Why Mean Girls on Broadway is a Must-See

Who among us hasn’t seen Mean Girls? From the iconic one liners (“you can’t sit with us!") to the “cool mom” inspiration we all hope to be, this movie truly defined a generation—and is still incredibly prevalent in pop culture today.

ICYMI, Mean Girls, the Musical debuted on Broadway in 2018, and has been dazzling audiences with the same story we all grew up loving, with added songs and incredible dance numbers. With a book by Tina Fey and music by her husband Jeff Richmond, it’s truly an upgrade of the original movie.

But the musical version preaches so much more than “baking a cake full of rainbows and smiles that we can all eat and be happy.” With the introduction of this story for an entirely new generation, told in an entirely new way, it brings a message of accepting differences and inclusiveness in a way that the original movie (as great as it was) couldn’t.

With tracks like “Apex Predator” and “Revenge Party,” Mean Girls is arguably more necessary today than it was back when the movie premiered in 2004—or is, at the very least, still incredibly relevant. The producers of the musical managed to pretty seamlessly set it up in present day, with characters using phones, social media and hashtags—imagine the famous and insta-famous Regina George that Rachel McAdams could've made!

With the characters having access to the Internet, the Plastics were able to torment their victims in entirely new ways; instead of just spreading the rumor that "Trang Pak was a grotsky beyotch," they could make hashtags of it and spread it all over the world-wide web.

Which makes the ultimate conclusion of the musical so much more meaningful now that the story includes cyberbullying. In a world where nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online, having a dedicated musical on how to combat it, and be happy being yourself, is so important for audiences today.

I was lucky enough to see the musical over winter break, and found myself tearing up during the finale, thinking about how much a musical like this would have meant to little 12-year-old me who was getting bullied online almost every day. I certainly wasn’t the only one tearing up in the audience, and it just goes to show how important a message like this is to audiences today. I was so glad to see so many young girls in the audience; for whether they were the bully or the bullied, they were still receiving the message that being yourself is the most important thing—that you don’t need to put others down to feel better about yourself, that you can do and be so much more than a follower of someone who wants to watch the world burn.

For anyone who was bullied online, for anyone who read a mean (and probably untrue) Tweet or Facebook post about themselves, who heard giggles and whispers as you walked into a room. For anyone who felt afraid to just be their authentic selves for fear of getting made fun of—this musical is for you. To get the full experience I definitely recommend seeing it live, but for those that cannot, just listen to “I’d Rather be Me” followed by “I See Stars.” You’ll want to go back to high school and comfort your younger self, as well as punch your bully in the face.

Gif credits: 1, 2, 3