Friday, 31 August 2018

Review: My Fair Lady

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of My Fair Lady.
My Fair Lady is a musical that I have always had an interest in seeing, however prior to the 2018 Broadway revival there has not been a production of this show in either London or New York since I was born. Despite this, I did get the opportunity to see a touring production of Pygmalion, which My Fair Lady is based off of, in 2014 and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Luckily, on my recent trip to New York City I was finally provided with the opportunity to see My Fair Lady - my final show of the vacation!

My Fair Lady follows pompous phonetics professor Henry Higgins, a man so sure of his abilities that he takes it upon himself to transform a Cockney working-class girl into someone that can pass for a cultured member of high society. His 'subject' turns out to be the delightful Eliza Doolittle, who agrees to speech lessons to improve her job prospects. Henry and Eliza often clash, before forming an unlikely bond. It is a charming tale, taking its audience back to the Edwardian era. Looking back on the story from a modern lens it is what many would call a 'rags to riches' story, and it could potentially be compared to present-day stories such as Pretty Woman, which has recently opened on Broadway. The character of Eliza Doolittle is particularly interesting; as the musical progresses we see her go from a low-paid flower girl to a strong, independent and respected individual.

The score of My Fair Lady is also charming. Similar to the book, the score is interesting to listen to from a modern perspective, due to the fact that is it so uniquely different from what can be heard in contemporary musicals. There are many great songs within this score, with my personal favourites being 'With a Little Bit of Luck', 'I Could Have Danced All Night' and 'On the Street Where You Live'.

Lauren Ambrose usually performs in the role of Eliza Dolittle, however at Sunday matinees alternate Kerstin Anderson takes the reigns of the role. Anderson was utterly outstanding in this role and was a true pleasure to watch. She makes the character development of Eliza crystal clear, evidently showing the dramatic changes that the character goes through on her rise through society's ranks. Anderson's voice is also excellent, performing a flawless rendition of 'I Could Have Danced All Night'. Opposite Kerstin Anderson's Eliza was Harry Hadden-Paton, as Professor Henry Higgins. Hadden-Paton is sublime in this role, giving a tremendously engaging performance. I particularly enjoyed his characterisation of the role, which clearly demonstrated both the stern side of the character as well as his softer side. A special mention must also be given to Adam Grupper, who was understudying as Colonel Pickering. I had previously seen Grupper understudying in Fiddler on the Roof, during which he performed in the leading role of Tevye. As Pickering, Grupper gives yet another terrific performance. I also quite enjoyed Diana Rigg's performance as Mrs. Higgins, who despite limited stage time, gives a wonderful performance.

The set designs, which has been created by Michael Yearn, are immensely detailed. When I first laid my eyes upon the house of Professor Henry Higgins, I was awestruck. It is apparent that barrels of both thought and energy have been placed into creating this monumental scenery. The costumes designed by Catherine Zuber, which recently earned this production a Tony Award, are also highly impressive. They too are highly detailed, perfectly recreating Edwardian-era costumes. The choreography, by Christopher Gattelli, and orchestrations are also remarkable, with both aspects nicely complimenting the score.

The featured star of My Fair Lady is, drum roll please... HARY HADDEN-PATON!

Harry Hadden-Paton is giving a masterclass of a performance as Professor Henry Higgins. He has perfectly embodied the character, flawlessly creating a great characterisation by using voice, physicality and mannerisms. This is currently one of the best performances on all of Broadway!

Now for my final verdict on My Fair Lady. I give My Fair Lady...

My Fair Lady is an old classic and it is safe to say that this production has done the show justice. With memorable performances and incredible designs, this was a delight to watch!

