It happened. I made fetch happen. Just kidding. I won the Mean Girl’s digital lottery and started the new year at North Shore. I’ve been avoiding the show and score like the plague. I wanted to have an organic experience at the August Wilson Theatre. This has been nearly impossible given the digital presence of both the show and its stars.
Jujamcyn, the owner of the theater, has streamlined the theater process. There was no line to enter the theater. The lights gradually lowered letting the audience know that the show was going to start soon. It was a subtle way to let everyone know to start to wrap up their conversations and unwrap their food.
From the moment I sat down, I was locked in. Scott Pask, the scenic designer, has truly outdone himself. Pages of the burn book fill the stage and share the hot gossip of the characters. It was both visually stunning and provided entertainment while I waited for the show to start. I would estimate the background changes upwards of 70 times. During one moment, the background transforms into one of my recurring stress dreams by showcasing an embarrassing viral moment.
The cast is incredibly talented with each voice better than the next. The 7 main principals are spectacular. Their talents are showcased one solo at a time greeted with rapturous applause. Each performer gets their time to shine with Erika Henningsen (Cady) doing a majority of the heavy lifting. For each solo, each star injects their own flair and personality. Ashley Park’s hilariously heartfelt “What’s Wrong With Me?” adds a sympathetic layer to the character. Similarly, “Where Do You Belong”, “Sexy,” “Someone Gets Hurt,” and “Apex Predator” by Grey Henson, Kate Rockwell, Taylor Louderman, and Barrett Wilbert Weed respectively allowed them all to shine. Jennifer Simard’s (Mrs. Heron, Mrs. George, and Ms. Norbury) reprise in the second act brought the house down. There was applause halfway through her first note.
Unfortunately, there is simply too much music that does not advance the plot. By my count, the first act contains 14 numbers while the second act has 11. It’s a lot and a lot of these songs are unnecessary reprises. I would have preferred few numbers with stronger lyrics.
Overall, I enjoyed the show. The ensemble is terrific and the staging is fabulous and detailed. Truly, it was a fun night on Broadway.
Featured Image Credit: Joan Marcus