The Student News Site of East Islip High School

The Broadcaster

The Student News Site of East Islip High School

The Broadcaster

The Student News Site of East Islip High School

The Broadcaster

Mean Girls: High School Version at EIHS

A review and look into the show from a member of the cast!
Photo: Florence Gonzalez

Musicals are an iconic staple of any American public high school’s drama department, especially here in East Islip. The East Islip High School’s music department has put on some amazing shows including Catch Me If You Can, Sound Of Music, Anastasia, and many more shows. This year, the East Islip music department put on Mean Girls: High School Version for the spring musical. You probably saw kids walk all over the building on Wednesdays wearing the show shirts or seen posters all over the school or when you were getting pizza. Anyways, if you have been living under a rock and you have no idea what Mean Girls is, first of all, how dare you, and second, let me educate you for a second.

Background of Mean Girls

Mean Girls is a movie that was released in 2004 and was written by the icon herself, Tina Fey (fun fact: the screenplay for the movie is adapted from the book Queen Bees and Wannabes). The movie stars Lindsey Lohan as Cady Heron, a 16 year old girl who moved to the United States from Kenya and starts high school. She meets “The Plastics” who are the most popular girls at Northshore High. The head of “The Plastics,” Regina, recruits Cady as a member of the Plastics and Cady accepts only to realize it was NOT what she expected.

By 2013, there was rumbling about a musical adaptation of the movie and in 2017, Mean Girls: The Musical opened at both the National Theater in Washington D.C. and opened officially on Broadway on April 8th, 2018. Tina Fey wrote the screenplay for the musical, and Neil Richmond and Jeff Richmond were in charge of the music.

Mean Girls: The Musical was a hit and won a Helen Hayes Award in 2018 for Outstanding Visiting Production. 

This January, a movie adaptation of the musical version of Mean Girls was released. Some of the original cast members from both the musical production and the original movie either reprised their roles or had cameos in the new movie such as Renee Rapp who was a replacement for Regina George on Broadway had reprised the role of Regina for the movie, and Lindsay Lohan who played Cady in the movie made a cameo as the moderator in the mathletes competition.

The 2024 movie had mixed reviews from both fans of the original movie and musical theater fans. Many fans of the original movie didn’t like that the movie was a musical, while many fans of the musical didn’t like that they cut many of the songs like “Where Do You Belong” and even changed how some of the songs sounded like “Stupid In Love.” One thing all agreed on was the popularity of the song Renee Rapp and Megan Thee Stallion collaborated on for the movie called “It’s Not My Fault” which sampled the scene from the original movie where Cady tells Janis “It’s not my fault that you’re like in love with me or something!” Renee Rapp

So, now onto our school’s production of Mean Girls: High School Version.

Mean Girls at EIHS

I was in the ensemble and got a backstage perspective on the show and it’s amazing cast. The cast included

Ryan Kelpie as Damian

Lorelai Mucciolo as Janis

Juliana D’Addario as Cady

Sophia LoMonaco as Regina

Brooke Lubin as Gretchen and also the student choreographer

Julianna Azzizo as Karen

Brenden Kroupa as Aaron

Aidan Sanders as Mr. Duvall

Hanna Ross as Ms. Norbury

Rosemary Connolly as Mrs. George

Tyler Hilms as Kevin G. 

Many talented students in the Ensemble

The show ran March 21-23 and was directed by the amazing Mrs. Affelt who is also the music director, choreographer, props master, costume manager, and overall jack of all trades. We also had some amazing people in the pit orchestra and on stage crew which is run by Mr. Neske and Mr. Tucker. 

Freshmen Noya Nielsen who was a part of the stage crew for Mean Girls says that he was excited for the audience to see how amazing the cast is and the music. “there are a lot of funny lines that will definitely make the audience laugh, and the songs are just absolutely amazing, honestly they are on par with the Broadway soundtrack, in my personal opinion.”

Junior Julianna D’Addario, our own Cady Heron, says that she was excited for the audience to see “all of the upbeat and energetic numbers.” She also says that she was excited for all of her loved ones to see this production which perfectly encapsulates the madness of teenage high school girl drama.

