Broadway’s ‘MEAN GIRLS’ Maintaining its Relevance – Adds Fun New Topics and One-Liners

The already quotable film classic – turned Broadway musical, Mean Girls, adds some new topics and one-liners at the Civic Center in Des Moines to remain ‘Fetch!’

Since the film “Mean Girls” hit cinemas in 2004, the story of Cady Heron and her war against the ‘plastics’ has resonated with teenage girls across the globe. The story has even gathered a cult-like following with fans quoting some of the lines by heart. At the national tour stop in Des Moines, the production threw in some fresh topics and quotes that are relevant to our current social structure.

Mean Girls

In an opening number of the Tina Fey masterpiece, Damian Hubbard (Eric Huffman) and Janis Sarkisian (Mary Kate Morrissey) introduce the audience to the “Cautionary Tale” of Cady Heron as she transitions from life in Africa to the survival-for-the-fittest life of American high schools. Heron first appears on stage as her parents inform her of the relocation to the U.S. – a land they describe as “violent, racist, and everyone is on opioids.” The plot of the musical is more or less similar to the movie, with the burn book going public, the girls meeting in the gymnasium, George’s accident, and Heron’s apology before she heads to the math tournament.

The show’s comedic twists emphasize everyday topics such as self-esteem issues, social media, and bullying. While most lines were familiar, there were some witty laugh lines that could crack a rib or two. One of my favorite classic lines was when Regina George (played by Mariah Rose Faith) and her gang of “plastics” compliment Heron’s bracelet and Gretchen Wieners (played by Megan Masako Haley) remarks, “So fetch.”

In one scene as the main girls are in a room, George’s mother brings up the topic of body image, the burn book, and social media. In another scene, George’s is tricked by Heron into eating calorie-laden food bars mischievously offered as a weight loss regimen. As this episode explodes online, Hubbard and Sarkisian take a moment to narrate the dangers of social media.

When Heron is shocked by her nomination for the Spring Fling Queen, Sarkisian jokingly says, “Or it’s the Russians!” – a political jab that attracted roaring laughs at the Civic Center. Capping off the show, Hubbard and Sarkisian remind the audience that “Even the people you don’t like are still people.”

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