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For the cast and crew of Beverly Hills High School’s performance of “Mean Girls,” October 3 is a special day, said BHHS theater director Samantha Howard. That’s the day Cady Heron, the protagonist of the hit 2004 high school rom-com, falls for her crush, Aaron Samuels.
That was also the day Howard announced to her students that they would be bringing Heron’s story to the stage. Howard was undecided on what play she should direct when she learned that the rights to the musical version of “Mean Girls” had been released, she said. Instantly, her decision was made, she said.
“It felt like kismet,” Howard said.
After months of preparation, the play opens on March 23 for a three day run at the Saban Theater, at 8440 Wilshire Blvd.
“We are all completely excited and a little bit nervous,” Howard said.
She said the last days of rehearsal have been stressful, as the performers have been rehearsing with props and stage equipment they didn’t have access to in their practice space at school. Since the pandemic, students have rehearsed in a converted classroom they call “the black box,” and Howard was astonished to see how well they’ve adapted to the space and equipment at the Saban.
“The fact that they’re rehearsing as cleanly as they are is astounding, and I’m ridiculously proud of them,” Howard said.
Cameo performances in the play have added to Howard’s excitement, she said. During each show, prominent city leaders including Mayor Lili Bosse and Beverly Hills Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Bregy will take turns playing the roles of Cady Heron’s parents, while BHUSD board president Noah Margo is playing the role of “math mentor” in multiple performances, Howard said.
“It’s important to me and to [Howard] that we engage with the community, and get the community invested in what the kids are doing on campus,” BHHS instrumental music director Justin Klotzle said,
He added that working with professional musicians and performing in a storied theater like the Saban drives home the lessons his students learn in the classroom.
“They get here, and then the bar is a lot higher than what they’re expected to do, and it really pushes them beyond what they were capable of yesterday,” Klotzle said.
Mayor Lili Bosse said she had never participated in theater classes when she attended BHHS, and she is excited for the challenge of her first performance.
“I’m counting down the hours,” Bosse said. “Break a leg!”
For tickets, visit onthestage.tickets/show/beverly-hills-high-school/63f93a1bfffb640e432202d7/tickets.
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