Think it should have got a higher rating? Agree with my rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Review: Frozen

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Frozen.
I viewed the movie of Frozen in 2013 when it was first released and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have been following this show's progress since it was first announced to be in early development in January 2014, up until its opening on Broadway in February 2018. In regards to previous Disney Theatrical Productions, I adored The Lion King, whereas Aladdin was not my cup of tea. I am pleased to say that I was pleasantly surprised with Frozen; this is yet another hit for Disney Theatrical Productions.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen, Frozen tells the story of fearless princess Anna who embarks on an epic journey, alongside a rugged iceman, his loyal pet reindeer and a naive snowman, to find her estranged sister Elsa, whose icy powers have inadvertently tapped the kingdom in an eternal winter. The storyline of Frozen combines everything needed for the prefect fairytale; there is good and evil, royalty and poverty, and finally, magic and enchantments. The book, written by Jennifer Lee, has adapted the story for the stage well, ensuring that none of the magic is lost in the transition from the big screen to Broadway. Additionally, I felt that the book, in certain ways, makes a larger effort than the movie to explain the character's motivations throughout the piece. An example of this would be the newly added song 'Monster', where the character of Princess Elsa's thoughts and feelings are truly made crystal clear; a certain clarity that was not as prominent in the original film. I also admired the way in which the book cleverly includes jokes for both younger and more mature audience members, fully ensuring that frozen is a show for the entirety of the family.

The score of Frozen, with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, is equally impressive. There are some truly both wonderful and powerful ballads within the score, as well as some highly memorable and catchy tunes. The gripping lyrics compliment the music nicely, which is clearly evidenced during 'Let It Go', which is a particular favourite of mine. Other favourites of mine include 'Love Is an Open Door' and 'Monster'.

At the performance that I was was attending, principal cast members Patti Murin and Caissie Levy, who usually perform the roles of Anna and Elsa respectively, were absent and in their places were Aisha Jackson and Alyssa Fox. Jackson, in the role of Anna, had a tremendous energy, providing a fun-filled performance. By being so energetic, she perfectly captures the bubbly nature of Anna's personality. Alyssa Fox also provided a stunning performance as Elsa, performing stunning renditions of 'Let It Go' and 'Monster'. As the individualistic, resourceful and selfless ice-seller Kristof, Jelani Alladin is full of charisma. Alladin appears to be completely at ease in this role, having the necessary talents for the character. John Riddle, in the role of Prince Hans, also gives yet another outstanding performance. Riddle has a delightful stage presence and portrays the different personalities of his character effectively. In order to bring joyful snowman Olaf to life in this production, a puppet is used by an actor, Greg Hildreth, who performs in the role whilst still manoeuvring the puppet. Hildreth skilfully created the same facial expression as those on the puppet, allowing both the performer and the puppet to transition into the same character. Hildreth gives an exceedingly lively performance and expertly brings to life this beloved snowman.

Creatively, Frozen is spectacular. The sets, created by Christopher Orm along with Finn Ross who provides the video design, are truly something special. They successfully carry out the difficult task of bringing the village of Arrendale to life, helping to transport Frozen's audience to this snow-filled kingdom. The costumes, which were also designed by Christopher Orm, are are also stunning and perfectly recreate the outfits worn by the characters in the original movie. The lighting, designed by Natasha Katz, worked exceptionally well. The effectiveness of the lighting can be seen during the Act One Finale, where Elsa is able to make a dazzling costume change as a result of a clever change in the lighting. The choreography, by Rob Ashford, is also yet another wonderful aspect of Frozen, with all of the dance numbers being flawlessly carried out by an ensemble of very gifted dancers. Now, last but not least, the puppetry design, by Michael Curry, is undoubtedly one of the best features of this production. The puppet used for Sven the reindeer allows the character to truly come to life onstage; I had not seen such convincing puppetry since War Horse.

The featured star of Frozen is, drum roll please... JELANI ALLADIN!

From the moment Jelani Alladin appears on stage, he steals the show. He's highly charismatic and gives a very engaging performance. This is Aladdin's Broadway debut and I hope that this will be the first show of many!

Now for my final verdict on Frozen. I give Frozen...

The decision to give Frozen four stars was easy for me. This production is full of Disney magic and everyone of all ages will be able to enjoy this spectacular musical!

