Review Roundup: MEAN GIRLS Brings its 'Fetch' Tour Back to the Stage; What Are the Critics Saying?

The tour resumed performances on November 2nd in Tempe, AZ. 

Mean Girls

The Mean Girls National Tour relaunched on November 2nd in Tempe, AZ.

Reprising their roles from the 2019-2020 season are Danielle Wade as Cady Heron, Megan Masako Haley as Gretchen Wieners, Jonalyn Saxer as Karen Smith, Mary Kate Morrissey as Janis Sarkisian, Eric Huffman as Damian Hubbard, Adante Carter as Aaron Samuels, Kabir Bery as Kevin G. and Lawrence E. Street as Mr. Duvall. Joining them are Nadina Hassan as Regina George and April Josephine as Mrs. Heron/Ms. Norbury/Mrs. George.

The cast also includes Erica Simone Barnett, English Bernhardt, DeShawn Bowens, Will Branner, Lamont Brown, Morgan Ashley Bryant, Brittany Conigatti, Sarah Crane, Mary Beth Donahoe, Niani Feelings, Sky Flaherty, Samuel Gerber, Dan Horn, Asia Marie Kreitz, Becca Petersen, Olivia Renteria, Grace Romanello, Sydney Mei Ruf-Wong, Marcus Shane, Kaitlyn Louise Smith, and David Wright Jr.

Learn more at

Let's see what the critics are saying...

Gammage Auditorium - Tempe, AZ

Timothy Shawver, BroadwayWorld: The score, by Jeff Richmond, is a vocal American Ninja Warrior course. Mary Kate Morrissey as Janis leads the way in that department with an impressive rock belt and she's not afraid to use it. Danielle Wade as Cady navigates the score like a pro who knows just where to place every note. Nadina Hassan as Regina takes advantage of the opportunities for humor, sounds great, nails her line readings, but she doesn't bring the total Armageddon of stage presence that the role needs to work as well as it can.

Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway: Fey's book includes all of the memorable lines and scenes from the film while also updating it with modern references, including a major emphasis on virtual bullying and a compassionate plea for acceptance. Only the film's epilogue is strangely absent from the stage show. While there are numerous catchy songs, some of the music by Fey's husband Jeff Richmond isn't that memorable. But the lyrics by Nell Benjamin are often on par with Fey's witty dialogue.

Chris Curcio, Curtain Up Phoenix: Not only is "Mean Girls" sadly unoriginal about teeny boppers but the show looks cheap and tacky with awkwardly angled screens on which are projected ridiculously silly "sets." Oh, the show never stops as tired choreography plays out featuring a huge cast of youngish looking chorines playing lead roles without the necessary sparkle that would help sell this lame-witted bauble. In fairness, a capacity opening night crowd of many young theatergoers seemed to love every hackneyed line and timeworn bit of business but does this cheering crowd have other richer musicals with which to compare "Mean Girls"?

Keller Auditorium - Portland, OR

Bekki, Chasing Supermom: The incomparable Tina Fey delivers powerful and positive messaging using humor. While Mean Girls is a laugh-out-loud comedy, it's also a treatise on human behavior that will likely trigger self-evaluation and reflection. If you're willing to look, Mean Girls is about so much more than high school cliques. Yes, it's about the girls we love to hate and the quest to climb the popularity ladder - but it's also about the why. Why do we change who we are to fit in? Why do we believe tearing others down causes us to rise? Why do we yearn for approval to feel worthy?

Paramount Theatre - Seattle, WA

Jay Irwin, BroadwayWorld: With its bright and vibrant set and costumes from Scott Pask and Gregg Barnes and their fantastic video design from Finn Ross and Adam Young, there's always something shiny to get your attention. And the direction and choreography from Casey Nicholaw keeps the fabulous ensemble hopping. I do wish that the sound mixing at the Paramount had been a bit better so as to be able to hear all the fun lines in the songs. Without those, there's not much to latch onto and I was glad I was familiar with the cast album, so I caught most of it. I don't know if a newbie would.

