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Mean Girls is a musical with book by Tina Fey, music by Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin, based on the 2004 film of the same name, which, in turn, was inspired by the book Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.

The musical premiered at the National Theatre, Washington, D.C. in October 2017 and opened on Broadway in April 2018 at the August Wilson Theatre.

Background

A musical adaptation of the 2004 film Mean Girls has been in the works since at least 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, premiering in October 2017.

Productions

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.

Synopsis

Act One

High school students Janis Sarkisian and Damian Hubbard tell the story of Cady Heron ("A Cautionary Tale"). Cady and her parents have moved from Africa to start a new life in America ("It Roars"), with Cady entered in public school. She is very excited to make new friends but no one seems to like her ("It Roars" (Reprise)). Janis and Damian meet Cady and they help her find her “group”, "the greatest people you will ever meet" ("Where Do You Belong?"). Janis and Damian tell her about the clique dubbed “the Plastics”, which includes Regina George, the Queen Bee, Gretchen Wieners, Regina's second in command, and Karen Smith, the dumb blonde. Just as Cady walks to eat lunch with Janis and Damian, Regina and her fellow Plastics decide that she 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 tells her not to fall for it ("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 ("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. Meanwhile, Cady believes that if she acts stupid, Aaron will help her with her work, and therefore talk to her more ("Stupid With Love (Reprise)").

Later, Karen explains that in high school, Halloween revolves around looking sexy, and how no matter what you are dressed as (even if you are dressed as 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 him until he agrees to get back together with her ("Someone Gets Hurt").

Furious, Cady goes to 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 to help her gain weight (though she thinks 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 - causing her 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 failing their "Rockin' Around the Pole" dance at the school talent show, people start noticing Regina's weight gain. Later, when Regina breaks one of the Plastics' 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)).

Act Two

After winter break at North Shore High School, Cady has undergone a complete makeover befitting of her new "Queen Bee" status ("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 new Queen Bee Cady, while Regina's mother wonders why her daughter won't confide in her ("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). 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 ("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 ("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 ("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 ("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

Character Workshop

(2016)

Washington, D.C.

(2017)

Broadway

(2018)

Cady Heron Tee Boyich Erika Henningsen
Regina George Taylor Louderman
Gretchen Wieners Krysta Rodriguez Ashley Park
Karen Smith Kate Rockwell
Janis Sarkisian Barrett Wilbert Weed
Damian Hubbard Grey Henson
Mrs. Heron/Ms. Norbury/Mrs. George Kerry Butler
Aaron Samuels Kyle Selig
Kevin Gnapoor Cheech Manohar
Mr. Duvall Rick Younger
Jason Wiens Curtis Holland
Taylor Wedell Jonalyn Saxer
Shane Oman Kevin Csolak
Caitlyn Caussin Devon Hadsell
Marwan Jitla Nikhil Saboo
Dawn Schweitzer Stephanie Lynn Bissonette
Tyler Kimble Ben Tyler Cook
Rachel Hamilton Kamille Upshaw
Coach Carr / Glen Coco Myles McHale
Sophie Kawachi Riza Takahashi
Chris "LaBornski" Wiggins DeMarius R. Copes
Sonja Aquino / "Danny DeVito Girl" Gianna Yanelli
Mr. Heron / Mike T. Brendon Stimson
Grace Akinola Zurin Villanueva
Lizzie Therman / Caroline Krafft Collins Conley

Creative team

Position Washington, D.C.

(2017)

Broadway

(2018)

Director Casey Nicholaw
Choreographer
Book Tina Fey
Music Jeff Richmond
Lyrics Nell Benjamin
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
Orchestrations John Clancy
Dance/Incidental/

Additional Music Arrangements

Glen Kelly

Musical numbers

Washington D.C.
Act One
  • ”A Cautionary Tale” – Damian, Janis
  • "Wildlife" – Janis, Damian, Cady, Mr. Heron and Mrs. Heron, Ensemble
  • "Wildlife” (Reprise) – Cady
  • "Where Do You Belong?" – Damian, Janis, Cady, Ensemble
  • "Stupid with Love" – Cady
  • "Apex Predator" – Janis, Cady, Gretchen, Karen
  • "What’s Wrong with Me?" – Gretchen
  • "Stupid with Love" (Reprise) – Cady, Aaron
  • "Sexy" – Karen
  • "Someone Gets Hurt" – Regina, Aaron
  • "Revenge Party" – Cady, Janis, Damian, Ensemble
  • "Kevin's Rap" – Kevin
  • "Rockin' Around the Pole" – Regina, Cady, Gretchen, Karen
  • "Justice" – Gretchen, Karen, Cady, Janis, Damian, Ensemble
Act Two
  • "Bossed Up" – Damian, Cady, Janis, Ensemble
  • "Stay with Mother" – Mrs. George
  • "Whose House Is This?" – Kevin, Ensemble
  • "More Is Better" – Cady, Aaron
  • "Someone Gets Hurt" (Reprise) – Janis, Damian
  • "World Burn" – Regina, Ensemble
  • "I’d Rather Be Me" – Janis, Ensemble
  • "Justice" (Reprise) – Cady
  • "Do This Thing" – Cady, Ms. Norbury, Kevin, Ensemble
  • "Here (You Can Sit With Us)" – Cady, Janis, Damian, Regina, Gretchen, Karen, Ensemble
Broadway
Act One
  • "A Cautionary Tale" – Janis and Damian
  • "It Roars" – Cady and Ensemble
  • "It Roars" (Reprise)† – Cady and Ensemble
  • "Where Do You Belong?" – Damian, Janis, Cady and Ensemble
  • "Meet the Plastics" – Regina, Gretchen, Karen, Janis, Damian and Cady
  • "Stupid With Love" – Cady
  • "Apex Predator" – Janis and Cady
  • "What’s Wrong with Me?" – Gretchen
  • "Stupid With Love" (Reprise) – Cady and Aaron
  • "Sexy" – Karen and Ensemble
  • "Someone Gets Hurt" – Regina, Aaron and Ensemble
  • "Revenge Party" – Janis, Damian, Cady and Ensemble
  • "Fearless" – Cady, Gretchen, Karen and Ensemble
  • "Someone Gets Hurt" (Reprise)†† – Regina
Act Two
  • "A Cautionary Tale (Reprise)"† – Janis and Damian
  • "Stop" – Damian, Karen and Ensemble
  • "What’s Wrong With Me (Reprise)" – Gretchen and Mrs. George
  • "Whose House Is This?" – Kevin, Cady, Gretchen, Karen and Ensemble
  • "More Is Better" – Cady and Aaron
  • "Someone Gets Hurt (Reprise 2)" – Janis and Damian
  • "World Burn" – Regina and Ensemble
  • "I’d Rather Be Me" – Janis and Ensemble
  • "Fearless (Reprise)"† – Cady
  • "Do This Thing" – Cady, Ms. Norbury, Kevin, Mathletes and Ensemble
  • "I See Stars" – Cady and Full Company

† Not included on Original Broadway Cast Recording

†† Included as part of "Fearless" on Original Broadway Cast Recording

Recording

The Original Broadway Cast recording was released digitally in the US on May 18, 2018. Physical album release in the US 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.