Mean Girls (musical)
D.C. promotional poster
by Tina Fey
|Premiere||October 31, 2017: National Theatre, Washington, D.C.|
|Productions||2017 Washington, D.C.|
Mean Girls is a musical with music by Jeff Richmond, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, and a book by Tina Fey. It is based on the 2004 film of the same name written by Fey, which, in turn, was inspired by the book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.
- 1 Background
- 2 Productions
- 3 Synopsis
- 4 Cast and characters
- 5 Musical numbers
- 6 Recording
- 7 Critical response
- 8 Awards and nominations
- 9 References
- 10 External links
A musical adaptation of the 2004 film Mean Girls was in the works by 2013. News emerged on October 3, 2016—the day of the year fans dub "Mean Girls Day", in reference to a line in the movie—that the musical would have its world premiere in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2017. On December 30, 2016, the National Theatre was confirmed to be the D.C. venue for the upcoming production, which received its première there in October 2017.
The musical made its world premiere at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. on October 31, 2017, and ran through December 3, 2017. Mean Girls began previews on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre on March 12, 2018, before opening officially on April 8, 2018. Casey Nicholaw is the director and choreographer and the musical is produced by Lorne Michaels and Stuart Thompson. The musical has costumes by Gregg Barnes, scenic design by Scott Pask, video design by Finn Ross and Adam Young, lighting by Kenneth Posner and sound by Brian Ronan.
In the opening, high-school students Janis Sarkisian and Damian Hubbard inform the audience of the story of Cady Heron. They foreshadow certain plot points, including Cady's becoming a part of the "Mean Girls" and Regina's "getting hit by a bus," while breaking the fourth wall and inviting the audience on their journey ("A Cautionary Tale"). Cady and her parents have moved from Africa to start a new life in America. Cady enters a public high school and quickly realizes that her classmates do not readily accept people whom they do not know or who differ from them ("It Roars"). After her isolated upbringing in Kenya, she is excited by the prospect of making new friends, but no one seems to like her or even acknowledge her ("It Roars (Reprise)"). Janis and Damian meet Cady and guide her as she seeks to find her social "group," "the greatest people you will ever meet" ("Where Do You Belong?").
Among the groups that Janis and Damian describe is the clique of social royalty dubbed "the Plastics." The trio is led by Regina George, the "Queen Bee." Gretchen Wieners, the second member of the elite group, is Regina's second-in-command; as the "head of worker bees," she "knows everything about everyone," supporting Regina by bringing her information and rumors to help her remain in power. The third Plastic is Karen Smith, the blonde girl and "the dumbest person you will ever meet." Just as Cady walks to eat lunch with Janis and Damian, Regina and her fellow Plastics decide that the new girl will eat lunch with them for the rest of the week ("Meet the Plastics").
In her calculus class, Cady meets the dreamy Aaron Samuels and she immediately falls for him ("Stupid with Love"). Janis tells Cady to follow through with the Plastics and tell her everything they say. Cady thinks Regina is a nice girl, but Janis warns her that Regina is dangerous and not to be reckoned with. However, amazed and intoxicated by her newfound power, Cady begins to pay less attention to Janis' words ("Apex Predator"). The Plastics and Cady go to the mall, and then go to hang out at Regina's house. There, they meet her "cool mom," and Gretchen confides in Cady that, because of the state of her friendship with Regina, she has lost all self-confidence in herself ("What's Wrong With Me?").
The next day in math class, Aaron discusses his previous relationship with Regina, and how she made him feel like not-himself, so he has sworn off dating. After an awkwardly concealed verbal slip-up results in him explaining a math problem to her, Cady believes that if she acts stupid, Aaron will help her with her work, and therefore talk to her more ("Stupid With Love (Reprise)").
Halloween is approaching. Karen explains that in high school, Halloween revolves around looking sexy: no matter what costume one wears (even if it is corn or Rosa Parks), the costume must be hot ("Sexy"). Later, at Aaron's Halloween party, Regina discovers Cady's crush on Aaron. Spitefully, Regina decides to flirt with Aaron until he agrees to get back together with her ("Someone Gets Hurt").
Furious, Cady asks Janis and Damian for advice. Damian reveals that Janis and Regina had been best friends in middle school until Regina refused to invite Janis to her pool party because Regina was convinced Janis was a lesbian. They decide that they will work together to get revenge on Regina, giving her Kälteen Bars so that she will gain weight, while misleading Regina that they are diet bars used to lose weight. They also convince Gretchen that Regina is mad at her by sending a fake Candy Cane Gram to Cady from "Regina" saying that they are now best friends. This leads Gretchen to reveal Regina's secret hook-ups with Shane Oman in the North Shore Lion's mascot costume, among other vengeful acts ("Revenge Party"). After the Plastics' "Rockin' Around the Pole" dance at the school talent show is disastrous, people start noticing Regina's weight gain. Later, when Regina breaks one of the Plastics' artificial clothing rules, Cady stands up to her, banning her from sitting at their table. Everyone is relieved to be freed from Regina's rule ("Fearless"). Cady tries to apologize to Regina for kicking her from the lunch table, but Regina insinuates that her reign is far from over ("Someone Gets Hurt (Reprise)").
