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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘I’d rather be me than be with you’: ‘Mean Girls’ the musical is slated for the First Interstate Center

Perhaps it’s typecasting for Alexys Morera. The emerging actress plays Janis Sarkisian in the touring production of the musical “Mean Girls,” which is slated for Tuesday and Wednesday at the First Interstate Center for the Arts.

Much like the “Mean Girls” character, Morera was the witty, artistic punk rocker while coming of age in central Florida.

“I was Janis growing up,” Morera said, while calling from Charlotte, North Carolina. “I was the girl wearing the rock T-shirts in school. I wasn’t the mean girl.

“I was the artsy girl and so I love being able to play this role. It’s close to home, but it’s not exactly who I am, but it’s close enough.”

Morera, 23, was only 6 years old when she first experienced the film “Mean Girls,” which was released in 2003.

“I was a kid when I first saw ‘Mean Girls,’ and I was probably too young for it, but I loved it and I was drawn to Janis even as a kid. Playing her feeds my middle school self.

“’Mean Girls’ is great as a film and as a musical. There’s something about the story.”

“Mean Girls,” which was co-written by Saturday Night Live icon Tina Fey, is a clever comedy about a naive homeschooled teenager, who enrolls at a high school ruled by a vicious clique. “Mean Girls” was a box office monster that has become an enduring classic.

“Mean Girls” hit Broadway and the second “Mean Girls” film is in theaters as a musical, which like the original movie, is a box office success.

“It’s such a relatable story,” Morera said. “If you’ve gone to high school, you’ve probably experienced something like ‘Mean Girls.’”

The day before “Mean Girls” was released as a filmed musical in January, Morera and the touring cast caught a preview.

“It was so much fun to get the sneak peak at the film,” Morera said. “We had a blast watching it as a group. I loved the R&B twists to the songs.”

Morera is also a fan of 1989’s “Heathers,” which created the mean girls template, but is a darker film about the high school hierarchy and what happens when a rebel decides to knock the alpha girls and boys off of their pedestals.

“I love ‘Heathers’,” Morera said. “It’s a cult classic. The ‘Heathers’ musical inspired me to get into musicals. I saw ‘Heathers,’ ‘Hamilton’ and ‘Wicked.’ I can quote those three shows front to back.”

Fortunately, Morera can also quote “Mean Girls” front to back, which will come in handy when she performs at the First Interstate Center for the Arts.

“I love the dialogue from ‘Mean Girls.’ It’s smart, funny and memorable,” Morera said. “I’m so fortunate I play Janis, who isn’t just some emo girl. She’s different. She cares about her friends. She’s not a one-dimensional character. All of the characters are interesting in ‘Mean Girls.’

“It’s a film that was meant to be a musical. When you see it, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.”