Gemma Alexander, Seattle Times: As you'd expect from a high school story, the costumes carry a lot of weight - sometimes literally. Aside from providing teen fashion inspo (the production discourages children under 10 from attending), there's lingerie (see "Sexy," above) and lions (both literal and mascot), with some surprisingly quick changes among them. The sets are flashy and slick, shifting instantly midsong from shopping mall to savanna to classroom to bedroom.

Tony Bohn, Seattle Pockets: I was so thoroughly and delightfully entertained throughout the musical. So much of this show is sung which really added to the production. There were so many fun dance scenes, including a personal favorite of mine, an unexpected tap number. The sets, lighting, and costumes were very colorful, vibrant, and visually appealing. More importantly, this musical delivers an important message about how to treat other people (particularly our friends, but also everyone else), the importance of standing up for our own values and morals and not compromising who we are for others, and illustrating how toxic bullying and gossiping can be, particularly for high school kids.

Julie Hanson, Seattle's Child: Eric Huffman steals the show as Damian (introduced by his best friend with the line "This is Damian. He's almost too gay to function.") ... I was checking my program (and social media) to see if by chance Tina Fey had flown in to play math teacher Ms. Norbury, just for fun. (Fey wrote the book and played Ms. Norbury in the movie.) April Josephine really channeled Fey's delivery, I thought. She also played Cady Heron's mom and Regina George's mom.

First Interstate Center for the Arts - Spokane, WA

Taylor D. Waring, Spokesman: With that said, Becca Peterson as the admittedly dumb (but wickedly funny) Kate Smith in many ways stole the show. The actress, who was filling in for Jonalyn Saxer, delivered hilarious one-liners throughout the show as her character broke the fourth wall. The best moment of this was in "Sexy" in which she starts the number over after realizing she should wish for world peace before it being Halloween every day and not the other way around.

Lillian Piel, Islander: Going into Mean Girls I already knew quite a few of the songs from the show, being the former theater kid that I am, and seeing them come to life on stage was even better than I expected. Audiences are in for some fun with "Sexy," Karen's moment to shine when she sings about dressing how you want on Halloween. "World Burn" will give you chills in the best way possible as you watch Regina plot her comeback, and "I'd Rather Be Me" is the perfect mix of sass and badass that encapsulates Janis's character and her frustrations with how the girls at the school are acting.

George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Theatre - Salt Lake City, UT

Tyler Hinton, BroadwayWorld: Danielle Wade as Cady effortlessly navigates the complexities of the character with strong acting and vocals. Mary Kate Morrissey as Janis and Eric Huffman as Damian are picture perfect in their parts and narrate the proceedings with panache. A shoutout to understudy Becca Peterson for her spot-on performance as Karen (usually played by Jonalyn Saxer), alongside Nadina Hassan as iron-willed Regina and Megan Masako Haley as submissive Gretchen.

Popejoy Hall - Albuquerque, NM

Adrian Gomez, Albuquerque Journal: Let's start with Nadina Hassan, who is making her debut as George. It is also Hassan's first national tour. Fans are familiar with Rachel McAdams' iconic role in the film. Yet, as Hassan takes the reins as George, she's pure power. In the number, "Meet the Plastics," Hassan is the definition of a mean girl. With attitude, she introduces the audience to her character, which is merely a glimpse of how much of a calculated genius she is. Then there's Danielle Wade, who plays Heron - the wide-eyed home-schooled student who dives into the murky waters of public school. Wade tackles the role with honesty, which makes for some seriously amazing scenes.

Walton Arts Center [Baum Walker Hall] - Fayetteville, AR

Kevin Kinder, Fayetteville Flyer: As a musical version of this familiar story, the production leans heavily on style. The first act is rather breathlessly paced, and I quite liked the choreography. During the cafeteria scene that includes the numbers "Where Do You Belong?" and "Meet the Plastics," for instance, cast members move lunch tables around in harmony with the song and use lunch trays as percussive instruments and props. It's a lot of fun.

