Though beloved musicals often find themselves making the transition from stage to cinematic success, the opposite can also be true. Films like Legally Blonde and Heathers have become surprisingly popular stage musicals, perhaps because they're full of colorful characters and quick humor that translates perfectly to a song and dance production. But now a new cult favorite film is about to make the jump from screen to stage, and the first promo for the Mean Girls musical looks like it will capture the tone of the film perfectly.
Mean Girls is one of those movies that became a pop culture phenomenon after its release, spawning countless memes and recurring jokes that have stood the test of time. A musical adaptation will have big shoes to fill, but it looks like it will be up to the task. The promo shows the Plastics dressed in pink against a pink backdrop as they invite the viewer to check out the upcoming musical. Regina is characteristically cool, Gretchen is a little too hype for what the situation requires, and Karen is simply dazzled by the idea of being able to talk, sing, and dance all at the same time. The characters seems like themselves, so fans can start getting excited now.
Mean Girls the musical is in good hands, too, by bringing back one majorly important figure from behind the scenes who made the movie what it was: Tina Fey. Fey will be writing the book for the stage show, with music by her husband Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin. Fey appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to share her excitement for the project, as well as to sing the praises of the cast, whom she called "a bunch of baby Timberlakes; everyone can do everything!"
While the cast may change when the show moves from previews to its official Broadway premiere, right now it has its core group on lock. That includes Taylor Louderman as Regina, Ashley Park as Gretchen, and Kate Rockwell as Karen, as seen in the promo. Both Louderman and Rockwell have experience with movies-turned-musicals, as they both appeared in the stage version of Bring It On. Park most recently showed up in Sunday in the Park with George.
However, while the Plastics are the titular mean girls, they're not where the cast of characters begins and ends. Erika Henningsen, who previously played Fantine in Les Misérables, has been cast as Cady. Barrett Wilbert Weed will play Janis; she has appeared in Cabaret as Sally Bowles and in Heathers: The Musical as Veronica Sawyer, a role she originated (making her another movie-turned-musical alum). Former Book of Mormon cast members Grey Henson and Kyle Selig will be playing Damian and Aaron Samuels, respectively.
Mean Girls the musical will debut on Halloween in Washington, D.C. at the National Theater and play for five weeks before taking the trip to New York, where it will find its home in the August Wilson Theatre. New York previews begin on March 12, 2018 and its opening night is April 8. Previews let a show see what's working and what isn't, so fans might do well to expect adjustments here or there as the show gets settled.
It seems like the musical will tell the same story fans first fell in love with, though not everything can be expected to stay the same. There will be a new cast, new music, a new medium, and even an update to the setting: Mean Girls won't be trapped in 2004 anymore, instead moving forward to 2017 and taking on all the new technology that comes with. All the three way calls that were so pivotal to the plot are now things of the past.
Though it's difficult to make a definitive statement on a show that hasn't premiered yet, it looks like Mean Girls the musical will be staying true to the movie that inspired it in the first place.