“Mean Girls,” the Broadway musical co-written by Tina Fey and produced by “Saturday Night Live” impresario Lorne Michaels, has locked in a Broadway run that opens in April at the August Wilson Theater.
Based on Mark Waters’ 2004 teen comedy, which Fey wrote, “Mean Girls” had already looked like a lock for this Broadway season. In addition to big names on the creative team, the title has a high profile with audiences, thanks to the well-received film, and buzz in the industry about the brewing musical version has been strong. The show is set for a pre-Broadway run in Washington, D.C. starting Oct. 31.
Fey writes the book of the musical based on her screenplay for the film, with music by composer Jeff Richmond, Fey’s husband and frequent musical collaborator on projects including “30 Rock” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Nell Benjamin (“Legally Blonde,” “The Explorers Club”) writes the lyrics, with Casey Nicholaw, Broadway’s go-to guy for musical comedy (“The Book of Mormon,” “Aladdin”), directing.
“Mean Girls” is one of the tentpole projects of the coming Broadway season, and anticipation is high. But it’s wading into a season crowded with marquee names, including musical versions of mega-properties “Frozen” and “Spongebob Squarepants,” not to mention epic two-part play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which has become a juggernaut smash in London.
Although updated with contemporary references, “Mean Girls” will follow the plot of the movie (which provided memorable roles for actresses including Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams and Lizzy Caplan). The storyline follows the teenage Cady, who returns to the U.S. after time abroad and finds herself forced to navigate the cutthroat social order of American high school.
The production has already announced a cast that includes Kerry Butler in Fey’s role and Erika Henningsen as Cady. Taylor Louderman and Barrett Wilbert Weed will also star.
Michaels, whose short list of Broadway credits includes Gilda Radner’s 1979 show, produces with Stuart Thompson — the industry veteran who died last month but will still be credited — and Paramount Pictures. On the list of co-producers are Scott M. Delman, Roy Furman, Robert Greenblatt, Ruth Hendel, Jam Theatricals, The John Gore Organization, James L. Nederlander and Universal Stage Productions, among others.
“Mean Girls” will begin Broadway previews March 12 ahead of an April 8 opening at the August Wilson, where “Groundhog Day” closes Sept. 17 after a disappointing run.