Think it should have got a higher rating? Agree with my rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Review: The Saintliness of Margery Kempe

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of The Saintliness of Margery Kempe.
A friend of mine in New York City (@BroadwayBobNYC) invited me to join him to watch The Saintliness of Margery Kempe, in what would be my first (and only) visit to Off-Broadway throughout the duration of my time in the USA.

The Saintliness of Margery Kempe follows the true-life misadventures of the 14th century English woman, who views herself as remarkable. She begins her career by joining forces with Satan and buying a brewery. When this does not go as planned, she makes the decision to become a saint instead... although there is still one minor issue: she has absolutely none of the qualifications for the job. I did enjoy certain elements of this story, and I simply cannot deny that Margery Kempe did indeed have a rather unique life, especially for a woman living in 14th century England. However, despite following an interesting life-story, The Saintliness of Margery Kempe often felt it was dramatically longer than it needed to be. Several scenes throughout the duration of the play tend to drag on, causing this piece to feel somewhat long-winded. The production currently runs at 2 hours and 10 minutes, including one 15 minute intermission. To ensure that the production keeps a fast pace, I would personally remove the 15 minute intermission and trim the show down to 1 hour and 30 minutes. This production has the potential to be excellent, however it feels as if its length is stopping it from doing so. If the show had had a shorter running time, then I believe that my views on The Saintliness of Margery Kempe would have been a lot more positive.

The cast consists of only 9 actors and actresses, who between them perform in over 30 roles. Every single cast member proved themselves to be extremely talented, providing many different interesting and unique characterisations. Despite the fact that I was not the greatest fan of the material, I still felt that the cast delivered all the dialogue efficiently. Jason O'Connell in particular gives an outstanding performance, porting John Kemp, Peter Poke, Friar Bonadventure and The Thief. I had previously seen O'Connell in the Off-Broadway production of Sense and Sensibility, where he also gave a masterful performance. O'Connell portrayed clear differences between the four characters, clearly demonstrating a wide range of abilities.

The featured star of The Saintliness of Margery Keme is, drum roll please... JASON O'CONNELL!

Jason O'Connell truly stole the show. Whilst I did enjoy all of the performances within The Saintliness of Margery Kempe, it was O'Connell that stood out. He has a diverse range of skills, faultlessly performing both the comedic and tragic elements of The Saintliness of Margery Kempe.

Now for my final verdict on The Saintliness of Margery Kempe. I give The Saintliness of Margery Kempe...

Despite the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the performances of the talented cast, The Saintliness of Margery Kempe did not leave a large impression on me. Having said that, the piece certainly has potential and if it is shortened in length I believe the production would have been greatly improved.

Think it should have got a higher rating? Agree with my rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Review: Head Over Heels

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Head Over Heels.
Despite the fact that Head Over Heels has received mostly negative reviews, a number of people have recommended it to me, declaring that despite having one or two flaws it is highly enjoyable. As a result, I decided that it was worth giving this show a try. For the first time ever, I attempted to use the 'rush' feature on the TodayTix app, where you can gain tickets for shows by being the first person to select this show by 10 A.M. Luckily, I was successful in this attempt which allowed me to see Head Over Heels!

Head Over Heels tells the story of a royal family that must embark on an extravagant journey to save their beloved kingdom and find love and acceptance. They will soon find though that everything, and everyone, on this expedition is not quite what it seems. The story is loosely adapted from The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, a 16th-century prose poem by Sir Philip Sidney. I personally was not a major fan of the book, which makes an attempt at combining the music of new wave band 'The Go-Go's' with early modern English. Whilst I do admire the ambitiousness of this storyline, I personally felt that it did not entirely work. In all fairness, one reason as to why the book may not have been my cup of tea was due to the fact that it did not appeal to my personal sense of humour. There are certainly many people who will find Head Over Heels funny; after all, there were people around me in hysterics. However, if the jokes do not appeal to you, then there is a small amount of the show left to be enjoyed. Having said all of this, I did like the overall messages that Head Over Heels leaves it's audience with. This musical shows us that anybody, no matter what their race, gender or size, can be beautiful. Whilst this message could have been delivered a little more subtly, I still appreciated its importance.

This show is yet another of Broadway's juke-box musicals, featuring the songs of The Go-Go's, a band that I had not previously heard of prior to entering the Hudson Theatre. The music was not personally my taste, however I have heard a fairly positive response to the score of Head Over Heels, so it appears I may in the minority with that particular opinion.

The strongest aspect of Head Over Heels is undoubtedly its stellar cast. The entirety of the cast are all extremely talented; each and every single one of them brought something special to the production. They all have such a tremendous amount of energy, helping to create a fun atmosphere. Whilst the material of the show was not to my liking, I simply cannot deny that the cast are excellent.

On the creative side of the show, it is faultless. The costumes, which have been created by Adrianne Phillips, are utterly delightful. They are everything that they need to be: bright, fun and colourful. The lighting, designed by Kevin Adams, is also rather impressive. It is used effectively throughout the musical, particularly during the scene where silhouettes are created behind a large sheet. The choreography, by Spencer Liff, is also brilliant, with all of the dance sequences being delightful to watch.

The featured star of Heave Over Heels is, drum roll please... ANDREW DURAND!

Andrew Dunard, in his performance as Musidorus, is utterly hilarious. Despite the fact that for the most part the show's humour did not appeal to me, Dunard's great characterisation of the nervous shepherd did make me chuckle.

Now for my final verdict on Head Over Heels. I give Head Over Heels...

Whilst I was not the greatest fan of the book and score, the show does have several redeeming qualities and therefore I award Head Over Heels two stars.

Think it should have got a higher rating? Agree with my rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Review: Summer - The Donna Summer Musical

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Summer - The Donna Summer Musical.
This will be surprising to many people, however prior to Summer venturing onto Broadway, I had never actually listened to any of Donna Summer's music, nor had I ever heard of her. However, despite not being familiar with the music, this looked as if it would be a fun show, so I was able to get rush tickets to see Summer - The Donna Summer Musical!

Told through the dramatic lens of her final concert, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical presents the variety of different complexities and conflicts that this songwriter and singer faced in her meteoric rise – and descent. Donna Summer, undeniably, had a fascinating life story and one which works well for the stage. She was a determined, hard working and exceedingly interesting woman. Despite facing dozens upon dozens of hurdles throughout her life, she simply kept going and going. Having said that, whilst the book gives us a decent glimpse into her fascinating life story, it does feel as if some parts were rapidly glossed over. The musical is of a very fast pace, therefore not allowing the audience to soak in important parts of Donna Summer's life. For example, the show abruptly ends soon after Donna Summer is diagnosed with lung cancer, meaning that the audience are not given the opportunity to see how this diagnosis, and her eventual death, affected her family. Additionally, I also felt that her conflict with the LGBT+ community could have been more prominent within the show, as well as her dysfunctional marriage with her first husband.

The music featured in Summer - The Donna Summer Musical is excellent. As I mentioned, I was not previously familiar with Donna Summer's music, so it was a great experience to hear all of these well known classics for the first time. Her songs are fun, catchy and lively; it is clearly evident as to why her music is as popular as it was. Additionally, all of the numbers are marvellously performed by a sublime ensemble, led by the incredible LaChanze.

And that leads me onto the cast of Summer. The character of Donna Summer has been split into three different roles, each demonstrating a different aspect of her life: Diva Donna, Disco Donna and Duckling Donna. In the role of Diva Donna stars LaChanze, who I had previously seen perform in If/Then on Broadway several years ago. LaChanze is the glue at the centre of the show. She is a gifted singer and is highly believable in both of her roles. At the performance I was attending, Ariana DeBose who usually portrays Disco Donna was absent, and therefore Afra Hines was understudying in the role. Hines is a stunning triple threat; she's a talented actress, a skilled singer and an astonishing dancer. If I had not had prior knowledge that Hines was an understudy, I would not have been able to tell. She could easily assume this role full time. Finally, as the youngest version of Donna Summer, it is Storm Lever that steals the show as Duckling Donna. Lever is a force not to be reckoned with. She has a unique powerhouse voice, and I would even go as far to say she is one of the best singers currently on a Broadway stage. Lever is an utter joy to watch, not only proving she can sing like no one else, but also demonstrating she is an extraordinary actress and dancer as well.

The featured star of Summer - The Donna Summer Musical is, drum roll please... STORM LEVER!

This is a difficult selection, as LaChanze, Afra Hines and Storm Lever all gave astounding performances, however I ultimately chose Storm Lever. Lever excels in this role, giving both an energetic and moving performance. A great Broadway debut!

Now for my final verdict on Summer - The Donna Summer Musical. I give Summer - The Donna Summer Musical...

Whilst the book was somewhat weak, it is still an interesting story with great music and an exceptional cast and therefore I have awarded Summer three stars!

Think it should have got a higher rating? Agree with my rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Review: Pretty Woman

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Pretty Woman.
Pretty Woman began previews shortly before I set out for New York City, and opened officially two weeks after I arrived. The film of Pretty Woman is one of my Mother's all-time favourites, and therefore we were very fortunate to get rush seats for this musical on her Birthday!

In this modern take on Cinderella, a prostitute and a wealthy businessman fall for one another, forming an unlikely pair. Whilst on a business trip in Los Angeles, Edwards, who makes a living, buying and breaking up companies, spontaneously picks up Vivian and hires her to stay with him for the weekend. The two of them soon grow close, only to discover there are significant hurdles to overcome as they try to bridge the gap between their very different worlds. Pretty Woman is a classic rags to riches story, and one I personally found to be delightful. In the character of Vivian we find the ultimate under-dog; she may be down on her luck, but she has big dreams and is determined to make them a reality. The book of Pretty Woman, written by Garry Marshall and J. F. Lawton, gives us the perfect fairytale. More than anything, it is fun and entertaining and I am sure it will leave most audience members in good spirits.

Samantha Barks, who will be known to many as Éponine from the movie adaptation of the musical Les Misérables, takes on the role of Vivian Ward and is complete and utter perfection. As Vivian, Barks is charming, charismatic and an overall joy to watch. She is a triple threat, due to the fact that she is a talented actress, a gifted singer and a skilled dancer. Samantha Barks truly shines as the titular 'Pretty Woman'. Playing opposite Barks as Edward Lewis is Andy Karl, who I had previously seen give outstanding performances in both On the Twentieth Century on Broadway and Groundhog Day in both the West End and on Broadway. Yet again, Karl gives another extraordinary performance. Similar to his co-star, Karl is full of charisma. As demonstrated in the other shows he has previously starred in, he is naturally funny, and if that wasn't enough, he also has a very good voice.

The scenic design, which has been created by David Rockwell, is wonderful. I would imagine that this was a particularly difficult set to create, due to the variety of different locations required, however it really was excellent. Both the hotel lobby and penthouse sets were particularly well crafted. The costumes, designed by Gregg Barnes, are genuinely stunning. The costumes created for Vivian are particularly striking; specifically her iconic red dress.

The featured star for Pretty Woman is, drum roll please... SAMANTHA BARKS!

Samantha Barks is a true star! She has embodied the role of Vivian unbelievably well and has every aspect of this character down to a tee. What a great way to make a Broadway debut!

Now for my final verdict on Pretty Woman. I give Pretty Woman...

Pretty Woman has a wonderful story to it, along with some delightful performances and stunning scenic and costume designs. Looking back at my time in New York City, Pretty Woman was one of the best shows I saw during my vacation.

Think it should have got a higher rating? Agree with my rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Review: Dear Evan Hansen

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Dear Evan Hansen.
Dear Evan Hansen has been on my 'theatre wish-list' for quite some time now, however due to the popularity of the show tickets have been difficult to get. For every show that I saw during my recent stay in New York City, I booked the tickets on the day of the performance, however Dear Evan Hansen was the one exception to the norm. Due to its popularity, I decided it would be best to book Dear Evan Hansen in advance, allowing me to finally see it! I am glad to report that the wait was worth it.

Dear Evan Hansen follows 17 year old Evan, who has always felt invisible. Invisible to his peers, the girl he loves and sometimes even to his own mother. But that all before he wrote 'the letter', which led to the 'incident', that started the lie, which soon ignited a movement which inspired a community and changed Evan's status from the ultimate outsider into the somebody everyone wants to know. But how long can Evan keep his secret and at what price? It is a very powerful and moving story that covers a wide range of exceedingly important topics, particularly those that face the younger generation. Some of the issues featured within the play include depression, anxiety, suicide, dysfunctional families and social media. All of these subjects are portrayed both realistically and thoughtfully; the book, by Steven Levenson is exceptionally well written. I imagine that almost every audience member will relate with the characters of Dear Evan Hansen in one way or another. Additionally, I am also certain that everybody who watches this show will take away something different from it; there are dozens upon dozens of messages that this musical gives its audience. The story of Dear Evan Hansen is truly and utterly beautiful.

The angelic score of Dear Evan Hansen was written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who earned the Tony Award for 'Best Original Score' in 2017 for their ingenious music and lyrics. The score contains some very poignant ballads, as well as some utterly heartfelt lyrics. Among my favourite lyrics are those to the song 'You Will Be Found', where Evan sings 'Even when the dark comes crashing through, when you need a friend to carry you. And when you're broken on the ground... you will be found". 'You Will Be Found' is one of the best musical numbers of the show, along with ' Waving Through a Window', 'For Forever' and 'Disappear'. 

Taylor Trensch recently took over the role of Evan Hansen, however on Wednesday matinees an alternate performs the role, and as a result I had the delight of seeing Michael Lee Brown in the role. Brown is excellent in the role, displaying barrels of raw emotion throughout the duration of the show. As Evan Hansen's crush Zoe Murphy is Mallory Bechtel, who stepped into this role on July 31st. For the role of Zoe, Bechtel has created a good characterisation, clearly displaying the vulnerability of the character. In the role of Heidi Hansen is Broadway veteran Lisa Brescia, who joined the cast on August 7th. Brescia excels as Heidi, and similar to Brown she too displays large amounts of raw emotion. The highlight of her performance comes during the number of 'So Big/So Small', which was heartbreakingly beautiful. A special mention must also be given to Alex Boniello as Connor Murphy, who I personally felt stole the show. Boniello perfectly captures the pain and suffering that Connor faces. The struggles that Conner faces are clear, and yet Boniello still does so subtly.

The featured star of Dear Evan Hansen is, drum roll please... ALEX BONIELLO!

Alex Boniello is my chosen featured star due to the way he tactfully dealt with the struggles that Connor Murphy faces throughout Dear Evan Hansen. The character is deeply disturbed with a glimmer of sadness, which Boniello captured perfectly.

Now for my final verdict on Dear Evan Hansen. I give Dear Evan Hansen...

Dear Evan Hansen boasts a very well-written book, a beautiful score and a tremendous cast; it is more than deserving of its four star rating.

Think it should have got a higher rating? Agree with my rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer

Review: Mean Girls

Hey readers!
It's time for my review of Mean Girls.
I had listened to a quarter of the Original Broadway Cast Album before arriving in New York City, and it's safe to say that I was already hooked on this musical. I had watched clips of the musical online and was exceedingly impressed. In addition to this, I had heard glowing reports from those who had already seen it, and as a result Mean Girls was a high priority during my holiday in the United States.

