West Stanly Players return with musical ‘Mean Girls’

Published 2:00 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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This spring the West Stanly Players continue the success of last year’s musical production “Mamma Mia” by following up with the Broadway musical smash “Mean Girls: High School Version.”

The show is written by award winning comedian Tina Fey with music and lyrics by Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin and based on the hit Paramount Pictures film “Mean Girls.”

“We wanted to offer another fun show for audiences to come enjoy,” says long-time WSP director Wes Tucker. “This show not only offers laughs and great song and dance numbers throughout, but it also has a great message in the end about the importance of being kind to others.”

Premiering on Broadway in 2017, “Mean Girls” was an instant success, taking audiences back to their high school days with catchy songs, interesting characters and upbeat dance numbers.
Since the original show featured adult actors, Fey thought it was important for younger groups to be able to present a show about a high school, so in 2022 she did a rewrite specifically for high school theatre groups. Since its release it has become one of the most produced shows in the country.

The story follows high school student Cady (senior Sydney Marks) moving from Kenya where she spent most of here life with her biologist parents, to a suburban high school in America. As she tries to fit in, she immediately discovers that the animal friends she left in Kenya may be a little nicer than the some of the high school students she meets in her new environment.

Cady quickly makes friends with Janis (senior Brooke Tomberlin) and Damian (junior Bee Slater) who volunteer to be her guides. However, she is quickly intrigued by the power of the Queen Bee of the school, Regina (senior Madison Tarlton) and her two “plastics,” loyal Gretchen (senior Izzy Figueiredo) and ditsy Karen (junior Macy Preslar).

From that point Cady is torn between the two groups and the choice of being popular and powerful, or being a good friend.

“‘Mean Girls’ was a good fit for our group this year because we have so many talented singers and dancers and it allows them multiple opportunities to show off their talents,” says Tucker. “Also, working in a high school for the last 26 years I know all to well how difficult the pressures of fitting in can be for students.”

The students part as Regina (senior Madison Tarlton) and the plastics, Gretchen (senior Izzy Figueiredo) and Karen (junior Macy Preslar), rule the school. (Contributed)

Cady meets a variety of students and adults throughout her journey, some try to help, others offer obstacles for her to overcome. She quickly falls for football player Aaron (senior Travis Elkins) while bumbling principal Mr. Duvall (senior Randall Furr) and caring math teacher Ms. Norbury (junior Megan Eileen McLary) try to offer some adult perspective to her.
Parents Mr. & Mrs. Heron (junior Elliot Ecenbarger and senior Shelby Gibbs) try to understand what is happening to their sweet daughter, while Regina’s mom (seniors Sydney Courtney Violette) tries to be the “cool mom.”

Kevin and Martin (sophomores Will High and Lawson Smith) rap about the coolness of math and being smart. Other friends and foes along the way include Sonja (junior Mia Jamar), Caroline (junior Thea Laws), Grace (junior Raegan Sharpe), Sophie (junior Lauren Bucholz), Dawn (sophomore Sarah Owen) and the Marymount Mathletes (sophomores Cami Gibbs, Jamie Muller and freshman Peyton Richie).

Most of the actors take on multiple other roles throughout the ensemble heavy production.

“Mean Girls: High School Version” runs 7:30 p.m. April 28-29 and May 5-6 and at 2:30 p.m. April 30 in the West Stanly Players theatre at WSHS. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door for general admission. Reserved seats may also be purchased for $15.

For ticket information call April Tucker at 704-791-3200 or contact West Stanly High School.