For Jonalyn Saxer, being a bad girl is still quite enjoyable.
Since 2017, the performer has navigated the intricacies of high school social dynamics as a member of the cast of the musical “Mean Girls”.
“It was crazy and wonderful.… I have a lot of love for all facets of the show,” Saxer told The Oklahoman. “I was there to create… and it’s a fun show to take part in every night. Even all the way through the Broadway run and all the time I’ve spent with it, I personally know I can step into it. theater, whatever mood I’ve been in since that day and I know I’m going to come out of it happier – and it’s kind of the same experience that we give our audience. ”
“Get in Loser,” the first nationwide tour of “Mean Girls” is back on the road after its pandemic hiatus and arrives in Oklahoma City for a Dec.-Jan. 28. 2 at the Civic Center Music Hall. The tour, which relaunched in November in Tempe, Ariz., Plays New Years dates as part of OKC Broadway’s 2021-22 return season.
“It was wild. Seems like so much time has passed, and yet no time has passed at all, as this is mostly the same cast that we were on tour with before the pandemic. So, it’s not like it’s a whole new bunch of people – we’ve got a few newcomers, which really helps add some freshness to it – but….
The musical “Mean Girls” is based on a favorite cult movie
The Tony Award-nominated stage show is adapted from the critically acclaimed and much-loved 2004 film, which has since become a totally memorable pop culture phenomenon. Although the movie is now as old as the high school kids it portrays, its quotable dialogue remains “so crazy.”
“We have six female directors, which is really unusual in musical theater. Usually you have one or two, then two or three guys,” Saxer said. “And each character is unlike any other character.”
“Mean Girls” features a book by nine-time Emmy Award-winning Tina Fey based on her screenplay for the hit film. Music for the show is by three-time Emmy winner Jeff Richmond with lyrics by two-time Tony nominee Nell Benjamin. Tony winner Casey Nicholaw directs and choreographs.
“The fact that Tina wrote the book and was very involved in creating it had a really big impact.… All the original intent is there,” Saxer said. “Plus, we had the freedom to change things that changed, just updating the show to take place now, instead of the early 2000s.… There were things that worked in the movie. , it was like, “It’s not really applicable now. It’s not the same kind of reaction we would have now. And I think because it was Tina, we had the opportunity to change it and adapt it. Now you can actually see more of the characters’ inner lives than you even did in the movie. ”
The teenage comedy follows Cady Heron (Danielle Wade), a teenage girl who first enters public school after moving with her researcher parents to suburban Illinois from the African savannah, where she was educated in the House. A newcomer to the high school ecosystem, she reached the top of the popularity hierarchy when she fell with a trio called “The Plastics”: the charming but ruthless queen bee Regina George (Nadina Hassan), her eager sidekick. pleasing Gretchen Wieners (Megan Masako Haley) and ditzy blonde Karen Smith (Saxer).
“This show and this story is so multigenerational because as much as we try the cliques, the bullying and trying to fit in… as a teenager, never really changes no matter what generation or what happens. around you, “said Saxer, whose Broadway credits include” Cats, “” Holiday Inn, “” Honeymoon In Vegas, “and” Bullets Over Broadway. ”
“If you’re in high school, you tell; if you’ve been to high school, you’re bound. If you’ve got kids in high school, then you see them go through there, and then you look on stage, and you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, I’ve been through the same thing.’ So Cady’s story and Cady’s journey, no matter what is going on around her, it’s so universal. ”
Performer has been with the show since its inception
When “Mean Girls” opened on Broadway in April 2018 to rave reviews, Saxer was part of the original cast. The Syracuse University graduate started off as a member of the Broadway ensemble and understudy for the roles of Regina and Karen. With the launch of the first nationwide tour in September 2019, she stepped into Karen’s high heels full-time.
“I have a lot of love for every section of the series and every part, because I also know the why – the why of this joke and not another joke.… We have all played such an important part in the development process. .I’m so proud to run the show because I also know what it went through in the different versions that it went through to get the best story possible, to get the best songs possible, ”Saxer said.
Although the pandemic ended the Broadway tour for “Mean Girls,” Saxer said she was thrilled to be back on stage with the first nationwide tour of “Mean Girls.” As much as she enjoyed playing one of the Jets girls in the scene “The Dance at the Gym” in Steven Spielberg’s new remake of the movie soundtrack “West Side Story”, the actress said she particularly enjoys the actually performing live these days.
“We have LED screens on our show, but there are real people live on stage.… And in comedy in particular, the audience is our additional stage partner,” Saxer said. “We are constantly listening to our audience, which allows us to stay in touch with the audience present every night.… But it also gives us energy, because suddenly we arrive in a new city. and a joke we were at, “OK that’s like a joke haha, ‘this town thinks it’s hilarious.’ … It’s so much fun having this kind of relationship. ”
When: 28 Dec-Jan 2.
Or: Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker.
COVID-19 protocols: All customers must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed within 72 hours of entering the site. All clients must wear masks in the room, except when actively eating or drinking.
Tickets and information: https://www.okcbroadway.com.