It was officially announced today that Mean Girls is in the beginning stages of one day becoming a Broadway musical. Those who know me, or even those who have quickly glanced at my blog, know that this news had me awkwardly squirming with excitement in class this morning. Not only am I the biggest Broadway fan I know, but one of my favorite movies of all time is none other than Mean Girls. Even the idea of this musical gets me so excited and pumped that I have no other choice than to blog about it.
Immediately after I read this announcement, the theatre geek in me ran with it and began planning my own cast. I know all of the characters backwards and forwards (a little too much, perhaps), and I know several big names on Broadway who would fit these roles…the directors should just hire me to cast the show and be done with it. Now, I sort of stole the idea from Broadway.com (have to give props where they’re needed), but I haven’t looked at their list yet, so I’m interested to see what is the same and what is different. Below is what the Playbill would have inside on opening night if I had the opportunity to cast Mean Girls: The Musical…
Jennifer Damiano as Cady Heron– Jennifer Damiano in every way embodies a typical teenager, and at the same time a Broadway leading lady. This is proven in her portrayals of Natalie in Next to Normal for which she was nominated for Tony, and her most recent role as Mary Jane Watson in Spiderman: Turn off the Dark. She has the vocal talent to undertake a starring role, the likeability needed to gain audience interest, and the believability of a modern-day teenager. Jennifer would take the role of Cady and live up to the standard we’ve all grown to love in the not-so-wonderful-anymore Lindsay Lohan. Another favorite for this role would be Katharine McPhee, who has proven she can take on the role as the underdog and make audiences love her from her performance on Smash.
Megan Hilty as Regina George– For any fan of Smash, this should be a no-brainer. Aside from her astounding voice (a quality needed in any leading lady), Hilty possesses both star power and stage presence, and the ability to command the attention of a room, which of course describes the infamous Regina to a T. I like to think of Regina as a bitchier Glinda from Wicked– and by that I mean, she knows she is beautiful, acts as a leader, seems somewhat stuck up, but also uses that in a very manipulative and cruel way. Hilty played the role of Glinda on Broadway, and also plays the confident, sexual, demanding, sometimes- bitchy Ivy, making her the perfect Broadway Regina.
Laura Osnes as Gretchen Weiners – I absolutely love Laura Osnes. I think she is adorable with one of the most beautiful voices I’ve heard. I would definitely consider her Broadway’s sweetheart. I would cast her as Gretchen because physically she looks the part, but her persona and sweet image allow her to portray the stuck up but innocent and somewhat ignorant follower that is Gretchen. Gretchen seems very full of herself, but is always in Regina’s shadow, which gives her a bit of a naïve quality. This quality is demonstrated in Osnes’ current role as Cinderella (dying to see this, by the way). Osnes, however, also has the ability to pull off an extreme badass, as seen in her portrayal as Bonnie in Bonnie and Clyde. Another pick for this role would be Rachel Potter.
Annaleigh Ashford as Karen Smith– Any fan of Legally Blonde: The Musical will understand this one. Annaleigh is loveable, delightful, and hilarious as Elle’s best friend Margot. Her talent for comic relief combined with her scene-stealing acting ability and killer pipes make her my dream Karen. Not to mention, she also looks the part. I would love to see her crack up audiences in this as she did in Legally Blonde, and I could also see her understudying for Regina. She is a very dynamic actress (she has played Maureen in RENT, and Glinda in Wicked), so I would love to see that translate in this production. Another choice for the very naïve, comedic Karen would be Bailey Hanks (another Legally Blonde veteran!).
Sutton Foster as Ms. Norbury– If you had to think of a Broadway version of Tina Fey- in other words a witty, likeable, funny actress with an amazing voice (not to mention a few Tony’s under her belt)- Sutton would without a doubt be the answer. She has tackled the loveable Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie, the misunderstood Princess Fiona in Shrek: The Musical, the show-off Janet van de Graaf in The Drowsy Chaperone, and the funny and cynical Reno in Anything Goes. This woman is capable of tackling anything. Her current role on Bunheads as the sarcastic, sharp, and talented Michelle embodies Fey’s character in a slightly more dramatic way (she is a Broadway performer, after all). Sutton is my first and only choice for North Shore’s favorite teacher. Another great option would be fabulous Idina Menzel.
Aaron Tveit as Aaron Samuels– There isn’t much to discuss here. He is charming, gorgeous, and insanely talented. There is no doubt in my mind that Aaron Tveit would make a brilliant and dreamy Aaron Samuels up on that stage. He also has the same name as the character, and if that isn’t fate I don’t know what is. We’ve seen him play a teenager in both Next to Normal and Catch Me If You Can (brilliantly, I may add), and he’s the first one that comes to mind when you’re looking for a sexy Broadway leading male to appeal to a bunch of high school girls. This could also finally bring him a much-deserved Tony.
Krysta Rodriguez as Janice Ian– She’s already proved she can be a badass in her portrayal as Wednesday Addams in Broadway’s The Addams Family. Her somewhat deeper vocal range combined with her diverse acting ability (she’ll be on Smash this season!) and her Addams Family-like intimidation peg her as Janice.
Kristen Chenoweth as Mrs. George– Just as Sutton Foster represents a Broadway-version of Tina Fey, even those who aren’t big fans of Broadway can admit that Ms. Chenoweth is the Broadway version of Amy Poehler. Her loveable demeanor, her high, soprano singing (and talking) voice, and her talented way of making an audience worship her in any role makes her ideal. The fact that she physically looks like Amy Poeher, as well, doesn’t hurt. Another choice for this character would be the charming (and also southern) Laura Bell Bundy.
Josh Gad as Damien- He made us crack up during almost every moment of The Book of Mormon, and has proved both through that musical and his current role on 1600 Penn that he can play a young age and make audiences believe it. He would have audiences in tears from laughing every night of this show with his naturally comical persona and his humorous and talented acting.
*Couldn’t find a video of him singing…sorry!
Lin-Manuel Miranda as Mr. Duval– Mr. Duval is the (wannabe) cool principal that provides unexpected laughs throughout the movie (“I did not leave the south side for this!”) but can also lay down the law and be a badass when, oh, I don’t know, the junior girls go crazy in “full-on jungle madness.” Lin-Manuel is one of the most relatable actors I’ve seen (his In the Heights portrayal is flawless). He provides a sense of authority and has the capability to deliver the subtle humor in an entertaining way. His romantic storyline with Ms. Norbury (Sutton) would be adorable to watch as well.
I’m really excited about slowly seeing more about this musical trickle out. In the meantime, check out these actors and let me know what you think! The link on their name leads to videos of their performances. What would your dream cast be like?
*Just looked at Broadway.com’s list (link above)…very similar! That proves I’m destined to work on the Great White Way, right?*