After winter break at North Shore High School, Cady has undergone a complete makeover befitting of her new "Queen Bee" status leading Karen and Gretchen. ("A Cautionary Tale (Reprise)"). Damian, Janis, and the other girls of North Shore High try to hamper Cady's ever-growing social obsessions and to stop acting dumb for Aaron by telling her about their own negative past experiences with obsessive behavior ("Stop"). Gretchen starts to notice similarities between her friendship with Regina, and her friendship with the new Queen Bee Cady, while Regina's mother wonders why her daughter won't confide in her. She reminisces the old days whilst Regina was a child whilst Gretchen is contemplating being friends with Cady. ("What's Wrong With Me (Reprise)").
Cady throws a house party in an attempt to get Aaron to her house - despite telling her parents that Janis had an art show, so she couldn't go on their family trip (when, in fact, Janis did have an art show, and Cady just chose not to go, therefore lying to her parents and Janis). She becomes drunker and drunker as the party goes on and gets crazier ("Whose House is This?"). When Aaron shows up to a drunk Cady's party, they sneak off to her bedroom. There, Aaron explains that he really liked who Cady was before she became a Plastic, whereas Cady tries, unsuccessfully, to convince him that since she has more now, she is, therefore, better whilst Aaron is trying to make her think about her actions deeply. ("More is Better"). After the party, Janis and Damian show up at Cady's house, angry she missed Janis's art show. They tell Cady that she betrayed their trust, and has gone full Plastic, but Janis is fine because it had happened before and knew an event like this would repeat itself. ("Someone Gets Hurt (Reprise 2)").
When Regina discovers that she was not invited to this party and that the Kälteen Bars are what made her gain weight, she decides to get revenge by releasing the Burn Book - a book full of insults to each and every girl (as well as Aaron and Damian) in the school - later adding "Regina is a Fugly Cow" to the book in order to take the blame off of herself, there are insults about everyone they know, except Karen, Gretchen and of course Cady. During the song, Janis and Damian find out that Cady had written in it as Janis told Cady ‘Damian is too gay to function’ whilst Regina is onlooking making the world burn. ("World Burn"). At a required assembly about the Burn Book, Ms. Norbury tries to bring the girls together. Janis explains her philosophy of "I'd rather be me than be with you" to the school, referencing her failed friendships with both Cady and Regina empowering the girls to stand up for themselves. ("I'd Rather Be Me"). Regina storms out of the building in anger and disbelief. Cady follows her, trying to apologize, but Regina is so distracted that she walks in front of a bus and gets hit. Luckily, she survives.
Regina's bus accident prompts Cady to reevaluate herself and realize what a monster she has become. Cady decides to take the full blame for the Burn Book, despite having not written the entire thing herself. She is suspended for three weeks and banned from the Spring Fling ("Fearless (Reprise)").
After returning to school, Ms. Norbury offers Cady a way to earn some extra credit and save her grade: Cady must join the Mathletes in the state championships. After being put up against the only other girl in the competition and succeeding, the team wins, and Cady feels redeemed ("Do This Thing"). She then sneaks into Spring Fling with Aaron's help, after kissing him. There, she runs into Regina, and they have a heart-to-heart conversation and make up.
Cady is elected as Spring Fling Queen but notices how fragile and cheap the plastic crown is, and how ridiculous it is that things can get so ugly for such stupid, insignificant reasons. She takes the crown, breaks it into many pieces, and gives a piece to each girl at Spring Fling while complimenting each one - telling them they are all "real, and rare". She apologizes to Janis and Damian, and they move forward as friends once more. Cady, Damian, Janis, Gretchen, Karen, Aaron, and Regina join together, finally accepting each other ("I See Stars").
