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BWW Review: OKC Broadway's MEAN GIRLS is so fetch!

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OKC Broadway presents Tina Fey's MEAN GIRLS through Jan. 2nd.

BWW Review: OKC Broadway's MEAN GIRLS is so fetch!
Pictured (L-R): Danielle Wade (Cady Heron), Megan Masako Haley (Gretchen Wieners), Nadina Hassan (Regina George), and Jonalyn Saxer (Karen Smith) Credit: © 2021 Jenny Anderson

Broadway is finally (mostly) back like it was pre-pandemic, and with it comes new Broadway tours. OKC Broadway presents Mean Girls now through January 2nd at the Civic Center. Tina Fey's 2004 cult favorite movie was a sleeper hit phenomenon, and it's quoted almost daily by its loyal fans and followers. Lindsay Lohan was America's Sweetheart, and everyone's favorite villain, Regina George, was savagely portrayed by Rachel McAdams, America's Other Sweetheart. Fey was heavily involved in the development of this production, which is no copycat of the movie, but a live adaptation. It stands alone but gives nods to the movie, along with added music and lyrics by Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin. The musical numbers fit in so well, it almost makes you wish the original movie had been a musical all along.

OKC patrons are lucky to have Broadway in our hometown. The productions that come through are the same as the ones on The Great White Way, except without the traveling or NYC hotel prices. Often, the same actors from the New York productions step off the stage and onto the tours, and that is especially true now that COVID has put a stop to normal Broadway production schedules. This tour is full of professionally honed, polished, brilliant performers. Local musicians and a traveling 5-piece orchestra come together to perform the complex, rockin' score.

When Cady moves from Kenya to a new school in the United States, she doesn't know where she fits in. She makes fast friends with Janis and Damian, who kindly show her the ropes. Cady's instructed not to hang out with The Plastics, three Mean Girls who rule the school. The Plastics are led by Regina George, a gorgeous, terrifying force of a teenaged girl. With an old feud between Janis and Regina still simmering, Cady sets out to take the Mean Girls down, from within.

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.

Megan Masako Haley is Mean Girl Gretchen Wieners. Gretchen is on the outs with Regina and grasping to regain her footing in the clique. Haley is sympathetic as the desperate Gretchen, making a Mean Girl relatable. Jonalyn Saxer is a showstopper and scene stealer as Karen Smith. Karen isn't known for being the smart one, but she's loyal and truly kind deep down. She's simply fallen in with the wrong crowd. Saxer brings charm and potential to the role.

Adante Carter is charming as Aaron Samuels, a classmate and Regina's beleaguered ex-boyfriend. Eric Huffman is heroic and ambitious as Damian. He's loyal and honest as Cady and Janis's friend. April Josephine is smart and tough as Ms. Norbury, and she "pushes" Cady to be her best.

The orchestra is made up of Chris Kong as Conductor/Keyboard 3, Benedict Braxton-Smith as Assistant Conductor/Keyboard 2, Polina Senderova as Keyboard 1, Nick Brenock as Guitar 1, and Dave LeBlanc is on Drums. Oklahoma City based musicians are Martin King as Reed 1, Jennifer Rucker as Reed 2, M. Kirk Palmer is on Trombone. Guitar 2 is Brian Belanus, Larry Moore is on bass, David Steffens is on percussion, and Gerald Steinchen is Keyboard Sub.

The choreography by venerated Broadway Director/Choreographer Casey Nicholaw is fun, complex and unique. Rolling set pieces and props are incorporated into dance routines, tap shoes make an appearance, and all the ensemble numbers are eclectic and exciting. Video design by Finn Ross and Adam Young adds depth and visual interest to the stage.

OKC Broadway is doing the most in bringing Broadway's best and newest shows to Oklahoma City audiences. This production is fresh, and just before the pandemic hit, MEAN GIRLS was the hottest ticket in New York. Patrons are in for a treat with this fun, uplifting musical. It's so fetch, and these Mean Girls can sit with us!

Mean Girls runs through January 2nd at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave in Oklahoma City. Tickets are available at okcbroadway.com.


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Are you an avid theatre goer in Oklahoma? We're looking for people like you to share your thoughts and insights with our readers. Team BroadwayWorld members get access to shows to review, conduct interviews with artists, and the opportunity to meet and network with fellow theatre lovers and arts workers.

Interested? Learn more here.



Join Team BroadwayWorld

Are you an avid theatre goer in Oklahoma? We're looking for people like you to share your thoughts and insights with our readers. Team BroadwayWorld members get access to shows to review, conduct interviews with artists, and the opportunity to meet and network with fellow theatre lovers and arts workers.

Interested? Learn more here.



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