An Adaptation with Music by Jeff Richmond and Lyrics by Nell Benjamin
On March 12, 2018, Mean Girls began previews at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre, ahead of an opening night scheduled for April 8, 2018. The show is slated for an open-ended run. This musical adaptation of the highly successful 2004 film of the same name has a book by Tina Fey, who also penned the screenplay. Fey is best known as the creator and star of 30 Rock, her role on Saturday Night Live, as the creator of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and for films such as Sisters, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and This Is Where I Leave. This impressive career both in front and behind the camera continues with her new challenge of musical theatre writer. For her core creative team, she partnered with her husband, Jeff Richmond, who wrote the score for Mean Girls, and who also composed music for 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Meanwhile, the lyricist for Mean Girls is Nell Benjamin, who also was behind Legally Blonde: the Musical. Finally, for the crucial responsibility of directing and choreographing the musical, they went with the unparalleled Casey Nicholaw, whose previous credits include The Book of Mormon, Aladdin, Something Rotten!, Tuck Everlasting, Elf, and The Drowsy Chaperone.
When the film of Mean Girls was released in 2004, it grossed $24.4 million in opening weekend alone, ranking number one at the box office that weekend. By the time it closed theatrically, it had grossed $86.1 million in the United States, and $43 million internationally, in addition to ongoing revenue from VOD, DVD, and online distribution. It also received excellent reviews, with Rolling Stone Magazine calling it “comic gold,” and the lead actress Lindsay Lohan cementing her position as teen idol, until her self-destruction led her down the wrong path. The movie was nominated for 13 Teen Choice Awards, winning three for Choice Movie Actress: Comedy for Lindsay Lohan, Choice Movie: Breakout Actress for Lindsay Lohan, and Choice Movie: Blush for Lindsay Lohan. The film also won three MTV Movie Awards for Best Female Performance for Lindsay Lohan, Breakthrough Female Performance for Rachel McAdams, and Best On-Screen Team for Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried. Beyond its award recognition, the film has become a pop culture phenomenon, and it is only fitting that it has found its way to becoming a Broadway musical.
Erika Henningsen and Taylor Lourdeman Star in the Stage Musical
The film certainly made the names for the leading ladies, including Tina Fey who also appeared in the film, and the stage musical has its own excellent cast to bring this story to a musical theatre audience. In the role of Cady Heron, the part originated in the film by Lindsay Lohan, is Erika Henningsen. Henningsen has been on Broadway once before, as Fantine in Les Miséables in the spring and summer of 2015. In the part of the villain Regina George, originated in the film by Rachel McAdams, is Taylor Lourdeman, whose previous Broadway credits are Lauren in Kinky Boots from January to August 2017, and Campbell in Bring it On the Musical. In addition, rounding out Regina’s clique of Plastics, the part of Gretchen Wieners is played by Ashley Park (Sunday in the Park with George, The King and I, Mamma Mia!), and the part of Karen Smith is played by Kate Rockwell (Bring it On the Musical, Rock of Ages, Hair, Legally Blonde). Furthermore, all the main adult female parts, including Ms. Norbury, Mrs. Heron, and Mrs. George, are played by Kerry Butler (Disaster!, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, Catch Me If You Can, Rock of Ages, Xanadu, Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Beauty and the Beast, Blood Brothers, Les Misérables).
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