5 Stars for Mean Girls on Broadway {But Make Sure You Check That Age Rating}

5 Stars for Mean Girls on Broadway {But Make Sure You Check That Age Rating}

When I was offered a free set of tickets to go see Mean Girls on Broadway at the Saenger Theater I jumped on the chance to see one of my favorite movies come to life on stage. I had no doubt in my mind who I was going to bring with me; it would be a girls’ night, and I would bring my daughter. She has been taking vocal lessons since she was five and has done extra work on sets before. I’ve taken her to other plays at Mahalia Jackson, Rivertown and Saenger, and she just absolutely loves theatre. Well, in the midst of my excitement I forgot one small factor: she is only 10 1/2 and Mean Girls IS rated PG-13.

Okay, okay. Call me a bad mom if you want, but she has 100% seen the movie. I’ve always loved introducing her to old movies that I used to watch when I was younger and for us personally I don’t feel like Mean Girls is that risqué. She will be in middle school next year, and I am not so naive to think she hasn’t heard curse words or doesn’t know people make out. Perhaps that’s the 90s kid in me where we were watching things like Dirty Dancing, Look Who’s Talking, Clueless, etc at probably way too young of ages. One of my favorite movies as a kid was Wayne’s World because we had it on VHS. It makes me laugh now because it’s like, what?! I carry an age-appropriate dialogue constantly with my kids about all things that are life and have no problem explaining that some things are just adult.

So on Tuesday night we got dressed in our pink, and I took her to one of our favorite West Bank restaurants, Legacy Kitchen, for a quick bite to eat before we headed across the river. (The Westbank has hidden gems, y’all!). We parked at the Ritz and made our way into the Saenger. We hadn’t been back since before Covid, and she was so excited … like it was her first time seeing everything. I got one of their delicious “Mean Girl” champagne drinks, and we headed over to the merch. I grabbed a magnet to add to my extensive collection, and Mila wanted to get a Burn Book (aka program) so that she could read about the cast and play. So far, so good!

We go in, take our seats and she is studying the set and the room. As I am flipping through the playbill she asks me, “Mom, what’s that word above hot dog?!” I look up at the set, which is torn out Burn Book pages, and there it is in giant letters across the screen (complete with hot dog drawing):

“Masturbated with a frozen hot dog.”

My brain rapidly fires through things to say as we are not remotely having this conversation whatsoever and I go with “Huh, I don’t see it?” She repeats herself but I quickly pointed out something to distract from the moment and it was dropped. I texted my best friend, mortified, and knew then I could be in trouble. It then hits me: I didn’t check the ratings and this is a Broadway show. Google quickly tells me that is suggested for over 12. The show starts so I put my phone away and braced myself. I quickly realized I may be a “cool mom” but I am not that cool.

Mean Girls was PHENOMENAL! It was by far one of my favorite shows I have ever seen; I laughed from beginning to end. The characters are all perfectly cast, and the soundtrack was really great. It featured lots of updated jokes that bring it from the original movie in 2004 to keep it current sprinkled in between all of our favorite quotes. Janice and Evan were the perfect duo, and Karen stole the show for me. While it’s obviously about “mean girls,” the overall message about fighting against that and being yourself is strong and we discussed that topic in length together. Never be a mean girl, always let people sit with you, and just be you.


It was also way more adult than the actual movie itself. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me or what I was thinking, but definite mom-fail on my part. She asked a few more questions about things said or the more provocative scenes, and her eyes lit up when some choice words were used. I definitely found myself cringing at certain moments and would quickly glance at her to see her reaction. She enthusiastically clapped at intermission and the end, and we walked out together having seen an excellent Broadway play.

We got in the car and I bravely asked “So, what did you think?!” once again preparing myself for what was to come. “Mom, that was the best play ever! The songs were sooooo good. But Mom, I didn’t get a lot of the jokes. Everyone was just laughing and I was like ha ha ha.”

So relieved.

While I think she will always remember the shock value of the show, I don’t think she absorbed or was able to compute a lot of the things we as adults hear and catch. I remember never knowing what really happened to Penny or what the talking sperm was, or that Cher shouldn’t be kissing her step-brother (Ew! Come on!) till much later in life.

She commented again when we got home, and twice since how she had such a fun night out with me. As I sit here and type about my mom-fail, she’s still reminiscing about the fabulous night she had. While I will definitely be checking the ratings in the future, I look forward to many more nights with her at the theater. However, it will not be for Dirty Dancing in October –  needless to say.

Dana Wattigney
Moving from Nebraska in middle school, Dana considers herself a New Orleanian 25 years later. She now lives in Belle Chasse with her husband Ryan, 12-year-old Mila, and 8-year-old Rex. As the Executive Director of the YMCA in her community, she is very involved in all aspects of family life. You can find her on the weekend doing DIY projects, cheering on LSU or the Saints, and spending time with her family. A lover of all revelry, there is no festival, concert, or event that she won't go to! Catch her with the Krewe of Cleopatra each Mardi Gras. She gets out of town with her kids as much as possible, they enjoy the outdoors, especially the mountains & the beach. Affectionately known as "Dana Dolittle" to her friends, you can expect her to have a random animal she is trying to help at any given time. Dana loves to write & says there are no topics off limits.


  1. Thanks so much for this honest mom review! It was just announced that Mean Girls is coming to a town near us in the next season. We have a theatre-loving 9 year old girl. We like some of the music from the show, and I was wondering if I should take her or not. We aren’t prudes, and we don’t shelter our kids…but it seems like we may hold off on this one for a couple of years.

    This review was exactly what I needed to read and was so very helpful. Thanks again!!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here