Tina Fey’s dreams have finally come true. Though she holds nine Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes, and is the youngest recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for Humor, Fey has finally accomplished her lifelong goal: Her name is in a Playbill! As the book writer for the musical adaptation of her 2004 movie Mean Girls, Fey made her Broadway debut when the show officially opened at the August Wilson Theatre April 8.
Her husband, composer Jeff Richmond, wrote the music and Tony-nominated composer-lyricist Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde The Musical) wrote the lyrics. Directed and choreographed by Tony winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon), the teen-driven story presents a fresh (but still hilarious) take on the “home-schooled jungle freak” who matriculates to suburban high school, gets sucked into the meanest clique in the cafeteria, and eventually discovers the true meaning of friendship and self-power.
Playbill greeted the full cast and four creative team members on the post-show pink carpet to celebrate their opening night. Ensemblists like Kevin Csolak and Myles McHale shared the secret backstory between their characters (Shane Omen and Muriel); Kerry Butler (Ms. Norbury/Mrs. Heron/Mrs. George) shared some backstage wisdom; Rick Younger (Mr. Duvall) performed his favorite line in the show; Barrett Wilbert Weed (Janis) and Grey Henson (Damian) shared what it’s like to open the musical as its narrators; Cheech Manohar (Kevin) performed the original rap he wrote for his Mean Girls audition; Kate Rockwell (Karen) revealed the key to finding her character’s empty-headed walk; Ashley Park (Gretchen) broke down the choreography to “Who’s House Is This?”; Kyle Selig (Aaron) talked about bringing a new meaning to the movie; Taylor Louderman (Regina) shared the regimen that helps her hit those crazy high notes eight shows a week; and Erika Henningsen (Cady) talked about what it was like to work with a team of strong women.
Watch it all on the full livestream (above). Plus you’ll hear tales of their inspiration, the jokes that nearly got cut, the songs that did, how audience reactions changed the show, and why Tina Fey says she knew there was room for improvement on her original movie script.