Tina Fey on Why ‘Mean Girls’ Is More Timely Than Ever
This weekend marked the opening of the Broadway version of Tina Fey’s 2004 teen comedy Mean Girls. Although the musical has been updated slightly for a 2018 crowd, Fey says the general theme of women’s relationships, for better or worse, is as important now as it was when the film first hit theaters.
“The movie was about relational aggression among women, but now that behavior has really metastasized across our society, and you see it everywhere,” Fey told Variety at the show’s opening April 8. “You see it in people being horrible to each other on social media. So if anything, it’s gone wider. It’s such an escalation in the interpersonal arms race.”
Fey’s husband and longtime collaborator Jeff Richmond added that social media, though in its earliest stages in 2004, plays a role in what makes the story so apt today. “You would immediately know that it was not of the present, if social media wasn’t part of it,” Richmond explained. “But we also didn’t try to lean into it too hard [in the Broadway update], either.”
The musical is, by most accounts, so fetch and stars Ashley Park as Gretchen Wieners (who was portrayed by Lacey Chabert in the film); Kate Rockwell as Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried’s role in the movie); and Taylor Louderman as queen bee Regina George (originally immortalized in the realm of teen movies by Rachel McAdams). Erika Henningsen plays Kady.
Previously, Fey told CBS Sunday Morning that getting her name in a Broadway Playbill was a childhood dream come true: “I was trying to explain to my older daughter last night, when I was a kid, I didn’t grow up in New York City, so if we came to New York to see a show and we got this real Playbill, and it was just so special.”
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(photos via Walter McBride/WireImage + Noam Galai/Getty Images)