If Mean Girls the movie brings back all kinds of high school nostalgia, then Mean Girls the musical will snap you back to reality. While the story is still based on the Tina Fey screenplay (she also co-wrote the book for the production along with Laurence O'Keefe), the musical (currently on Broadway in New York City at the August Wilson Theater) makes some minor adjustments to keep things fresh while still sticking with the details that made the movie a classic in the first place. One such adjustment? Regina George. It was easy to see her as a through-and-through villain in the original story, but the musical hopes to add a layer of nuance to the character. She's not just a queen bee — she's a girl boss. Especially right now, this is a trope that many women can relate to.
"Nobody wants to be mean, but everyone wants to kind of find their inner boss," collaborator Nell Benjamin told Vanity Fair. "And I think there’s a way to make Regina’s inner boss really positive, and I think in our musical Tina has done that in spades. You realise the reason people are like, ‘Bitch!’ is half because, yes, she is a dangerous person socially, but also part of her is finding that place where she can assert authority. Unfortunately, she can’t assert it in a larger sphere, so she has to assert it over less-powerful women."
The thing that takes her from badass to bully, however, is just how far she tries to go with that mindset. She's still Regina George, after all.
"There’s nothing wrong with, ‘I want to be this way,'" Benjamin points out. "What’s wrong is, ‘If you don’t do this with me, you will be ostracised.'"
While the details may change, it sounds like the musical sticks to the heart of the story. Over ten years later, it's still very, very fetch.
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