Civic Center Music Hall - Oklahoma City, OK

Adrienne Proctor, BroadwayWorld: Cady is portrayed smartly by Danielle Wade. Wade is precocious and innocent, but not dumb or dense. Wade is a controlled performer, bold and bright and hopeful as Cady. But Cady is by no means perfect, and Wade balances this duality beautifully. Mary Kate Morrissey is a powerhouse as Janis. Morrissey sings the socks off everyone in attendance; she's an absolute Rock Star with a punk rock look and a bad-ass attitude. Nadina Hassan is gorgeous and scary as Regina George. Hassan is poised and ready in every scene, clearly owning the stage and her spotlight.

Brandy McDonnell, The Oklahoman: Already somewhat over the top in its cinematic form, the story loses some nuances and plot points in its transformation into a big stage extravaganza. The show's music from three-time Emmy winner (and Fey's husband) Jeff Richmond is appropriately perky and dramatic, if not always as memorable as it should be.

Marcus Center - Milwaukee, WI

Aly Prouty, Spectrum News 1: While I certainly expected neon pink hues, what I didn't expect is other bright, playful colors to be used throughout the entire musical. Costumes (Gregg Barnes) alone gave the show a bright, refreshing feel. They were complimented eloquently by a full-stage LED screen, providing mood-enhancing lighting (Kenneth Posner) and video (Finn Ross and Adam Young) elements. Yes, of course, the performers were outstanding- each and every one of them. But I cannot help but mention how bright the technical elements of "Mean Girls" shined. It's truly a 21st century, modern musical.

Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The songs by Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin are more functional than memorable (except for Damian's tap feature, "Stop"). The strength of this show comes from its high energy level, expressed in one bright and lively dance scene after another concocted by Casey Nicholaw, who both directed and choreographed.

Historic Tennessee Theatre - Knoxville, TN

Abby Ann Ramsey, UT Daily Beacon: Consequently, the show utilizes humor and music to make some pretty nuanced statements and to respectfully point out the ridiculousness of simply being a teenager and having the world revolve around what high schoolers think of you. It also employs some more serious songs like "I'd Rather Be Me," "Fearless" and "I See Stars" to point out the importance of not pitting women against each other and standing up for yourself.

Tennessee Performing Arts Center - Nashville, TN

Amy Stumpfl, Nashville Scene: Die-hard fans will be happy to know that Fey's book preserves much of the film's quick wit and meme-worthy lines. She wisely fast-forwards the action to 2019, working in some new gags about social media and technology. (One character tries to explain her aching insecurity by comparing herself to an iPhone without a case. "Like, I know I'm worth a lot, and I have a lot of good functions. But at any time I could just shatter.") And the film's pivotal "Burn Book" gets a nice boost, with its vicious slams projected on oversized screens.

Fox Theatre - St. Louis, MO

Mark Bretz, LaDue News: These are raunchy, self-absorbed kids in many cases, but also teens whose vulnerability comes through in moments of revealing conversations between various characters. The show's two acts and two-and-a-half hours of performance time move quickly thanks in large part to the fluid direction of Casey Nicholaw, who also helmed "The Prom" recently at The Fox with similar success.

Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: As in the film, hilarity - and an extremely convoluted plot - ensue. But whereas the movie runs a bit over 90 minutes, the musical clocks in at about 2½ hours (including intermission). Some folks will argue that the show delivers good bang for the buck. Others, however, might find it more exhausting than exhilarating.

Wharton Center [Cobb Great Hall] - East Lansing, MI

Stefani Chudnow, BroadwayWorld: One of the most successful aspects to Mean Girls is the way they utilize technology to further develop the various settings of the show. The show relies largely on these giant screens lining the back of the stage. Though this may sound like a cop-out to some, with the way these screens look, you would never know that you weren't in Kenya, a fictionalized suburban mall, or North Shore High. The graphics are extremely well done and truly a great example of how far theatre has come in the last few years. It's particularly neat to see how the physical set pieces (e.g., desks, bedroom sets, bathroom stalls, lunch tables, etc.) go along with the virtual backgrounds.

Orpheum Theater - Omaha, NE

Analisa Swerczek, BroadwayWorld: Some other standout performances are turned out by Danielle Wade, Megan Masako Haley, Adante Carter, and Kabir Bery, who play Cady Heron, Gretchen Wieners, Aaron Samuels and Kevin G respectfully. Wade has charm, humor, and a voice that seems to know no limits, and she is a solid choice to take the reins of the iconic role first made popular by Lindsay Lohan in the 2004 film. Haley is endearing and to a certain degree somewhat tragic as Gretchen Wieners, who on more than one occasion wonders what is wrong with her and why she isn't always included even in the core four. Her voice is steady and her humor makes her not only personable but very likable.

