedian and actress Tina Fey, who starred in the original film. The story is based on the life of former homeschool student Cady Heron (portrayed by Erika Henningsen), who transferred to North Shore High School and wants to fit in with the popular crowd.
The play starts off with two outcasts, Janis Ian (Barrett Wilbert Weed) and Damien Leigh (Grey Henson), who show Cady the ropes of the school. Janis and Damien narrate the play with humor that has the audience on the edge of their seats waiting to see what Cady is going to experience next. They want to help Cady navigate her way through North Shore and keep her out of trouble.
The musical numbers throughout the play are lively and energetic, with over a dozen background dancers performing routines choreographed by Casey Nicholaw. Lunch trays and backpacks are just a few of the props involved in the lively choreography that takes the show to the next level. The screens set on stage serve as a large majority of the props used in addition to the rolling desks, bathroom stalls and stages.
Henningsen showcases her exquisite vocals in “Stupid With Love.” Performed while she is trying to impress her crush, Aaron Samuels (Kyle Selig), Henningsen pretends that she does not know how to do math, even though she is practically a whiz. The play takes a turn when Cady becomes friends with “The Plastics” at lunch. Regina George (Taylor Louderman), Gretchen Wieners (Ashley Park) and Karen Smith (Kate Rockwell) can be seen from any seat in the house with their pink skirts and high heels.
Louderman flawlessly portrays the stereotypical high school “mean girl,” who is constantly on a diet, the talk of the school and dating the cutest boy. Regina’s true mean side comes out when she finds out that Cady likes her ex-boyfriend. Louderman dominates over the others with her refrain: “I am Regina George ... and I am a massive deal.” The audience can feel her power from their seats and are blown away by her voice in “World Born,” which is performed in Act 2. The play certainly does the movie justice and even excels beyond it because of the catchy songs and musical numbers.
Gretchen comes to several realizations during the course of the play that she feels less than the other girls, especially Regina, and expresses her concern with the song, “What’s Wrong With Me,” which takes the audience inside her mind outside of her “plastic” brain. Karen is the true comedian of the play without even trying. Her lack of knowledge and common sense has the audience doubled over in laughter as they are unable to comprehend how she is not able to catch on to simple concepts and ideas.
The play portrays a stereotypical high school experience in a way that brings the audience right into the action.