In 2004, Tina Fey was a regular cast member of Saturday Night Live, mostly known as the co-anchor of ‘Weekend Update’ with Jimmy Fallon. It’s also the year she established herself as a skilled writer, with the release of the hit comedy Mean Girls. The movie starred many SNL alumni in the supporting roles, including Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, and Fey herself.
Directed by Mark Waters, Mean Girls is the story of naive teenager Cady (Lindsay Lohan) who attends High School for the first time after being home-schooled in Africa. She meets and befriends the most popular girls in school, known as The Plastics (Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried) only to learn how truly mean they are. Cady decides to fight back against the bullying girls, only to realize that she has become just as bad as they are.
Fey wasn’t involved in the direct-to-video Mean Girls 2, but she isn’t done with the property yet. She has long been attempting to adapt the film into a stage musical, with music composed by her husband Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin. According to THR, the musical is finally set to become a reality, and will take the stage this fall in Washington D.C. Lined up to direct is Casey Nicholaw, who won a Tony Award for his work on The Book of Mormon in 2011.
At the Tribeca Film Festival, Fey talked about creating the musical. She has recently been busy as creator and producer of the Netflix Original series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But when star Ellie Kemper gave birth to her first child last August, Fey took advantage of the sudden free time she had to finish work on the Mean Girls stage adaptation.
The musical will be co-produced by Lorne Michaels and Stuart Thompson. Michaels produced the film as well, and Thompson has been producing Broadway shows since the ’90s. At this time, there are no Broadway plans to announce, though when you combine Thompson and Nicholaw’s experience with Fey and Michael’s fame, a future Broadway run does seem to be a distinct possibility. It would certainly fit in with the current trend of adapting comedy films into Broadway musicals, such as Bring it On, Legally Blonde, and Hairspray.
For now, Mean Girls will have a development workshop in the spring of 2017. No cast has been announced yet. While several of the film’s main characters, including Lohan and Seyfried, have wonderful singing voices, it has been thirteen years and it’s likely they’re a bit too old to play High School students. All the same, it would be fun to see one of the original cast return, such as Fey’s original Ms. Norbury. That would be so fetch!