“Mean Girls” is the 2004 teen comedy that has resonated with audiences far beyond that teen demo ever since. It’s one of Lindsay Lohan’s most popular films, it put Rachel McAdams (as the vicious Regina George) on the path to stardom, and it earned Tina Fey, who wrote the screenplay, a Writers Guild of America Awards nomination.
Fey has also penned the book for “Mean Girls: The Musical” – a stage adaptation of the film that’s heading to Broadway next year. But before it gets to The Great White Way, “Mean Girls” is doing a limited preview run at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C. starting this week.
Think that “Mean Girls” is an odd choice to be turned into a musical? I thought “Groundhog Day” was too, until I saw the show in August, and it blew me away. Fey told D.C.’s CBS 9: “We wanted to retain the spirit of the movie, and the DNA of the movie, and the… good core values of the movie. While we’re having all these jokes and having all this fun, it also is about… ‘What does it mean to be a decent friend? What does it mean to be a good human being in 2017?’
We just tried to take the story down to its most essential. And I think the thing I’ve learned – the biggest thing in this process – is figuring out when people sing. What warrants singing?”
“The show does take place in the present”, she told D.C.’s NBC 4 station (which airs “Great News”, the comedy series she produces and recently guest starred on). “[‘Mean Girls’] remains about people and the way people treat each other. But it’s inevitable that social media is part of the landscape.”
The “Saturday Night Live” veteran also had this to say about those seeing the show early in Our Nation’s Capitol: “It’s like going to an ‘SNL’ dress rehearsal. You might get to see something that doesn’t make it all the way to New York. We have the luxury of time to experiment a little bit.”
I watched “Mean Girls” for the first time last year, and I really liked it, so I wouldn’t mind seeing how the musical version turns out. But it will have to be in The Big Apple – I won’t be in D.C. over the next five weeks. If you are, and you’d like to catch “Mean Girls: The Musical”, visit The National Theatre website for ticket info.