Tony Award Nominee Nell Benjamin Joins Team of Mean Girls Musical
Thats SO fetch! Turning movies into musicals is nothing new to the theatre world. But how about doing it really well? That only happens once so often. However, what happens when you have one of the funniest people alive working to create a musical based off of an iconic high school film that just about every girl in the world can relate to? The theatre world very soon may just know. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news that Tony Award nominee Nell Benjamin has joined the team working to create Mean Girls the musical.
Mean Girls is a 2004 film that was directed by Mark Waters with a screenplay by Tina Fey. The film was produced by Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels. The movie tells the story of Cady Heron who has just arrived to the United States from Africa and is thrown into a public high school she finds just about as wild as the African safari where she came from. Cady turns the school upside down as she makes friends with “the plastics” only to set up their ultimate demise through a series of pranks. Filled with high school clicks, a burn book and some of Hollywood’s most iconic movie lines, Mean Girls is a cultural phenomenon that just about every high school girl in the nation (and world) can relate too. The movie starred Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried (in her film debut) and Lizzy Caplan.
Tina Fey has expressed interested before in turning Mean Girls into a musical for the stage. While many were not sure if this was a rumor or not, Tina Fey and Jeffrey Richmond, her husband, were beginning to work towards creating a stage musical from the beloved film under the same title. Tina Fey has loved musical theatre since a young age. She part in her high school’s musicals every year and is an alum of Upper Darby Summer Stage. Jeffrey Richmond is no stranger to the stage. His Off-Broadway production of The Explorers Club just recently extended its run at The Manhattan Theatre Club. Yesterday, the theatre world learned that Tony Award nominee Nell Benjamin has also joined the team working to help pen Mean Girls into a musical.
Nell Benjamin is best known for her work on the Tony nominated musical Legally Blonde. She credits her success with that musical to her luck working on the Mean Girls musical. Tina Fey and Jeffrey Richmond are both fans of Legally Blonde. According to Benjamin, the team is meeting from time to time but is currently not on any time deadline. They have worked on song ideas and major outline ideas for the musical as well. Currently, there is no reading scheduled for the musical and no timeframe for one has been set either.
In a recent interview, Benjamin expressed her excitement to be working on the project.
“It’s a great movie. It’s one of the few movies out there that really kind of does the high school thing from a girl’s perspective really well. You can tell it was a labor of love for Tina Fey. Her intelligence shines through the whole thing and it will throughout the whole musical as well. I’m very excited that I’m lucky enough to be working on it.”
Benjamin also took a moment to chat about how her previous work, Legally Blonde, and Mean Girls are more alike then one may think at first glance.
“One of the things we were really happy to do on Legally Blonde was to turn Vivienne around a bit. It is true – anytime you have an economy of scarcity, the people who should be banding together end up fighting each other. I went to an all-girls school so I experiences certain amounts of psychological warfare growing up.”
Mean Girls the Musical? In our opinion, it doesn’t get much better then that. It’s easy for anyone to take a movie and turn it into the musical for the stage. But to do it well? That is something that takes a lot of time, dedication and talent. Tina Fey created a cultural phenomenon when Mean Girls hit the screen in 2004 and the film has managed to remain huge even to this day almost 10 years later. A musical version of Mean Girls would only be acceptable if Fey herself was working on and thank god she is. You don’t have to worry about some third-party coming in and losing the jokes or iconic lines behind a movie that millions of people have fallen for year after year. Benjamin’s addition to the team is a strong and solid choice. Her work with Legally Blonde is one that shows how time and dedication can create the best possible product for the stage when taking a movie from the screen. And what about a timetable? Who cares! Don’t rush it! The best musicals take not weeks or months to be created but years. I wouldn’t mind waiting a few years for Mean Girls the Musical.
While Mean Girls the Musical may not be hitting the stage anytime soon, Luner on Theatre will absolutely keep you updated on this exciting new project for the theatre world! Tina Fey and Jeffrey Richmond are both very busy people so we will more than likely be covering this topic for quite some time. No social media or official website have been developed yet for the Mean Girls Musical. For more information, visit the Official IMDB Page for Mean Girls. Be sure to check Luner on Theatre on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter as well! We are constantly updating these pages with information! And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!