The hit Broadway musical Mean Girls, written by Tina Fey, is headed to the West End.
Based on the successful film starring Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams, about tribal gangs of high school girls, and gossipy goings-on in and out of class, the show — directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (who’s already got The Book Of Mormon, Dreamgirls and Aladdin running in town) — is looking to open in the West End about autumn 2020.
‘We are sniffing around for a theatre,’ an executive on the New York production told me.
London calling: The Broadway production of Mean Girls adapted from the hit 2004 movie
The show — directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw — is looking to open in the West End about autumn 2020
The show’s heroine Cady arrives in the U.S. after being home-schooled by her zoologist parents in Africa.
Cady’s bedazzled by a trio of snooty Alpha girls known as ‘The Plastics’, who somewhat grudgingly let her join them.
I saw the show at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway and felt like a fish out of water — there were girls everywhere, sitting with their parents, and during the interval I overheard them reciting the lines and comparing the script Fey wrote for the movie with the book she penned for the stage version.
It’s certainly not aimed at me, but once I relaxed, I enjoyed it. It’s slick, shiny — and very funny. Fey adapted the tale from Rosalind Wiseman’s 2002 study Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities Of Adolescence.
The show’s heroine Cady (far right) enrolls in a U.S. school after being home-schooled by her zoologist parents in Africa
Producers Lorne Michaels (who also produced the film) and Sonia Friedman are checking schedules and getting their team in line for 2020
However, she added a lot of her own observations, particularly how schoolgirls (and boys) use ostracism as a weapon.
The mean bits apart, the show is very jolly, with a handful of numbers that wow you.
Producers Lorne Michaels (who also produced the film) and Sonia Friedman are checking schedules and getting their team in line for 2020.
There’s no hint about casting but I imagine the producers won’t have too much trouble finding stars who are triple threats — able to act, sing and dance . . . and speak with good U.S. accents.
Can’t wait to listen to a packed theatre shouting ‘Fetch!’ or any of the other well-known phrases from the film and show.
Watch out for…
Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn, who excel as bickering brothers in Sam Shepard’s white-hot black comedy True West.
When I walked into the Vaudeville Theatre for a preview performance on Monday, one of the cast members was already on stage, sitting at a table, pretending to work on a screenplay.
Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn play bickering brothers in black comedy True West
It took me a moment to realise that it was Harington: hair slicked back, sporting a weedy moustache. He was virtually unrecoginisable as Austin, the bro who has borrowed his vacationing mother’s house to complete a screenplay, but is interrupted in his efforts by Lee, his officious oaf of a sibling.
Lee’s a burglar who only nicks TV sets and he is generally very stupid. But despite this, he tries to usurp his sibling, Austin, in a film-writing deal.
Director Matthew Dunster sets the drama up well so that the laughs really do land — and I had forgotten that there are belly laughs in True West. A very lovely surprise.
Go, go, go Joseph! The amazing dude is coming back. A new production of the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will run for 12 weeks at the London Palladium from June 26, 2019.
Michael Harrison has been asked to produce the show. Lloyd Webber said it was ‘high time for another production of Joseph’ and he decided to hand over to Harrison because (as I wrote elsewhere) he’s busy on the Cats film, and with workshop projects at the Other Palace Theatre in Westminster.
One of the highlights of last April’s Olivier Awards show was a tribute to the Joseph musical, and I was struck by how well the score and lyrics have stood the test of time.
Harrison hasn’t signed a director yet but as soon as he does, they will cast actors for Joseph, the Pharaoh and the Narrator. ‘Three fab parts,’ he said. Visit Josephthemusical.com for ticket details.