MEAN GIRLS Quick Review

MEAN GIRLS presented by Broadway in Cincinnati through Nov. 17. I attended the opening night performance. 

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Danielle Wade as Cady Heron, Megan Masako Haley as Gretchen Wieners, Mariah Rose Faith as Regina George, Jonalyn Saxer as Karen Smith, Mary Kate Morrissey as Janis Sarkisian, and the National Touring Company. Credit: © 2019 Joan Marcus.

Interested in a more immersive experience? You can join cast members from MEAN GIRLS in a Broadway Weekends theater camp for adults.

The stage adaption of the movie MEAN GIRLS arrived Tuesday at the Aronoff Center for a two week stay.

The vocals of the leads are strong across the board and the ladies have some great belting solos. Danielle Wade is easily likable as fish out of water Cady. The titular “Mean Girls” play off of each other well: Mariah Rose Faith as queen bee Regina, Megan Masako Haley as desperate people-pleasing Gretchen, and Jonalyn Saxer as the extremely dim-witted Karen. Mary Kate Morrissey is solid as angst-ridden artist Janis.

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Eric Huffman as Damian Hubbard and the National Touring Company. Credit: © 2019 Joan Marcus

It is CCM-alum Eric Huffman though who steals the show as Damian. Serving as co-narrator, he establishes a great rapport with the audience and his enjoyment leading the production numbers is contagious.

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Gaelen Gilliland as Mrs. George and Danielle Wade as Cady Heron. © 2019 Joan Marcus

Special shout out to Gaelen Gilliland who displays great versatility and comic timing tackling three roles: both Cady’s and Regina’s mom as well as math teacher Ms. Norbury.

The choreography is high-energy and fun to watch with clever use of set pieces and props throughout. The support of talented ensemble is instrumental in setting the scene and keeping the pacing tight.

The LED walls of the set work very well and are used to great effect. They allow the location of the scene to change instantaneously when needed. At times they even trick the eye, making the exits disappear entirely. The brief delay to address a flooring issue for the safety of the cast was handled quickly and professionally.

While the show is very enjoyable, I never connected to the characters emotionally. The consequences of Cady’s actions are few and short lived. Forgiveness from those she wronged is nearly immediately and makes the final scenes of the show seemed rushed.

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The National Touring Company. Credit: © 2019 Joan Marcus

Overall a fun, colorful, and very enjoyable production.

My rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Click here for more information on the production.

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