NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Grab a seat and watch your back: The “Mean Girls” movie is coming to Broadway.
The brainchild of comedic genius and Emmy award winner Tina Fey, the show is inspired by the belief that the raw emotion of high school “frenemies” would come alive on stage.
“We felt like this was – at the emotional core of it – high school is truly dramatic,” Fey told CBS2’s Jessica Moore. “But is it emotional enough, would the characters sing? And I was like ‘Yes, 100 percent.’ It’s very real for them.”
The story tackles the often vicious world of high school cliques, and one girl’s attempt to fit in with the popular crowd known as “The Plastics” – until she realizes it’s better to be kind than cool.
“We’re trying to filter our advice through the show,” said Fey. “It would be about being your authentic self, try to be yourself and to be upstanding for other people. If you see other people being treated badly speak up for them.”
“One of the messages that we’re trying to send out is to speak out, especially when you’re young, when you’re female, is that you’re allowed to speak out,” she said.
The show also reunites Fey to work with her husband, acclaimed musician Jeff Richmond, who is turning spoken words into songs.
“She’s a great boss, she’s a great collaborator,” Richmond said. “She’s fun and very funny to work with.
“Tina has found a way to get many of the quotable things and the dialogue in ways that make it feel that don’t come out in the same way,” he said. “(It’s) contextualized in the same way as the movie which is fun, and also how we find out ways to sneak in songs in different ways. We don’t have any songs that have a big quotable scene, thank God!”
Tony award-winning choreographer Casey Nicholaw says the pre-Broadway production in Washington D.C. proves the show carries mass appeal for cult followers of the movie and newcomers alike.
“I had people who had never seen the movie before and were absolutely delighted,” said Nicholaw. “They weren’t missing anything by not having seen the movie.”
Actress Kerry Butler, another Tony award winner, plays three roles in the show – a challenge she says she eagerly accepted.
“It’s a little stressful because I have costume changes,” Butler said. “In DC it would be like I have 30 seconds to change and then try and remember who I am going into the scene.
“That’s the challenging part, but it’s really fun and kind of been my dream to do,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to be a character actor where you like lose yourself in a part and that what I’m kind of like doing now.”
Fey hopes audiences will come for a great show, and leave with an inspiring message.
“I think for or an entertaining night of theater with a lot of singing and dancing, great music and incredible dancing in dazzling costumes,” she said. “I hope it leaves them with a good positive feeling at the end of it and leaves them feeling that they agree, that its better to be kind.”
Preview are scheduled in New York to begin in March, with the show’s official debut opening April 8.