Mean Girls The Musical Tour
As Mean Girls gets ready to hit Calgary this January, we had the opportunity to sit down with Alexys Morera, the actress who brought Janis Ian to life on the Broadway stage. In this exclusive interview, she shares insights into her role and experiences, giving us a glimpse into the world of this iconic production.
Can you share about your journey to the Mean Girls cast?
Music was always a part of my life, but I didn’t know I wanted to do theatre until my first trip to New York in high school. I saw my first Broadway show, Wicked, and knew that was what I wanted to do after experiencing the last note of “Defying Gravity.” I moved to New York straight after graduating high school and started my training at a conservatory program called the Institute for American Musical Theatre. I worked as a singing server at the viral Time Square restaurant Ellen’s Stardust Diner and booked Mean Girls less than a year after completing my program. Now I am touring America, living the dream and performing with some of the most talented people I’ve ever met.
In preparing for your role as Janis, were there any unique challenges or memorable moments you experienced? What moment in Mean Girls do you feel truly defines the essence of the show?
My favourite thing about Janis is her authenticity. She knows who she is and what she likes and she’s not afraid to show it. Throughout the show, this character is unapologetically herself yet is constantly trying to get weighed down by others. My most memorable moment was finally cracking the code in the song “Rather Be Me.” This is the climax of the show and shows Janis fully stepping into her power of not caring and crushing the negativity that has followed her throughout the show. She finally moves on from old wounds by owning up to her own wrongdoings and inspires others to do the same.
Janis says it so perfectly, “Sometimes what's meant to break you makes you brave.” This song shows the true message of the show, which is to be who you are regardless of what others think. Everyone has flaws, and everyone makes mistakes, but it’s never too late to right wrongs and be who you are.
Janis has a very distinctive style. Is there a particular costume you wear in the show that you absolutely adore?
I am in love with Janis’s style and my secondary school self lives vicariously through her every day. Every jacket that she wears is immaculate, but my favourite look is the Apex Predator outfit. It’s a staple outfit for the musical and has a simplistic but artistic look. The jacket is army green and has intricately beaded sleeves, and the coolest hand-painted wings are on the back.
For fans of the Mean Girls movie, are there any notable changes they should expect in the musical, particularly in your portrayal of Janis?
It’s a familiar story that stays true to the Mean Girls franchise, but it does have some changes to fit into a more modern stage adaptation. Expect lots of incredible singing and dancing. It is a riveting show that takes you on a funny journey with an important lesson. As for my Janis, she is still the unapologetic misfit that we all know and love, just with a little Alexys fire added to the mix.
How do you think the themes of Mean Girls resonate with today's audiences, especially considering the original film's release was over two decades ago?
This show’s message is still one that is important today. With the rise of media, negativity is even more easily accessible. Judging others won’t make you better than them. We all have insecurities but being yourself is the key to attracting your own happiness and finding the people that really care about you.
Do you have a favourite line or song from the show, whether it's your character's or someone else's?
I feel the number “Stop” is highly underrated. My Damian, Ethan Jih-Cook, does a brilliant job of blending humour and real-life warning of the dangers of media. Not only does the song feature funny little quips like “She left, just like my dad.” It is extremely catchy and features amazing tap routines. Yes, more than one.
Can you describe a particularly memorable interaction with a fan or an audience member who has stayed with you during your time with Mean Girls?
As a Person of Colour, I think representation is so important. I’ve had fellow Latinas come up to me after the show or through DM to say that they are so happy to see themselves on stage and that they feel like it’s possible now. Getting to be that for someone is an indescribable feeling. I am so blessed to be playing such a strong, independent and authentic character. Janis is my girl, and I am so happy I get to step into her shoes every night.
Don't miss the chance to catch Mean Girls in Calgary this January! Secure your tickets now for the performances running from January 16th to 21st at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium here.