Betsie Freeman, My hopes were exceeded in the amazing scenic design, which relies heavily on technology. It truly was unlike anything I had ever seen. I don't want to say too much about it because you need to experience it yourself, but suffice it to say it was bright, versatile, innovative and really fun. For me, however, the very things that make the production so flashy made it difficult to follow the plot and really get to know the characters and their growth (or lack of it). There was almost too much going on.

Kentucky Center - Louisville, KY

Taylor Clemons, BroadwayWorld: This show, to put it as plainly as possible, is so much FUN! From the minute the first chords sound, you know you're in for a treat. The show overflows with Tina Fey's special brand of off kilter humor, and so much of the show is joyous and silly.

Kirby Adams, Courier Journal: The result is a vibrant, fast-paced show with a lot of heart, plenty of humor, and a message for the ages - you'll be happier as yourself than trying to be anybody else.

Murat Theatre - Indianapolis, IN

The Marriage Matinee, BroadwayWorld: I will completely own my bias and admit that I already loved the character of Janis, but I did not know my love would deepen when I saw her portrayed by Mary Kate Morrissey. She brought out this intoxicating blend of hardness and generosity that really enhanced the character. She also has an exceptionally powerful musical presence in every number and really packs a punch with her feature song, "I'd Rather Be Me."

Scott L. Miley, The Herald Bulletin: And every bit of the movie is in the musical. In fact, the show brings more life to the movie with its unstoppable energy. There's the off-the-cuff quips from the school principal (Tim Meadows had the movie role). There's a fierce math battle ("High school's a four-year social curse but math's the foundation of the universe"). There's a raucous house party with choreographed chaos.

Kennedy Center - Washington, D.C.

Olivia Murray, BroadwayWorld: Then there is the collision of both worlds, represented by Danielle Wade's Cady Heron. Wade is also quite familiar with the Mean Girls world, as she has not only been Cady Heron, but she has also been Janis and the three Adult Women roles on Broadway. There are so many things I could say about her performance because she was so fantastic. Wade played into the unfamiliar and hesitant side of Cady so well, and when she had to show the new "Plastic" side of her, she still displayed the sort of struggle between what she thinks is right and wrong. This is what makes Cady different from her friend groups.

Amy Kotkin, DC Metro: While full of predicable plot turns and familiar stereotypes - think nerds, jocks, goths, stoners, fashionistas, and garden-variety wannabes - Mean Girls nonetheless dazzles with stellar singing, great choreography, and, best of all, amazing lighting by Kenneth Posner and state-of-the-art video design by technical wizards Finn Ross and Adam Young. In the blink of an eye, their slick digital imaging transforms a series of blank backdrops from the scenic African savannah into a classroom, a slinky Halloween party, an entire shopping mall, and much more. Watch with horror and fascination as the screens blossom like lethal algae with pages from the Burn Book, a collection of bitchy stories, rumors, and gossip by and about the school's female (and some male) students.

Orpheum Theatre - Memphis, TN

AniKatrina Fageol, BroadwayWorld: The show opens up with two of my favorite characters from the film, Janis and Damian, who break the 4th wall and open up to the audience about their friend Cady Heron. It's interesting because the film is told in first person, from Cady's point of view. Janis and Damian often turn to address the audience as they pull us into this wacky adventure. Mary Kate Morrissey and Eric Huffman capture the audience with their first powerful notes. The two of them capture the beloved characters so perfectly, that we easily find ourselves cheering them on. Janis's powerful number "I'd Rather Be Me" in Act II becomes like an anthem as the ensemble joins in and the audience is left wanting to get up and join Janis and the other girls in solidarity.

Music Hall at Fair Park - Dallas, TX

Emily Short, BroadwayWorld: The story of Mean Girls is well-known because of the popularity of the 2004 film, but the musical version lends itself to a deeper understanding of the characters. When I spoke with English Bernhardt, playing Cady Heron in the show, she said the "[characters] voice some of their feelings and thoughts in these songs," and after seeing the performance, I couldn't agree more. Nell Benjamin's writing of the lyrics combined with Jeff Richmond's execution of the music (with support from Mary-Mitchell Campbell) allowed the story to be told in a new way, inviting the audience to gain a deeper understanding of the same characters we thought we knew. Yes, Mean Girls would still be popular as a play, but seeing it as a musical added a layer and depth that was fresh and unique.

Saenger Theatre - New Orleans, LA

Tara Bennett, BroadwayWorld: Devoted fans and those new to MEAN GIRLS will find much to enjoy about the musical and the laughs that have become meme-worthy over the years. Fey follows the major beats of her original script but has also updated it with new, contemporary gags such as updated dialogue and the influence of social media on a teenager's life (btw, this year's talent show is #scandalous). But the one thing that remains the same is the sharp humor of the script, which deserves nothing but straight A's.

Peace Center - Greenville, SC

Sandy Staggs, Carolina Curtain Call: The music by Fey's husband Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde) are genre-friendly and vast in scope from the emotional "Fearless" to hip hop. But Fey's book more than carries the proceedings in this light tale of reckless abandonment of morals that punches a more ambitious message about female solidarity than the film actually.

Schuster Performing Arts Center - Dayton, OH

Mike Woody, Dayton Local: The biggest standouts/show stealers are Janis Sarkisian (Lindsay Heather Pearce) and Damian Hubbard (Eric Huffman). They go together better than Kalteen Bars and chocolate milk. Their talent is more filling than an all carb diet. Any show would benefit from Pearce and Huffman being a part of it, 'Mean Girls' certainly does.

Fisher Theatre - Detroit, MI

Carmichael Cruz, Click On Detroit: Leading the cast as protagonist Cady Heron is English Bernhardt, the tour's original Cady standby, who was just recently promoted to Cady full-time. Bernhardt has also taken the stage as Janis and Regina, so this is someone who knows the role inside-out and expertly navigates her relationships with the characters. Bernhardt is a beast in this role with multiple costume changes (including an on-stage quick change), solos and duets. Rarely is she ever off-stage. Every night is a marathon for Bernhardt, but you would never know with her stunning smile and vocal prowess. She is a professional.

DeVos Performance Hall - Grand Rapids, MI

John Kissane, Revue: The film, a smart, meme-worthy comedy, succeeded both as tonic and corrective; funny enough that its best lines are still quoted today ("Get in, loser, we're going shopping," among others), it also contained a commonsense sermon: girls need to build each other up, not tear each other down.

Proctor's Theatre - Schenectady, NY

Bill Kellert, Nippertown: This cast of 20-somethings is just beginning to make its imprint in the theater world. They offer an amalgamation of talent that is impressive. Casey Nicholaw, multi-Tony award winner and director-choreographer of the Broadway production, has put together a Broadway-worthy production on the national tour.

Auditorium Theatre - Rochester, NY

Colin Fleming-Stumpf, BroadwayWorld: I admittedly entered the Auditorium Theatre with low expectations, expecting a baseline of entertainment but not to be overly impressed. After all, the trendline of Broadway over the last 20+ years is a graveyard of screen-to-stage adaptations, and while a very small handful have worked ("Waitress", "The Band's Visit", "Hairspray") most have not ("Shrek", "Frozen", "Spider-Man", "Pretty Woman", etc. etc. etc.). Over the course of the evening I was treated to a masterclass on how to adapt a movie---a wildly popular movie, nonetheless---into a stage musical that honors the source material while adding depth to the characters and themes, flair and excitement to the production, and modernization that helps avoid a dated-feeling story; after all, they mainly communicate through landline phones in the "Mean Girls" movie (you heard me Zoomers).

Hippodrome Theatre - Baltimore, MD

Max Garner, MD Theatre Guide: It's all heady stuff, really, about the fragility and cruelty of teenagers, in a large auditorium packed with middle-aged theater-goers who were reminded, for an evening, that we haven't completely outgrown those things. A channel-surfer's glance at the ongoing January 6th hearings may make one wonder if anybody ever does.

