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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.

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