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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

RHS Musical "Mean Girls"

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Photo credits: Tom Russo Photography

Front: Liz Dunlop, Nick Scaglione Middle: Jeannille Ettinoffe, Veronika Virostko, Amelia Perlmutter, Kyla Kemple Back: Franklin Weiss, Braedon McQuade, McKenzie Lancaster, Danny Fencik, Katie Bononno

"Mean Girls: High School Edition" is a hilarious coming-of-age musical about social cliques and the complexities of adolescence. This weekend, Rutherford High School, will present three performances of this musical on the RHS stage (see flyer below). This is Rutherford interviewed the Director, Courtney McManus, about this musical and some of the cast members.

TIR: What has been the most exciting part of directing "Mean Girls?

Courtney McManus: Mean Girls is a new musical, recently released by MTI. When I saw it on Broadway in 2018, I knew this would be perfect for high schools to perform. It has brought a lot of RHS students to theater who have never done it before because so many students relate to the characters. This has been one of our biggest companies yet with 80 students between the cast, crew, and orchestra!

TIR: What can you tell us about the show?

CM: Mean Girls is based on a book “Queen Bees and Wannabes” by Rosalind Wiseman, which was written for parents to help their daughters navigate cliques and other challenges of adolescence. Comedian, Tina Fey related to this book so much that she decided to adapt it into a full scale feature movie. With her wit and humor, she crafted a film that has created a cult following. Who can resist catch phrases like “So fetch!” And “You go, Glenn Coco!”

TIR: What are you most excited for audiences to see?

CM: Our cast is truly in their element when telling the story of Cady Heron and the Plastics. They have taken these iconic characters and made them their own. I am most excited for audiences to enjoy themselves. Tina Fey’s writing is brilliant, and our students have really dug into the comedy!

Cast members, Nicholas Scaglione (Sophomore), Veronika Virostko (Senior), and Amelia Perlmutter (Senior) shared more information about the show.

TIR: Which role are you playing in "Mean Girls"?

Nicholas Scaglione: I am the role of Damian in this year's musical.

Nick Scaglione as Damian Hubbard and Liz Dunlop as Janis Sarkisian

Veronika Virostko: I am playing the role of Regina George, head queen.

Veronika Virostko as Regina George

Amelia Perlmutter: I'm playing Cady Heron.

From left to right: Jeannille Ettinoffe as Gretchen Wieners, Amelia Perlmutter as Cady Heron, Veronika Virostko as Regina George, and Kyla Kemple as Karen Smith

TIR: What has been your favorite part of working on this show?

NS: My favorite part of working on this show is bonding with the cast. As you get to know the people around you more and more every day, you start to create meaningful friendships that will stick forever. I can say that I have created many more friendships this year alone with my fellow performers, and I wish it never ends.

VV: My favorite part of working on this show is the live aspect and the jitters and nerves that come from performing. Performing with a live band makes it all feel so real.

Amelia Perlmutter as Cady Heron and Braedon McQuade as Aaron Samuels

AP: My favorite part has been getting to know the people in the cast! Getting to bond with my peers and getting closer with my friends has always been my favorite part of the musical.

TIR: What are you excited for audiences to see?

NS: I am excited for the audience to see the amazing work we put into this show. It's astounding to see such talented performers behind the scenes in real time, and I can't wait to bring it to the stage. There are a vast amount of comedic lines that I hope will make the audience burst into laughter.

VV: I'm most excited for audiences to see the hard work that my castmates and I have put into this show. Our hard work has really been paying off in order to put on the best show we can. It is really nice to work with such a tight-knit cast, it allows us to not only work but have a good time while doing it! This being my last show is sad but I could not have wished for a better cast and group of friends. Not only is the cast awesome but all of the stage crew and the people behind the scenes are amazing and give it their all every practice. I hope the audience can tell what a great group of kids this wonderful cast/crew is.

AP: I'm excited for audiences to see how hard we've been working on this show! We've been putting so much into this show and I'm excited for audiences to see that energy and that passion.

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