Fox Theatre - Atlanta, GA

Josh Jackson, Paste: But the story more than makes up for it with characters who feel more fully fleshed than their lunchroom stereotypes and the abundant humor throughout. And the set, anchored by a digital backdrop that instantly transformed the action from Africa to North Shore High to bedrooms and the mall, was a delight.

The Goa Spotlight: The production, at least in this version, feels like almost two shows in one. The first act is frothy, but not much more than an intermittently pleasant stage version of the film. It also tries a little too hard to expand on the core story. The second, however, almost from its initial moments, goes into higher and more confident gear. It's that rare show that proves to please the audience, but also makes some smart comments about how women treat each other and the importance of accepting different people.

Bass Concert Hall - Austin, TX

Lynn Beaver, BroadwayWorld: Stellar performances are the norm for this show but there were a number of standouts. English Bernhardt as Cady is heartbreakingly earnest and engaging. As the reigning queen of high school, Nadina Hassan plays Regina with incredible vicious grace. Perhaps my favorite performances of the evening were from Samuel Gerber as Damian, Lindsay Heather Pearce as Janice and Morgan Ashley Bryant as Karen. Gerber is perfection as the young gay man who makes his own fun and supports his friends with love. As Janice, Pearce embodies past hurt and a thirst for personal vengeance that is palpable. Bryant plays Karen as genuinely sweet and obtuse, a self knowing character one can't help but love. The entire cast is fantastic and I couldn't help but notice that they were in the roles because of their personal talent and not for body type, something I found extremely refreshing.

Bob Abelman, The Austin Chronicle: It's no surprise that Mean Girls earned a dozen Tony nominations for its assorted pieces and parts. Once the show starts, however, it's clear why it was bested at the awards ceremony by the short-lived SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical, with its one win to Mean Girls' none. The wicked-funny script, cleverly crafted score, and abundance of eye-candy production values - the remarkable scenic design, for example, consists of elaborate, vibrant, and often animated digital displays - are incredibly entertaining. But there is zero time between scenes or songs to allow audiences to reflect, respond, or smell the teen spirit. And so this musical is a sensory-overloading blur of high-volume, high-velocity activity.

Hobby Center for the Performing Arts - Houston, TX

Chris Vognar, Preview: There are many standouts in the cast, including Huffman, who brings tap skills and comic timing along with his big voice; and April Josephine, who fills the Fey role of math teacher Ms. Norbury as well as two other parts, Cady's and Regina's dramatically different moms. But the stars of show might be video designers Finn Ross and Adam Young. The settings are created largely through an ever-changing assortment of digital backdrops, everything from classrooms to bedrooms to a shopping mall, complete with made-up storefronts (Suburban Outfitters, PJ Calamity's). Together with scenic designer Scott Park and lighting designer Kenneth Posner, they create a clean, streamlined but endlessly imaginative visual scheme that fuels the show's sensation of perpetual motion.

Fox Cities Performing Arts Center - Appleton, WI

Warren Gerds, WeAreGreenBay: There's a lot of dazzle in the characterizations. Nadina Hassen is the ice queen, Regina, in look, style and chilling demeanor. English Bernhardt is Cady, the innocent thrown to the nasty masses in school who is lured to wrong turns until shown a corrected map delivered by the law. Eric Huffman and Lindsay Heather Pearce are Cady's guideposts, a couple of artistically minded truth seekers/sayers. Jasmine Rogers and Morgan Ashley Bryant, as Regina's minions, add layers of sorrowful wannabe-ism ("What's Wrong with Me?") and pleasant shallowness, respectively.

Overture Center - Madison, WI

Scott Rawson, BroadwayWorld: From the leads to the ensemble, every person in this cast does a great job. I often found myself mesmerized by the dancers as they moved in the background, adding depth to the staging and color to the show.

