Mean Girls The Musical Makes Fetch Happen
Toronto just got fetch!
On October 25th, the national tour of Mean Girls began performances at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre.
Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung.
This musical adaptation of Tina Fey’s 2004 film has a book by Fey herself, with music and lyrics by Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin. The touring production was directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw and stars English Bernhardt, Nadina Hassan, Jasmine Rogers, Morgan Ashley Bryant, and Lindsay Heather Pearce.
Before I get started on the next piece of this review, I want to say that I had a wonderful time at Mean Girls, it was a wonderful way to spend a Friday night!
I have to be honest, I did find that this musical ran a little long. In its defence, many musicals can run a little long and could use a cut or two. However, it shouldn’t FEEL long. I can’t quite put my finger on why it felt this way. Maybe it was the pressure to fit everything from the classic film into the stage adaptation (which it does), or the fact that while the songs are catchy and fun, they often do not advance the plot or provide character development.
But these feelings about the show’s book and structure did not prevent me from having a great time at the show! The book is hilarious and touching, like the original film, and the songs are catchy, toe-tapping, and accompanied by impressive choreography.
Mean Girls has always been a movie perfect for anyone who has ever been through high school, and so is the musical.
The best thing about Mean Girls the Musical was the incredibly talented cast of triple threats. The entire company is singing, dancing, and acting their faces off with contagious high energy throughout the two and a half hour performance.
Lindsay Heather Pearce’s portrayal of Janis has become one of my all time favourites. She’s a powerhouse actress, and what she brought to this character touched me more than I can say in this review. Pearce is also a brilliant vocalist, and her rendition of I’d Rather Be Me is worth the price of admission.
English Bernhardt is a graceful and charismatic Cady, who the audience can root for even in her lowest moments. Jasmine Rogers gives a wonderful, layered performance as Gretchen, who gets to tell her story in a different lens than the movie.
Other performance highlights for me were the vocals of Nadina Hassan as Regina, and the comedic timing of Morgan Ashley Bryant as Karen, and Heather Ayers as Ms. Norbury/Mrs. George/Mrs. Heron.
The last thing I would like to mention in this review is regarding the show’s backdrops, which mostly consisted of LED screens. While this was cool, and an interesting way to explore different designs, I found it very distracting from the performers and story onstage. While there were times it served the story, there were others where it truly did not. This is also a little warning for those who are sensitive to light and motion. There is not an advisory on the website or in person for Mirvish for these visual effects, which did trigger a migraine for me and could trigger the same or worse for someone else.
The National Tour of Mean Girls is now onstage at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre, where it will run until November 27th before moving on to theatres across North America.
You can find tickets to see the show in Toronto here:
And for a full list of tour dates and ticket information, here: