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‘Mean Girls’ Offers Comic Look at High School Popularity Wars
Tuesday, October 31, 2023


It presents high school as a living hell in exhausting shades of pink as it tackles the subject of mean girls who have a corner on popularity and—well, meanness.

The Sun Valley Community School Players will present “Mean Girls (High School Version)” at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 2-4, at the Sun Valley Community School Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students, available online at Each ticket will incorporate an additional $2 convenience fee.

The comedy musical revolves around a naïve homeschooled student Cady Herron, who finds that the classrooms and hallways of her new school in suburban Chicago are as wild and vicious in their own way as the African savanna on which she grew up.

Her newfound friends Janis and Damian take her on a tour of the school, looking for the right crowd for her, as they sing “Where Do You Belong?”

She throws herself into the popularity and pecking order wars by taking on The Plastics, a trio of lionized frenemies led by ruthless Regina George. But when she and her friends devise a Revenge Party to topple Regina from her throne, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung.

She forsakes her friends Janis and Damian for the Plastics. And when Cady falls for Regina’s ex-boyfriend Aaron all bets are off.

The 2018 Broadway musical, based on Tina Fey’s hit 2004 film of the same name, was nominated for 12 Tony Awards. The music is by Jeff Richmond; the lyrics, by Nell Benjamin.

“It’s funny, tough, a glimpse of what really goes on in some schools, although it is exaggerated,” said Sara Gorby, who is in charge of costumes and props.

Director Kevin Wade, who is also in charge of set design, said he decided to stage the play because of the opportunity for his students to play parts their own age while tackling issues that young people deal with.

“It’s always a plus when young performers get to dig into characters who are similar to them in age and experience. Even the students who play adult characters will double as high school kids in the ensemble,” he said. “High school students are uniquely positioned to tell this story as it was meant to be told. It’s an exciting, fast-paced and catchy score, and audiences will delight in familiar moments from the 2004 movie as they are peppered throughout the show.”

Sydney Lovering plays Janis, part of the comedic duo that welcomes Cady, trying to help her find her place.

“It’s great to have teens playing teens—I feel like I’m playing myself,” she said. “And the play has a good message—that you shouldn’t be mean just to fit in. I would rather have my true friends rather than ditch them to try to be in the popular crowd.”

“The play’s exaggerated but it shows some of what goes on in schools,” said Katie Gardiner, who plays Janis’s sidekick Damian. “The cast we have for this is incredible and the music fantastic.”


The play involves 30 Upper School students onstage and behind he scenes.

Head Plastic Queen Bee Regina George will be played by Phoebe Everett Williams with Ida Belle Gorby and Paisley Shapiro as Gretchen Wieners and Karen Smith, her Plastics crew.

New kid on the block Cady Heron will be played by Lizzie Loving while the dreamy heartthrob Aaron Samuels will be played by Steven Serva-Gonzales. The show is narrated by comedic duo Janis and Damian, played by Syd Lovering and Katie Gardiner.

Additional cast members include: Aster Pitts, Bridger McBee, Callan Duke, Cassius Klingenfuss, Elizabeth Dahlen, Elyse Duffield, Evan Dittami, Georgina Grant, Ingrid Pratt, Lidia Kaminer, Meredith Bromley, Moxie Tellez, Riley Siegel, Ruby Crist, and Torin Vandenburgh. Students behind the scenes include Carter Hickey, Kyan Gandhi, Cash Ammons, Reed Fowler, Thor Roberts, Tyler Proctor, and Finian Ayliffe.

Ben Larroquette is the Music Director; Megan Mahoney, Choreographer and Vocal Coach, and Sara Gorby, Costume and Properties Designer.

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