Mean Girls is a 'cautionary tale' of the life of Cady Heron, a 16 year old girl who, despite growing up on the African savanna, was not prepared for the wild and vicious ways of her strange new home of Illinois. With the assistance of her two best friends, she hatches a plan to rise to the top of the popularity pecking order by taking on 'The Plastics', a trio of lionized frenemies led by the ruthless Regina George. But after carrying out her plan to end Regina's reign, Cady soon learns that you cannot cross a Queen Bee without getting stung. As a high schooler myself, I found that Mean Girls provides a fairly accurate portrayal of what high school life can be like. Lunch tables are filled with cliques, some people rise to popularity a lot easier than others, social media plays a large part in people's lives, and most importantly, not everyone is going to get along with each other. The principal characters are all well written, with each character being distinctly different from one another. It is likely that almost each and every audience member will be able to relate with one of these characters, or at least the journey that they have been on. Mean Girls contains dozens of significant messages throughout the entire show, covering important topics such as bullying, self-insecurity and friendship. Not only does Tina Fey's well-written book achieve the covering of important issues, but the show is also immensely funny. There are many great one-liners and all of the quips are excellently delivered by the exceptionally talented cast.

The score to Mean Girls, with music by Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin, is filled with over a dozen of extremely memorable tunes. As mentioned previously, I had listened to a portion of the songs before watching the show, and since seeing it a week ago I have re-listened to it twice. Leaving the theatre, I was left re-playing all of the catchy tunes from the show within my head. To brand this music as unforgettable would be an understatement. The orchestrations, by John Clancy, compliment the music nicely, giving musical numbers such as 'Meet the Plastics' a uniquely dramatic feel. The lyrics are well written as well, particularly for the song 'I'd Rather Be Me'. The highlights of this outstanding score for me personally are 'It Roars', 'Apex Predator', 'Someone Gets Hurt' and 'Revenge Party'.

The cast of Mean Girls are all remarkable; there are some truly great performances to be seen here. Erika Henningsen shines in the leading role of Cady Heron. Henningsen embodies the role of Cady faultlessly, portraying all the different sides and changes in the character remarkably well. As the titular 'mean girl', Taylor Louderman steals the show as Regina George. For this role, Louderman has created a perfect characterisation, nailing every aspect of the character from the way she walks to how she talks. Louderman is also a gifted singer, showing off her phenomenal voice in musical numbers such as 'Someone Gets Hurt' and 'World Burn'. At the performance I attended, Ashley De La Rosa was making her Broadway debut in the role of Gretchen Wieners, the insecure 'plastic'. Rosa made a stunning debut, appearing to be very well-suited to the part. Her performance of 'What's Wrong With Me?' was done particularly well. As the third 'plastic', Kate Rockwell as Karen is utterly hilarious. Rockwell continuously had the audience in stitches, due to her perfect delivery of one liners. In the role of scorned friend, Barrett Wilbert Weed has created a brilliant characterisation for Janis Sarkisian. Weed has a tremendously powerful voice, which is clearly demonstrated during the number 'I'd Rather Be Me'. At this performance, Brendon Stimson was understudying for Damian Hubbard, a role that he does wonderfully. Stimson has impeccable comic time, he's a talented tap dancer and simply an overall joy to watch.

The scenic design is comprised mainly of video projections which have been created by Finn Ross and Adam Young. The video projections used are of the highest quality that I have ever seen in any theatrical production. They are utterly transformative and look incredibly life-like. The costumes, designed by Gregg Barnes, are also rather striking, due to the fact that they paint an accurate picture as to what type of outfits are worn by high schoolers in this current time period. The choreography, by Casey Nicholaw, is yet another outstanding aspect of this production. All of Nicholaw's sublime dance numbers are excellently carried out by this talented ensemble.

The featured star of Mean Girls is, drum roll please... TAYLOR LOUDERMAN!

This was an especially difficult choice to make, due to the fact that everyone in this cast are magnificent, however I ultimately decided to make Taylor Louderman my featured star for her stunning portrayal of Regina George. She stole the show with her gripping characterisation and was genuinely a delight to watch.

Now for my final verdict. I give Mean Girls...

I believe my views on Mean Girls are already crystal clear. With a great book, an exceptional score, a talented cast, phenomenal video projections, good costume designs and stellar choreography, it would have been criminal for me not to have given this show 5 stars. I left the August Wilson Theatre thinking that Mean Girls had been one of the best musicals I had ever seen; it was truly fetch!

Agree with my rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.

Thanks for reading!

-The Reviewer