Nearly four-and-a-half years after its sold-out, pre-Broadway debut at the National Theatre and two years after COVID ended its hit Broadway run, Mean Girls, the musical adaptation of Tina Fey’s iconic 2004 film, is now back in “fetch” action.
The show’s First National Tour, which had kicked off in Buffalo in the fall of 2019, has finally resumed for a run including a three-week stop at the Kennedy Center.
Fey adapted her screenplay to create a plucky and wry book further enhanced by songs as appealing as the story, all developed in hodgepodge pop pastiche fashion by Fey’s husband, composer Jeff Richmond working here with lyricist Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde).
With Casey Nicholaw as director/choreographer, the musical Mean Girls moves with the same exaggerated, kinetic energy as that of an earlier Nicholaw production, The Book of Mormon.
The show also calls to mind Dear Evan Hansen due to Scott Pask’s digitally driven set design, a marvel developed with video designers Finn Ross and Adam Young and using sophisticated and colorful projected LED imagery to frame scenes in the jungle, in school, and at home.
Danielle Wade stars as Cady Heron, the Janus-faced heroine who works to infiltrate the “Queen Bees” clique led by Nadina Hassan as Regina George.
Megan Masako Haley plays Gretchen Wieners and Jonalyn Saxer plays Karen Smith, while Eric Huffman is “almost too gay to function” as Damian Hubbard and Mary Kate Morrissey plays misfit sidekick Janis Sarkisian.
The main cast is rounded out by Adante Carter as Aaron Samuels, Kabir Berry as Kevin G., Lawrence E. Street as Mr. Duvall, and April Josephine in the Fey role as teacher Ms. Norbury — when she’s not appearing as Cady’s and Regina’s mothers, that is.
At the Kennedy Center Opera House through April 24. Tickets are $49 to $159. Call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.