re: I loved the stage musical, but hated the movie. Here's why.
Last Edit: Chromolume 06:23 pm EST 02/09/24
Posted by: Chromolume 06:06 pm EST 02/09/24
In reply to: I loved the stage musical, but hated the movie. Here's why. - DanielVincent 02:21 pm EST 02/09/24

I'm not sure I agree on the musical differentiation of characters. (I've played the show, so I was definitely inside the music lol.) Aside from Cady's songs having African sounds in the orchestration, and the more "drama queen" size in Regina's moments, I think it's a pretty middle of the road pastiche-ish score that covers a lot of styles but doesn't really pin them on specific characters consistently. I've also noted out here before that the over-wordiness of many of the lyrics tends to make the songs feel too similar. That run-on style suits Karen well, for instance, but she's not the only character that sings like that. (I do think "Sexy" is a great number for her - though the cancer "joke" is a bit tasteless in context IMO.) And Fey's lyrics often lack the craft of musical theatre writing. (I'm sorry, but a lyric like "varsity JOCKS and j-v JOCKS" is an awkward non-rhyme that just seems sloppily set to me. There's a lot of sloppy in the show.)

TBH, I think I enjoyed playing in the band (and I did enjoy it) more than I would have enjoyed music directing the show or watching it. But I'm also feeling it's not a particularly outstanding score. At that time, I had also just finished playing a run of The Prom, and found that to be on the whole a much more compelling score. (And in that case, a show that I think did try to distinguish musical styles well - at least the theatre folks vs. the Indiana/high school characters.) But then again, Sklar and Beguelin have been doing musicals a little longer than Richmond and Fey have, and on the whole I think they also have a better sense of how songs can be most effectively used. Mean Girls is a little too packed with songs that don't seem to enhance the book as much as they could, and just take up time. It seems to me like they made a sound choice in slimming the score down for the film.
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