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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Review: ‘Mean Girls: The Musical’

Art critic Richa Shah praises “Mean Girls: The Musical” for remaining true to the iconic film while adding its own grool spin.
Cover via Wikipedia/Mean Girls Broadway

Art critic Richa Shah praises “Mean Girls: The Musical” for remaining true to the iconic film while adding its own grool spin.

Rating: 8/10

Spoilers ahead for “Mean Girls: The Musical” (2018). 

The 2018 Broadway musical “Mean Girls: The Musical” was brought to Aggieland by MSC OPAS on Nov. 1 and 2. Held in Rudder Auditorium, the show was greeted by a nearly-full house on both days. Based on the iconic 2004 movie “Mean Girls,” writer and actress Tina Fey wrote the musical under the same name. The plot follows naive, formerly-homeschooled Cady Heron on her quest to navigate the perils of American high school cliques. 

At a whopping two and a half hours, the musical contained 20 songs and one 15-minute intermission. Though it kept many of the famous references from the movie — clothing rules for the Plastics, the significance of October 3rd and the Burn Book, the musical had showtunes you wanted to sing along to, different character personalities and showed more — literally — of Regina George. 

From “A Cautionary Tale” to “I See Stars,” the musical featured songs that continued the storyline as well as strong dance moves. With quick outfit changes and even quicker set changes, the songs often featured asides from the character singing, giving audience members a good look into the minds of the characters. 

Interspersed with dialogue from others or climactic events, the songs were humorous and profound additions to the musical. Hearing Gretchen Wieners sing “What’s Wrong With Me?” and its reprise made it clear to the audience that she was just a high school girl filled with insecurities and terrified of being left out. Who hasn’t asked what’s wrong with themselves?

Though the musical stayed true to all the character names in the movie, it altered some of their personalities in some notable ways. Aaron Samuels, the heartthrob of the musical, was portrayed as a lot more clueless than he was in the movie. For starters, he did not appear to understand that Regina was doing little more than using him to make Cady jealous. 

Moreover, Regina acted overtly mean. During the songs that featured or were about her, like “Apex Predator,” she pushed people and had fake flames behind her. In the movie, Regina is characterized as a mean girl who is subtle about her horrible actions. She pretended to care for her friends and often did awful things to them and others under the guise of being a considerate friend. 

At the end of the movie, after being hit by a bus, she has a character arc where she learns to channel her aggression into sports. In the musical, she is heavily sedated and loopily tells Heron it’s all OK. Though it is funnier to hear Regina giggling at everything due to strong medication, it feels like the only character who had any significant development was Heron.  

The unforgettable scenes found only in the musical were the ones where Regina’s butt was on show for the audience —she ripped off her skirt because it did not fit her and bent over. Wearing a tiny black thong and massive butt pads that showcased her weight gain due to Kälteen bars, the actress bent over cleanly in half. This drew an astonished gasp from the audience right before bursts of shocked laughter. 

No scene in the movie was remotely close to being as “explicit” or hilariously jarring as these ones. It drew a parallel to the movie scene in which Regina’s tank top has two holes cut into it by Janis Sarkisian, and she boldly walks out of the dressing room anyway. Hats off to the actress for keeping a straight face and walking off haughtily with her behind on display. 

For those of us who have not seen “Mean Girls” in over 15 years, hearing all the familiar terms brought back to life was a charming dose of nostalgia. Wieners made her attempt at making “fetch” the new hot catchphrase, Damian Hubbard pointed out the crying girl in the gymnasium “doesn’t even go here” and Sarkisian noted that Damian was “almost too gay to function.” And of course, the classic clothing rules anyone sitting at the Plastics table must follow: “On Wednesdays, we wear pink.” Paying homage by leaving in all that made it famous was the right way to tie it into its predecessor. 

All in all, thank you, Tina Fey, for a fetch evening.

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