“I’m excited to share the hard work everyone has put into this show with my friends, family, and community. It’s already such an iconic and funny story that so many love which makes it even more fun to perform!” 

Although many people have shared what they are expecting the audience to enjoy about this show, there were also many challenges that the cast and crew had to overcome behind the scenes during the production of Mean Girls. With director Mrs. Affelt, one of the challenges she had to face was as a spiritual leader, being looked at in a negative light by people within her community for putting on a show which contains bullying amongst high school students. She acknowledges how “there might be some raised eyebrows out there like ‘This lady’s a yoga teacher and she teaches a class that’s all about mindfulness and  you know, being peaceful and calm and now she’s directing a show called Mean Girls which is about girls who are bullies and stuff?'” In order to combat this challenge, Mrs. Affelt implemented “ a new stipulation” into the contract which stated if she heard about any bullying on and off stage, you were out of the cast; thankfully, it worked out well.

Throughout all of the challenges we’ve faced, the end result was an amazing show.

Behind the Scenes of Mean Girls from the Eyes of a Cast Member

The sets that Mr. Tucker and the stage crew made were outstanding and the pit orchestra sounded amazing. There were small hiccups that we had to just deal with, like on closing night, there was a leak in the ceiling of the stage and water was dripping onto the stage. Plus, I think that the hardest part for me since for some of the cafeteria scenes, me and my other castmates were on these platforms that the stage crew created. There were many times during the show and rehearsals where I had to dodge the platforms as they were rotating in order to not get hit. Overall, it was a great experience. There were no bad vibes from the cast and I made some new friends within the cast. 

Jules D’Addario did a great job as Cady and I really enjoyed Brooke Lubin as Gretchen and Sophia LoMonacco as Regina. Sophia has powerhouse vocals and honestly she was amazing as Regina. My favorite song in the show was “Someone Gets Hurt” and “World Burn” mainly because for “World Burn,” we got to “fight” with each other and I liked “fighting” with my friends Eliza Irwin and Olivia Primiano who were in the ensemble. The fight scene was one of my favorite parts of this show.

With “Someone Gets Hurt”, I absolutely loved the harmonies between Sophia and Brendan Kroupa (Aaron) and Sophia’s voice is so beautiful. As I had mentioned before, Brooke was not only Gretchen but she was also the student choreographer for the show. She did excellent with the numbers that she choreographed like “I See Stars,” “Fearless,” and “Sexy.” 

Jules said that her favorite numbers were “Apex Predator” and “More is Better” because in “Apex Predator” she says that “it is a powerful song that I get to sing with another incredibly talented vocalist, Lorelai Mucciolo!” and in “More is Better” she elaborated on how “it is a more serious and touching part of our show that me and Brendan Kroupa get to perform.” 

So, you’ve heard what it was like to participate in the musical from all three perspectives, do you want to participate yourself? Sure, go for it! I started doing theater in 7th grade after my 6th grade Social Studies teacher told me that I’d be really good at it. I hesitated from performing onstage, but in 7th grade, I bit the bullet and came out onstage in High School Musical Jr. After 7th grade finished, I auditioned for the next musical which was Mary Poppins Jr., and got the role of Mrs. Brill. Was I a bit nervous? Yes! On closing night, I said my lines a little too fast, nobody but my mom noticed. Is it normal to get stage fright? Yes, but for me, that’s what makes performing an exhilarating experience. It’s the nerves that excite you and make you good at performing.

Overall, I give the musical and my experience a 10/10.

About the Contributor
Angelina Altamirano
Angelina Altamirano, Staff Writer
Angelina Altamirano is a freshman at East Islip High School and one of the many contributors to the school’s newspaper, “The Broadcaster”. She likes drawing, listening to music and rewatching lip sync performances from RuPaul’s Drag Race. She hopes to one day become an animator or a voice actress. She will continue to write album reviews for the newspaper and more articles about stuff she likes. Hope you enjoy her articles!!