REVIEW ROUNDUP: “School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play” Opened with a ShowScore of 88

Show-Score | Nov 17, 2017
“School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play,” written by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Rebecca Taichman, opened on November 19, 2017 in New York City. “School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play,” written by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Rebecca Taichman, opened on November 19, 2017 in New York City.


9 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 82.

Jesse Green 
The New York Times 
ShowScore: 85 
""The nasty-teen comedy genre emerges wonderfully refreshed and even deepened by its immersion in a world it never considered...Beneath the infectious silliness of Biog's play’s adopted genre, the ugly question of internalized racism lurks...Mostly and smartly, she trusts the form; there’s a reason these stories work. Ms. Taichman’s production highlights all of those reasons...One of the production’s chief assets is the delicious ensemble work."

Zachary Stewart

ShowScore: 90
"One of the funniest shows of the season, benefiting not just from sharp writing, but a stellar cast that knows how to ground this comedy in real stakes...Director Rebecca Taichman has impressively fostered a familiarity within the cast that makes it seems as though they've been living together for years...It would be easy to condemn Paulina as a mean girl, but Bioh forces us to question how she became that way."
Marilyn Stasio
ShowScore: 75
"Delightful ensemble work...The play is full of light and laughter...It’s impossible not to laugh at their clever, but cruel schoolgirl humor. At the same time, it’s impossible not to brood over the importance they place on skin tone...One thing you cannot call this play is subtle...Bioh goes too far with the character of Paulina, who is an insufferably over-the-top narcissist and far too polished a villain."

“School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play” was also reviewed by Brian Scott Lipton of CitiTour, Jonathan Mandell of New York Theater, Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter, Helen Shaw of Time Out New York, Sara Holdren of New York Magazine / Vulture, and David Hurst of Talkin' Broadway.


The show was also reviewed by 39 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 90.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Funny, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining, Great writing

Andrew 4, ShowScore: 93
See it if… "You enjoy comedies with heart adn meaning, like nonviolent plays about Africa, enjoy insights into educated young women and rivalries in school." 
Don't see it if…"Heart-felt stories are not your thing, have an aversion to excitable teenage girls, boarding school stories, or status/lookist issues."

moonchange, ShowScore: 80 
See it if…"You want to see a masterful mix of comedy and social commentary, where the 'serious' bits are important but never take away from the laughs."
Don't see it if…"You're only looking for a dark drama."
Chatter, ShowScore: 85 
See it if…"You want an entertaining look at the mean girls culture, set in a girl's school in Ghana, that shows kids can be cruel in any culture."
Don't see it if…"You don't want to be enmeshed in the popular girls can be really mean culture of high school, or want a flashy play with in-depth characters."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.