Aaron R. Conklin, Madison Magazine: As Regina, relative rookie Hassan has a fab origin story - this is her first national tour. At Tuesday's opening-night show, she clearly had more than enough vocal power to own "World Burn," one of the highlights of the second act, but she pushed to the point where her pitch slipped a bit in the ensuing conflagration. Her portrayal of Regina also seemed to have so much less definition than the other Plastics - it was much easier to sympathize with Gretchen (Jasmine Rogers) who ached like a kicked puppy in the gorgeous "What's Wrong With Me?" and with Morgan Ashley Bryant's dim-witted Karen, whose character is a lot more self-aware than she first seems.

Blumenthal Performing Arts Center: Belk Theater - Charlotte, NC

Perry Tannenbaum, BroadwayWorld: Reveling in our tragic teen diva, standby Adriana Scalice* subbed on relatively short notice for Nadina Hassan as Regina, growing more admirable in her screaming power ballads as the sound system settled down. You could pretty much get the onslaught of her cattiness late in the opening act as she thrust her predatory claws into Aaron with "Someone Gets Hurt," but she was far more sensational after the break in her apocalyptic "World Burn." That's when Regina discovers that she's been played.

Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts [Belding Theater] - Hartford, CT

Nancy Sasso Janis, Patch: Cady Heron, the new kid at North Shore is played well by the young actress English Bernhardt (who appeared in the first national tour of "If/Then.") Nadina Hassan is appropriately catty in her national tour debut as the "Apex Predator" Regina George, Jasmine Rogers is the self-doubting Gretchen Wieners and Morgan Ashley Bryant is delightfully ditzy as Karen Smith.

Providence Performing Arts Center - Providence, RI

Andria Tieman, BroadwayWorld: Unfortunately, for this production, the songs are rather pedestrian, and don't add much overall. The talent of the cast is undeniable, but the most noteworthy aspect of the music is a heavy reliance on super high-pitched belting. While it was very impressive, it started to feel overdone by the end of the show.

Kimberly Rau, WPRO: The cast is incredibly talented, particularly Lindsay Heather Pearce as the sarcastic, tell-it-like-it-is Janice and English Bernhardt as Cady. Both have powerful voices that are well-served by the score (the lyrics are hard to understand at times, and largely forgettable, but the music itself sounds good and these actors make it sound even better). Eric Huffman plays "too gay to function" Damian, and is the perfect foil to Janice's prickly façade.

Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts - Worcester, MA

Kevin T. Baldwin, Telegram: English Bernhardt delivers a flawless performance as the conflicted Cady, who begins her journey as a fish out of water and rises to become a lioness out of Africa and a force to be reckoned with.

National Arts Centre - Ottawa, ON

Courtney Castelino, BroadwayWorld: I only knew two of the songs going in and sound is a recurring complaint that I seem to have with the NAC's Southam Hall. Once again, it was difficult to make out the lyrics to certain songs, as they were overpowered by the orchestra, particularly within the higher vocal ranges. This mostly affected Bernhardt and Nadina Hassan's (Regina George) numbers and, since I didn't know all the lyrics going in, it did detract from my enjoyment of the show. Audience members who hadn't seen the movie or listened to the musical's soundtrack beforehand might have felt completely lost at some points.

Laura Gauthier and Samara Caplan, Apt613: Though it has the strong foundations that helped make the original movie such a hit, the stage version still has some room to grow. The pacing and length of the show feel drawn out, and some areas feel less necessary and could be trimmed and tightened up. Some moments come across as a bit messy and feel like they could use some smoothing out. There are a good handful of powerful, show-stopping songs (Apex Predator, Stupid with Love, Someone Gets Hurt, World Burn, I'd Rather be Me), but unfortunately, the rest of the songs fall flat, with less engaging lyrics and music and little impact on moving the plot forward.

Denver Center for the Performing Arts - Denver, CO

Chris Arneson, BroadwayWorld: While the book is strong, not missing any of the quotable moments and making some of them even better, the music is surprisingly impressive. The songs are catchy, and the music is made for showing off vocals. This cast is stacked. My favorite was Pearce's Janis, who was made for that role. Her timing is sharp, and her voice is crisp. I was obsessed with everything she did. Alongside Huffman's effervescent Damian, the duo held you in the palm of their hands.

