What it's about
A Broadway musical adaptation of the 2004 movie - both written by Tina Fey - about a home-schooled girl who moves from Africa to the 'burbs of Illinois and experiences the cliques, drama, pettiness and brokenness of high school.
Let me just preface this entire thing by saying that something about adaptations don't excite me. Also, as someone who LOVES the movie and can quote the entire thing in my sleep, I really didn't want it to be ruined and butchered for the sake of the millions of dollars I'm sure they are expecting to receive during its run. I'm not a fan of selling out something that's already pure gold just to have something for the stage.
Ya girl can't ever say 'no' to free tickets. SUE ME.
The lead up to seeing this one was a doozy. I was running super late, trying to cram way too many errands in before an 8pm curtain. My anxiety and asthma was on 💯 trying to get to the house before it started. Sadly, I ended up getting there late but only missed the first few minutes of the opening number. PRAISE break 🙌 !!
While watching this show, I realized that I hadn't been to a show that made me laugh in a VERY long time. The last one I can remember off the top of my head is Avenue Q which was in 2016. I tend to gravitate towards the dramas and tear-jerkers of the theatre world. I can honestly say it was nice to be able to sit back after a long day and just enjoy something fun without having to think or analyze plot lines or wipe tears off of my face without smudging too much of my makeup off.
While this adaptation, in my eyes, wasn't anywhere near as good as the original (expected), I really enjoyed it! I loved the staging of it - all of the classroom desks were on wheels and the scenic elements were often switched around via a digital screen. It was so funny to me watching a musical about a movie that is already super dramatic as is. Like the mall scene where everyone acts like animals, Regina's mother and all her cringe-worthy glory and the bus accident being amplified from 100 to 1,000 just because of the nature of Broadway musicals being stylized.
After watching it, the only character that stuck with me was Karen. I FREAKING LOVED HER! Even though she's pretty enjoyable in the movie, I found that onstage in this production, she steals the show for me. Her lines were always the ones I found the funniest and every time she was on stage, my eyes were always drawn to her. There was one number in particular where she comes on to sing, messes up and then says 'wait, let me start over' and actually walks off in her ditzy way, walks back on in no rush and starts again. Despite her being the stereotypical blonde ditzy character, she delievered the lines that often held the most weight. She talks about a teacher hitting on students in parking lots and how gross that is, sending nudes via text and asking if maybe parents should teach their sons to not send them to their friends and talks about not treating women like objects but as actual human beings. OKAY BUT KAREN, YOU'RE NOT AS STUPID AS YOU THINK YOU ARE!
All in all, it was a nice dose of fun in my week and sometimes, that's exactly what I need but don't actively seek out. I found myself snickering in my seat thinking about how much this musical looks like what I imagine people think performing arts high schools look like. (SPOILER ALERT: it doesn't) I was reminded again how much high schoolers suck and how terribly we often treat people for the sake of popularity or attention. How often we lose our sense of value and worth when we place them in the hands of other people, hoping for just a little bit of validation from people who should not matter. How often high school feels like our EVERYTHING - not realizing that it will not matter even a year after it's all over. Live your life. Love others. DO YOU BOO!
Note to middle schools and current high schoolers: High school sucks but the people you think matter now won't be relevant in your life forever. T R U S T M E.
In the words of the final number: "Even the people you hate are still people so, get off each other's dick!" Honestly, couldn't think of a better way to wrap this up than that. ✌️
Tell us about your experience.
In the comments below.