LBHS Theatre’s ‘Mean Girls’ a must see

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By Sophia Callisto, Special to the Independent

On Friday, March 8, the LBHS Theatre Program opened its Spring musical production of Mean Girls, and it was—you guessed it—so fetch. The cast and crew of nearly 60 students and staff have been working for the past 10 weeks under the direction of Meghan Minguez-Marshall to bring this production to life.

Senior and powerhouse vocalist TJ Simmons plays Regina George in Laguna Beach High School Theatre’s performance of Mean Girls. Photo courtesy of LBHS Theatre

Mean Girls, originally a film written by Tina Fey and later adapted for the stage, opened on Broadway in 2018. It tells the story of Cady Heron, a naive teenager who transfers to an American high school after growing up homeschooled in South Africa. There, she encounters The Plastics, the school’s A-List girl clique. At the persuasion of her two new friends, Janis and Damian, Cady infiltrates The Plastics and devises a plan to take down the group’s infamous leader, the queen bee, Regina George. The story engages the audience in a raw and real look at the realities of social structures and stereotypes, interpersonal relationships, and the journey of one’s growth and personal identity. It contains strong themes and deals with these issues authentically through humor and a moving and impactful resolution.

“I am so beyond proud of the nearly 60 students involved in this production both on and behind the stage, many of which have been working on this since December,” Minguez Marshall said, “We have engaged in fruitful conversations about the world of high school today and its impact on student’s mental health, as well as the importance of supporting your friends and standing up for what’s right. We hope the audience enjoys this epic story.” 

The LBHS counseling team, along with the production team and cast, are even hosting talkbacks this week for students who have attended the show and want to dive into more discussion about the material.

Lauren Norrix, a junior and cheerleader at LBHS, plays Cady Heron. Senior and powerhouse vocalist TJ Simmons joins her as Regina George and a cast that commands the audience’s attention through every moment of the story.

“Playing Cady in my high school’s production of Mean Girls has been a highlight of my high school experience,” Norrix said, “Everyone is so talented, and we (cast and crew) have worked so hard to bring this to life. We’re having a great time, and we hope you come to see the show.”

The quality of this production from beginning to end is astounding, which speaks not only to the brilliant creative choices of Minguez-Marshall, the vocal direction of LBHS Musical Theatre teacher Lindsey Parker, and the rest of the production team but also the sheer level of talent in the cast and the crew. As an ensemble, the entire cast has a

strength that prompted many audience members in attendance last weekend to liken their performance to professional-level productions.

Shannon Hardin, a parent of one of the cast members, said, “LBHS Theatre’s current musical Mean Girls is just as good as you would see on Broadway. This level of production from a high school is stunning. From start to finish, you will be entertained.

It’s funny and sweet, with a touching portrayal of teenage angst. They have pulled off a truly brilliant rendition of this show. It is a must-see.”

Elizabeth Tedrow, a dance instructor at Broadway Arts Studio in Lake Forest who attended the production last Sunday, said, “This production of Mean Girls definitely made fetch happen. The singing, dancing and acting are outstanding, and there is more than enough reason to make your way to see this incredible show.”

You can still see Mean Girls at the LBHS Artist’s Theatre this coming weekend, with shows on March 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. and March 17 at 2 p.m. The show is rated PG-13 due to mature themes and language. Ticket prices range from $10-25, are available in advance and online only, and can be purchased via GoFan at https://bit.ly/LBMeanGirlsTix.

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