Return to Headlines

‘Mean Girls’ combined high school musical promises to be so fetch

Tickets are going fast for the combined high school performances of the “Mean Girls” musical, but you can totally sit with us if you grab some soon.

Photo of Mean Girls starsEach spring in Woodstock Community Unit School District 200, the theater departments from Woodstock and Woodstock North high schools team up for a musical. This year’s choice was Tina Fey’s 2018 Broadway hit.

Director Billy Seger said more than 100 students are part of the “Mean Girls” cast, crew and orchestra pit. The scale of the musical is quite large, demanding numerous costumes for all 36 performers and a variety of large set pieces to represent the many locations featured in the show.

“As a director, I have never collaborated with such a large student group. This clearly demonstrates the profound effect this story has on these students. Their enthusiasm for bringing it to life matches, if not surpasses, our own,” Seger said.

This year’s performances will be held from April 12-14 and April 19 and 20 in the Woodstock High School auditorium. Most of the showtimes are at 7 pm, but matinees are scheduled for 2 p.m on Sunday, April 14 and Saturday, April 20.

Tickets are $10 and available at whst.booktix.com or at the door.

WNHS senior Malaika Parpart will play Cady Heron. Thunder senior Kai Roberts is portraying Janis Sarkisian, while WNHS senior William Madigan takes on the role of Damian Hubbard. Other lead roles include WHS senior Niles Jackson as Aaron Samuels and WHS junior Tochtli Olivas as Kevin G.

The queen of the mean girls will be played by WHS senior Kamila Kay, who was also one of the leads in last spring’s performance of “Mama Mia.”

“Regina George follows the namesake of the musical. She’s so mean, but she’s also really smart and calculating and scary. It’s definitely a very tough role to portray,” Kay said.

The plastics, Regina George’s tight group of frenemies, also include Gretchen Weiners, who will be played by WNHS senior Morgan Tolentino-Siazon.

“Gretchen is very insecure about herself and she constantly seeks approval — specifically from Regina. Anytime she doesn’t get that approval she just feels like she’s never good enough or she just gets insane,” Tolentino-Siazon said.

Maggie Adams, a WHS senior who plays Karen Smith, one of plastics who provides comic relief, said she appreciates the message of the musical, which she said is a little less vicious than the original 2004 film of the same name.

“There’s a lot more coming to terms with yourself in the musical — being OK with being different and not necessarily fitting in with the crowd. All of us are much different than we perceive ourselves to be,” she said.

Mean Girls graphicKay said she looks forward to working with her Woodstock North counterparts on the musicals every year while the crosstown rivalry is cheerfully put to the side.

Adams recalled her excitement watching North students during auditions. The all-state WHS choir singer said she’d never had much of a chance to hear students from North sing.

“I remember sitting in the audience and Kai (Roberts), who's playing Janis, came up to sing and Kamila said, ‘Just you wait,’” Adams said.

Roberts began belting out Janis’s big number “I’d Rather Be Me.”

“I was shocked. She sounded phenomenal,” Adams said. “There’s a lot of talent in Woodstock, and it’s really cool to see how amazing everyone is in their roles.”

Seger said the show’s production staff includes: choreographer Christy Johanson, music director Brian Jozwiak, tech director Sue Lewis, and assistant director/costumer Tish Lyon and orchestra pit director Katy Holub. The team is supported by Curran Rooney, Kristi Geggie, and Kiera Parpart who assist with specialty costumes and props.

Seger said Tina Fey said she’s been looking forward to licensing the musical for high school theater since the show’s Broadway premiere.

“Not only does the show feature five strong female leads, which is surprisingly rare in musical theater, but it also provides a unique opportunity for students to discuss the highs and lows of their own high school experiences in a safe and nurturing environment,” Seger said.

Photo by Janet Kay Photography