Pantages Theatre - Los Angeles, CA

Kevin Taft, We Live Entertainment: For the most part, "Mean Girls" mirrors the film's plot, but thankfully can make it its own. It does fall into the trap of being so familiar that the show can sometimes drag as you wait for specific events that you are all-too familiar with. Whereas "Pretty Woman" is a carbon copy of the movie with songs thrown in, "Mean Girls" can avoid this problem by shifting character focus and trying to ground the farcical story with deeper meaning.

Cori Graham, SoCal Thrills: This musical was just delightful. The story framed in the relationships discussed in Rosalind Wiseman's book, "Queen Bees & Wannabes" written for film and stage by Tina Fey of SNL fame, translates well into a stage musical. The songs are imaginative and funny; "Meet the Plastics" is a hilarious introduction to Regina, Gretchen, and Karen. The song "Stupid With Love" which had an African vibe to the music, harkening back to Cady's feeling of home. "What's Wrong with Me?" is a great recurring theme that, despite the sad song title, gathers laughs each time.

Civic Theatre - San Diego, CA

Pam Kragen, The San Diego Union-Tribune: As Cady, English Bernhardt has a big voice and an earnest likability that transforms believably as she becomes intoxicated by the power of the Plastics. She also looks closest to the age of her character in the show. Nadina Hassan is excellent as the icy and sultry mean girl leader Regina, and Jasmine Rogers is endearingly needy as Gretchen, a Plastic with self-doubts. Understudy Megan Grosso was perfection as Karen, the self-described "dumb" Plastic who sleeps around.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts - Costa Mesa, CA

Michael Quintos, BroadwayWorld: First off, the show, overall, is pretty fun and genuinely entertaining, filled with lots of cheer-worthy laughs that, yes, involve many of those quotable moments many of us love from the film---even though, oddly, some of these infamous lines were rewarded with a quiet chuckle rather than a loud guffaw.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Sarasota, FL

Jay Handelman, Herald-Tribune: Not surprisingly, just about every character is filled with some kind of angst, and it could be sad to witness the social pressures if Fey didn't keep the tone light with humorous banter. Nadina Hassan as the Plastics leader Regina George presents a stern demeanor and a look of disdain for just about everything. Still, you can tell she's afraid of losing her power. And her two supposed besties who should be sitting pretty, are both walking that same fine line between happiness and despair. Jasmine Rogers is earnest as the eager-to-please Gretchen, and Morgan Ashley Bryant makes the dim-witted Karen more than just an air-head.

Times Union Performing Arts Center - Jacksonville, FL

Jordan Higginbotham, BroadwayWorld: The protagonist, Cady Heron (English Bernhardt), did a fantastic job stepping into this role. The audience observes an optimistic new girl starting in "It Roars" as she moves from Africa to join the new jungle of high school. By the end of Act 1, the audience observes Bernhardt as the new "Apex Predator" in "Fearless" as she took over the position previously owned by Regina George (Nadina Hassan). Then the audience sees true growth in "I See Stars" as Cady (Bernhardt) realizes the importance of being your own person, being kind, and enjoying the important things in life. Just a little side note, I saw the first national tour of If/Then twice in which Bernhardt was part of the ensemble. It brought me great joy to see her go from a talented member of the ensemble to the protagonist of a popular musical!

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Video: Lorne Michaels & the Cast of MEAN GIRLS Walk the Red Carpet

Mean Girls is now on stage at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre and BroadwayWorld was there as the musical's stars walked the red carpet, along with producer Lorne Michaels. 

Photos: Check Out All New Photos of the National Tour of MEAN GIRLS

All new production photos have been released for the North American Tour of MEAN GIRLS, based on the hit film.  Check out the photos her!

English Bernhardt and More Take Over Lead Roles in MEAN GIRLS on Tour

Leading the tour as Cady Heron will be current Standby for the role, English Bernhardt, current ensemble member, Morgan Ashley Bryant as Karen Smith, Jasmine Rogers as Gretchen Wieners, Lindsay Heather Pearce as Janis Sarkisian, and Adriana Scalice as Standby for Cady, Regina, and Janis. 

Lindsay Pearce to Join MEAN GIRLS National Tour as Janis

Lindsay Pearce has announced via Instagram that she will be joining the National Tour of Mean Girls as Janis! 

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