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Mean Girls Poster
Photo Credit Paramount Pictures

Welcome to North Shore High, where the halls are alive with the sound of teenage angst, questionable fashion choices, and the occasional autotuned catastrophe. “Mean Girls: The Musical” brings the Broadway magic to the big screen, but not everyone’s hitting the right notes.

Hold on to your Burn Books, because Angourie Rice as Cady Heron hits a few sour notes. The attempt to transform Cady into a Broadway songbird feels more like a misguided experiment in vocal alchemy. Autotune, the musical wizard’s wand, is liberally applied, but alas, it can’t quite turn this singing Cinderella into a vocal princess. It’s as if Regina George herself put a curse on Cady’s vocal cords.

And now, let’s talk about the outfits. Someone call the fashion police because the attempt at a modern wardrobe feels like it’s been curated by someone stuck in a time-warp. It’s a bit like watching a middle-aged time traveler raid Forever 21 for their attempt at understanding teenage style. Less “on trend” and more “on the struggle bus,” the outfits are a fashion faux pas of epic proportions.  

But fear not, for Regina George, played by the vocal powerhouse Renee Rapp, is the undisputed queen of this musical realm. Rapp slays every note, delivering a vocal performance as sharp as Regina’s infamous insults. She’s the Regina we all deserve – commanding, confident, and carrying the show on her perfectly-coiffed shoulders. 

While Cady may be struggling to find her vocal footing, Avantika Vandanapu as Karen Smith is the unexpected ray of sunshine in this musical storm. Her bubbly charm and surprisingly delightful singing make Karen a standout, proving that sometimes it’s the sidekicks who steal the spotlight.  

Move over, Plastics, because Janice is in the house, and Auli’i Cravalho is serving vocals hotter than Regina’s burn book insults. Cravalho brings a rebellious energy to Janice that’s as refreshing as a cafeteria smoothie, and her singing? It’s nothing short of a musical rebellion against the status quo. Janice’s anthem, “I’d Rather Be Me” will have you pumping your fists in solidarity and wondering why she wasn’t the lead all along.  

“Mean Girls: The Musical” might not be a symphony of perfection, but it’s a rollercoaster of teenage theatrics. The singing may falter, the fashion may bewilder, but in the end, it’s the show-stealing performances of Regina and Janice that will have you clapping, cheering, and maybe even forgiving a few off-key moments. So if you choose to see it, lower your expectations a tad, and get ready for a musical experience that’s a little less Broadway brilliance and a lot more high school hilarity.

Emily Hess can be reached via email at or via Twitter @emilyghess03.

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