“Mean Girls: The Musical” concludes its Chicago portion of its national tour this weekend. A few days after the announcement of the transformation of “Mean Girls: The Musical” into a film.
Like most of the musical adaptations of the films, the announcement of the program received some criticism: why should the “Mean Girls” of all films be transformed into a musical? Would it even be a good adaptation? Later, 12 Tony nominations and a handful of box office records, and the numbers seem to speak for themselves. With a book written by original writer Tina Fey and Broadway veteran Casey Nicholaw as director and choreographer, “Mean Girls: The Musical” is an undeniable success.
A national tour was inevitable, and after months on the road, the cast finally headed to the Nederlander Theater for a month-long tour of Chicago. Although neither the source material nor the musical is intended to be much more than a playful teen comedy with a message of self-acceptance, Danielle Wade manages to bring surprising depth to Cady Heron, a character whose representation original cast on Broadway is sometimes wrong. alongside the typical stereotype.
However, the Wade version of Cady is more sophisticated. He doesn’t have the innocence of the protagonist’s representation in the film and quickly adapts to the lifestyle that Regina presents to him. His voice is spectacular and adapts well to the material of the show. However, this is not a surprise, given that Wade was an expectation in the original Broadway cast.
Unfortunately, the same depth cannot be found in its foil, Regina George. Although Mariah Rose Faith has a dazzling voice, particularly notable during her performance “World Burn”, her acting skills are not comparable to those of Wade. While Regina may be a difficult character to capture, Faith’s portrait is too much about comedy, but that could be attributed in part to the plethora of jokes the series manages to oust due to Regina’s weight gain.
Cady and Regina are their respective friends: Cady’s friends call themselves “art fanatics” Janis Sarkisian (Mary Kate Morrissey) and Damian “too gay to function” Hubbard (Eric Huffman). The two represent their characters with the right dose of humor and heart. While Janis has perhaps the strongest voice of the two, Damian gets most of the duo’s funniest lines, and their tap number “Stop” was a public favorite.
On the plastic side, there are the nervous and heartbreaking Gretchen Wieners (Megan Masako Haley) and the “most stupid person you will meet”, Karen Smith (Jonalyn Saxer). Haley was fit but forgettable in the end, not to blame. Gretchen has always been the weakest of the three plastics and has done no better for her than Karen de Saxer was the runaway favorite of the night, stealing the stage in virtually all of the scenes in which she finds herself. All of its lines come with a kind of endearing void that makes the words that come out of its mouth much more hysterical.
About being more hysterical, the show is not necessarily more fun than the film, but it is certainly more daring. Many pop-culture pranks received a 2019 update, but many of the show’s most memorable pranks were those that weren’t in the film, including a visual gag involving a mascot costume so obscene that the audience half the audience has passed. the song later in an incredulous laugh.
In the end, “Mean Girls: The Musical” may not be able to overshadow the fundamental element of pop culture that is the film, the ingenuity of tour production and performances Impressive vocals make it a must for any Chicago girl who wants to spend an evening of hell. Although it was short-lived, we will miss her presence in the Nederlander.