We were going to do a traditional longform review of Mean Girls the musical, but is there really any need? If you love the movie, you’ll eat up the musical like a dozen Calteen bars, and leave the Pantages feeling happy and full. That’s because Tina Fey herself wrote the book and her wicked sense of humor is not lost in the song and dance-packed spectacle. We didn’t find the music here “so fetch,” in fact we thought it was kind of forgettable, but the production elements and choreography make up for it. Mostly, it’s the dialog -which sticks to the film’s central narrative- that gives the show its resonance and riotous energy.

Mean Girls Musical

(Courtesy Broadway in Hollywood)

We all know the story: Cady, a formerly home-schooled student living in Africa starts her new high school and comes upon the Plastics (the popular girl clique who rule the school) and a couple of outkasts who encourage her to “pretend” to be Plastics’ queen bee Regina George’s bestie so she can bring her down. But things get complicated when Cady falls for Regina’s ex and gets seduced by the adulation of being popular.

The L.A. production features a few tweaks to the story, and some inclusive casting choices that make it feel fresh. Some things have changed since the film came out in 2004– like, there wasn’t even Instagram! But the new production is a self-aware, contemporary take on a movie that skewered herd mentality and self-absorbed youth, even as it celebrated the nubile appeal of its leads and focused more on the humor of their narcissism than the harm. We were all enthralled by girls like these in high school, even if we hated them. Seeing them on screen and now stage, it’s clear nothing much has changed.

Mean Girls at the Pantages, 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, runs through Jan. 29. Tickets and info at BroadwayInHollywood.com. It will also be at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, March 7-19. More info www.SCFTA.org





























































































































































































































































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