5 Reasons ‘Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical’ Will Be Everything to Fans of the Film

“Cruel Intentions,” one of the most beloved teen dramas from the ‘90s, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. The film seduced a generation and starred some of the most crush-worthy actors of the time: Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Selma Blair. It was wicked, shocking, and decades later the story about the manipulative world of Manhattan’s most dangerous liaisons plays out perfectly on stage.

Here are five reasons fans of the show — or just the ‘90s in general — will love this musical tribute to the movie:

1. “It’s not that difficult, morons.”

Yes, that is Sarah Michelle Gellar telling you to put your phone away in the intro, perfectly setting up the trip down memory lane. Catch it here.

"Cruel Intentions: The '90s Musical" — Taylor Pearlstein and Jeffrey Kringer
Taylor Pearlstein and Jeffrey Kringer of “Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical” (Photo by Jenny Anderson.)

2. A jukebox of musical hits will send you straight back to the ‘90s.

The movie had an amazing soundtrack, which included “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve, and the musical covers all of the hits and uses even more catchy songs to further the plotline. This includes “No Scrubs” by TLC, “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera, and “Bye, Bye, Bye,” by ‘NSYNC. And yes, there is a soundtrack to take home!

3. It includes the wittiest lines and plot twists from the movie.

The musical follows the plotline from the movie and includes all of the best one-liners including the iconic “This sure doesn’t taste like an iced tea…” line from naive Cecile Caldwell.

4. Don’t worry, they didn’t leave out that iconic picnic scene.

If you remember any scene from the movie, it’s the French kiss between Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair that took home MTV’s Best Kiss award in 2000. The best twist is that the musical sets the scene to Sixpence None The Richer’s song “Kiss Me,” which was iconic in its own right. If you did not slow dance to that song at a school dance, you probably were not a child of the ‘90s.

"Cruel Intentions: The '90s Musical" — Taylor Pearlstein
Taylor Pearlstein and the cast of the North American Tour of “Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical” (Photo by Jenny Anderson.)

5. The audience goes crazy.

This is a fun musical to watch and the audience claps to the beat, sings, and laughs along with the show. Whether you’re a fan of the movie or not, it’s a wicked good time and you’ll leave with a smile on your face, humming your favorite ‘90s songs for days.


“Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical” is playing in Chicago for a limited run through April 14 at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.


Macaire DouglasMacaire Douglas lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Share Our Spare, a local nonprofit that collects goods for children in need.