Mean Girls musical teaches important life lessons
By Elisa Shoenberger
While many people will be snapping their fingers to the music while leaving Mean Girls, they will also be taking away some life lessons.
“It’s very clear that (though) it is a comedy that there are dire repercussions to being mean—to being a bad person,” said Danielle Wade, principal actor playing the lead role of Cady Heron.
Wade appreciates that Cady Heron “starts out one way and goes through all these emotions that we have felt and dealt with in high school or post high school. She faces repercussions for actions too and I think that’s really important.”
The Mean Girls musical is based on the 2004 movie by Tina Fey. It’s the story of Cady Heron who grew up in Africa and finds herself in the world of high school cliques in the suburbs. She becomes part of the Plastics, a popular trio of girls led by Regina George, and faces some tough challenges arising from her decisions.
The musical has something to offer for everybody.
“There is a character within the show that everyone can relate to—or parts of each character that everyone can relate to,” Wade said. She’s met many people at the stage door that have told her that they saw themselves in various characters.
When Wade was on Broadway, a woman told her she realized that she was Regina in high school and needed to go make an apology phone call to her high school friend.
“On the inside, I was like ‘Regina is very scary, that’s scary to me.’ That was cool that she recognized that and felt she needed to say something,” Wade said.
Mean Girls helps people better under- stand issues of cliques and bullying.
“I think it’s given people language to talk about this problem. When 12 to 13 year old girls refer to ‘Mean Girls,’ we know what they are talking about,” child therapist and president of Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute Erika Schmidt said.
Wade hopes that people will take something away from the show.
“The show is goofy and it’s rooted in humor, but it’s really truthful. As much as we joke and are dressed head to toe in pink outfits, it’s an important message for people to hear,” she said.
Mean Girls runs through Jan. 26 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph, and will tour across the U.S. throughout 2020.