Cast and characters
|Cady Heron||Tee Boyich||Erika Henningsen|
|Regina George||Taylor Louderman|
|Janis Sarkisian||Barrett Wilbert Weed|
|Damian Hubbard||Grey Henson|
|Gretchen Wieners||Krysta Rodriguez||Ashley Park|
|Karen Smith||Kate Rockwell|
|Mrs. Heron/Ms. Norbury/Mrs. George||Jennifer Simard||Kerry Butler|
|Aaron Samuels||Kyle Selig|
|Kevin Gnapoor||Cheech Manohar|
|Mr. Duvall||Rick Younger|
Broadway cast replacements
- On September 11, 2018, Jennifer Simard replaced Kerry Butler as Mrs. Heron/Ms. Norbury/Mrs. George.
|Scenic Design||Scott Pask|
|Lighting Design||Kenneth Posner|
|Video Design||Finn Ross and Adam Young|
|Costume Design||Gregg Barnes|
|Sound Design||Brian Ronan|
|Hair Design||Josh Marquette|
|Makeup Design||Milagros Medina-Cerdeira|
|Music Director||Mary-Mitchell Campbell|
Additional Music Arrangements
- Washington D.C.
† Not included on Original Broadway Cast Recording
†† Included as part of "Fearless" on Original Broadway Cast Recording
The Original Broadway Cast recording was released digitally in the U.S. on May 18, 2018. Physical album release in the U.S. was June 15, 2018. The album debuted at number 42 on the Billboard 200 chart, the highest debut for a cast album in over a year.
On December 7, 2018, "Rockin' Around the Pole", which does not appear on the cast recording but is featured in the musical, was released on digital music platforms. A music video for the holiday song was also released.
Marilyn Stasio, in her review for Variety wrote: "Fey has front-loaded the show with great gags...Nell Benjamin’s lyrics aren’t half as clever as Fey’s off-the-cuff wisecracks, but they get the job done and are quirky enough to make you listen hard for the good stuff, providing enough payoff lyrics to reward your attention.... Fans of the original movie should be reassured that nothing important has been purged from the story."
Awards and nominations
Original Washington, D.C. production (2017)
|2018||Helen Hayes Awards||Outstanding Visiting Production||Won|
|Outstanding Performer - Visiting Production||Grey Henson||Nominated|
Original Broadway production (2018)
|2018||Tony Awards||Best Musical||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical||Taylor Louderman||Nominated|
|Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical||Grey Henson||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical||Ashley Park||Nominated|
|Best Book of a Musical||Tina Fey||Nominated|
|Best Original Score||Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin||Nominated|
|Best Scenic Design of a Musical||Scott Pask, Finn Ross, and Adam Young||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design of a Musical||Gregg Barnes||Nominated|
|Best Sound Design of a Musical||Brian Ronan||Nominated|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Casey Nicholaw||Nominated|
|Best Orchestrations||John Clancy||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Awards||Outstanding Musical||Nominated|
|Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical||Grey Henson||Nominated|
|Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Ashley Park||Nominated|
|Outstanding Choreography||Casey Nicholaw||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lyrics||Nell Benjamin||Nominated|
|Outstanding Book of a Musical||Tina Fey||Won|
|Outstanding Costume Design||Gregg Barnes||Nominated|
|Outstanding Projection Design||Finn Ross & Adam Young||Nominated|
|Outstanding Wig and Hair||Josh Marquette||Nominated|
|Drama League Awards||Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical||Nominated|
|Distinguished Performance Award||Taylor Louderman||Nominated|
|Outer Critics Circle Awards||Outstanding New Broadway Musical||Nominated|
|Outstanding Book of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)||Tina Fey||Won|
|Outstanding Director of a Musical||Casey Nicholaw||Nominated|
|Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical||Erika Henningsen||Nominated|
|Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Kerry Butler||Nominated|
|Outstanding Projection Design (Play or Musical)||Finn Ross & Adam Young||Nominated|
|Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography||Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show||Casey Nicholaw||Nominated|
|Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show||Won (tie)|
|Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show||Ashley Park||Nominated|
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- McPhee, Ryan (July 27, 2017). "Mean Girls Musical Finds Its Plastics in Taylor Louderman and Ashley Park; Additional Casting Announced". Playbill.
- Vine, Hannah (February 2, 2018). "See Who's Bringing Mean Girls to Broadway". Playbill.
- Clement, Olivia (August 14, 2018). "Jennifer Simard to Join Mean Girls on Broadway". Playbill.
- "The MEAN GIRLS Original Broadway Cast Recording is Now Available for Pre-Order!". Broadway World. April 6, 2018.
- McPhee, Ryan. "Watch the Stars of Broadway's Mean Girls Rock Out to 'Rockin' Around the Pole'". Playbill. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- Nelson, Jeff. "The Mean Girls Musical Releases Music Video for Holiday Song 'Rockin' Around the Pole'". People. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- Stasio, Marilyn. "Broadway Review: 'Mean Girls' The Musical" Variety, April 8, 2018
- "2018 Helen Hayes Awards". theatrewashington.org. 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants Leads 2018 Drama Desk Awards". Playbill. June 3, 2018.
- "2018 Outer Critics Circle Nominations Announced". TheaterMania.com. 2018-04-24. Retrieved 2018-04-24.