Lights are bright on Broadway! When it comes to bringing a new musical to the Great White Way, producers find inspiration in all sorts of places — including beloved movies.
“I mean, I’ll probably come back here, like, five more times before we actually come to Broadway, but it’s a real thing now,” Mean Girls scribe Tina Fey teased of the musical treatment of her ‘00s flick during a May 2017 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “It’s so cool. It’s so fun because — you can sing — but I’ve been in stuff that’s like movie musicals, whatever, a little bit.”
She added: “The secret with movie musicals is you can secretly suck and be a star. But to do things on stage? Like, these kids are so talented! We have the cast now. We’ve been rehearsing for about a month. There’s a bunch of baby Timberlakes. Everyone can do everything! They just sing so loud and they dance so hard.”
Mean Girls: The Musical ran from April 2018 to March 2020, originally starring Erika Henningsen, Taylor Louderman, Emily in Paris’ Ashley Park, Barrett Wilbert Weed, Grey Henson, Kyle Selig and Kate Rockwell.
“The greatest thing about bringing this musical to life is that our creative team didn’t say, ‘Can you just recreate the iconic film performance?’ We could never hope to,” Henningsen, who played Lindsay Lohan’s role of Cady Heron on stage, exclusively told Us Weekly in April 2018. “I could never deliver the performance that Lindsay did. … It has been really special being able to recreate these characters for a musical and in this current time period.”
She continued: “I know Lindsay Lohan wants to come see the show. I hope she does. I don’t want to know about it [if she’s in the audience] because I will get so nervous.”
Mean Girls: The Musical — which is also set to be released as a filmed adaptation — is hardly the only movie that has served as inspiration for the Broadway stage. In April 2016, Sara Bareilles’ version of Waitress debuted at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City. Starring Jessie Mueller as the original Jenna, the “Brave” singer reinvigorated the Keri Russell-led film with a slate of Tony Award-nominated songs.
“We want everyone in the world to come see the show. We’re so proud of it,” Bareilles — who eventually played the show’s titular role in both Broadway and West End runs — exclusively told Us in February 2019. “I just think Waitress is comfort food. It’s got so much heart and it’s got so much humor. It’s just a really beautiful. I mean, I know I’m biased because I’m intimately involved, but I really believe in the story of resilience and strength and vulnerability and all of the themes that run in the show.”
Scroll below to see more movies that have been adapted into Broadway musicals from Legally Blonde to American Psycho: