Though we’re a few days shy of Oct. 3, the musical adaptation of “Mean Girls” is hitting the stage at the Altria Theater this week as part of the Broadway in Richmond series.
Like the 2004 movie starring Lindsay Lohan and penned by Tina Fey, the musical “Mean Girls” tells the story of Cady Heron, a 16-year-old who spent the last 12 years living in Africa being homeschooled by her parents.
Upon returning to the states, Cady attends public school for the first time and encounters the school’s various cliques and “queen bee” Regina George. Cady decides to infiltrate Regina’s ruling clique, the Plastics, and gets a crush on Aaron Samuels, Regina’s ex-boyfriend. Through various schemes, Cady herself eventually becomes the queen bee … at least for a time.
Adapted by Fey, composer Jeff Richmond and lyricist Nell Benjamin, the musical “Mean Girls” debuted on Broadway in 2018 and closed on March 11, 2020, because of the pandemic.
Actor Kabir Bery, who plays Kevin Gnapoor in the touring production, says the musical adaptation is “action-packed” and still centers on Cady.
“She finds out that [high school is] not all it’s cracked up to be,” says Bery. “There’s a lot of hardship that she goes through and social issues that she deals with, but, at the end of the day, she finds out who she is and what she stands for.”
Bery’s character, Kevin Gnapoor, has decided to go by “Kevin G” the year that Cady comes to his high school.
“He doesn’t think his real name is cool enough for who he is as a person,” Bery explains. “He’s just this hip-hop loving mathlete that ends up helping Cady out a lot toward the end of the show and is a really good friend to her throughout the year.”
Bery says his favorite element of the musical is the dancing.
“The dancing just tells the story so well,” he says. “The music is high octane. Our leading ladies, they’re singing unbelievably high notes, but with such ease. It’s beautiful music. It’s high energy all of the time, but there’s also some really beautiful melodies and some slow parts. I have a lot of rapping that I do in the show. So, you’ll have some hip-hop and some rapping in there as well.”
Bery says that performing in a show with a story that is so beloved has its benefits.
“Every audience will react to those iconic lines that are in the movie, like ‘She doesn’t even go here,’ or, ‘Oct. 3, my new favorite day,’” he says. “It’s really cool to see how many people are impacted by this movie, and bringing it to life in a musical is so rewarding.”
Broadway in Richmond’s “Mean Girls” plays Sept. 20-25 at the Altria Theater, 6 N. Laurel St. For more information, visit broadwayinrichmond.com or call (804) 592-3368.