We look at the names attached and create our dream cast
A Broadway-aimed musical adaptation written by Tina Fey is set to premiere this fall in Washington DC
The calendar may say it's March 21st, but to Mean Girls fans it might as well be October 3rd, because they've just handed news sweeter than 4,000 candy canes for Glen Coco. After years of rumors and development, it has just been announced that Broadway aimed musical adaptation of the hit Tina Fey-scripted comedy will debut this Fall in Washington DC. To make matters sweeter, Fey herself will be writing the script herself while her husband Jeff Richmond will contribute the music along with the Neil Benjamin, the lyricist behind Legally Blonde the Musical and Heathers the Musical. Tony Winner Casey Nicholaw, the man behind musical comedy hits Something Rotten and The Book of Mormon, will also direct the musical.
The Lorne Michaels-produced musical has yet to debut its cast. For the sake of our own shits and giggles we compiled a list of talents we'd love to see snag a role in the show.
Alexandra Socha (Cady Heron) - An alum of Spring Awakening and Fun Home perhaps best known for her work on the Amazon series Red Oaks, Socha has the impressive ability to capture both Cady's new girl sweetness as well as the edge she develops from Regina's influence.
Krysta Rodriguez (Regina George) - Speaking of Regina, this Smash has the air of coolness and the bite required to portray the queen bee of North Shore. To put it plainly, if we saw her wearing army pants and flip flops, it'd be hard to fight the urge to buy some ourselves.
Laura Dreyfuss (Karen Smith) - Currently tearing it up in the hit musical Dear Evan Hansen, Dreyfuss has the sweetness and comic timing required to pull off the delightfully dimwitted budding meteorologist.
Jasmine Cephas-Jones (Gretchen Weiners) - Hamilton showed she can do seductive, but anybody who saw her work in Noah Baumbach's Mistress America knows she can play comical neurosis like a star. We'd like to hear her sultry voice sing a heart-wrenching ballad about losing a lovely pair of white gold hoop earrings.
Corey Cott (Aaron Samuels) - Having made his mark staring in Newsies and demonstrated solid comedy chops in Gigi, Cott's got the swagger and sweetness to compelling sweep any high school transfer student off their feet and cause the collapse of an entire high school ecosystem.
Jennifer Damiano (Janice Ian) - A Tony nominee for Next to Normal, Damiano knows how to portray the craziness of teen drama. With an unflappable deadpan and killer belt, we dream of seeing her plot to make Regina smell like a foot.
Gideon Glick (Damian) - Currently earning raves for his lead turn in the Broadway play Significant Other, Glick can go big when it comes to sassy or awkward comedy, but also break your heart as well. To put it plainly, he is beautiful no matter what you say and a perfect stage Damian.
Laura Benanti (Ms. Norbury) - Widely considered the funniest woman in musical theater, no dream-cast is complete without her showing up somewhere. If anybody was worthy to inherit Fey's glasses this Tony winner would proudly uphold her legacy.
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"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.
11 years ago, on July 10th, 2009, Colombian singer Shakira released the first single off her third studio album.
"She Wolf" is a synth-pop banger built on a B minor progression. It was, in many ways, an insane song, born out of the singer's own frustration and ennui.
Though the music was composed by John Hill and Sam Endicott, lead singer of post-punk band The Bravery, the lyrics were all Shakira's own. "[Shakira] contacted him (Hill), asking if he had any stuff," said Endicott. "We never had her in mind. We just made the thing independently of her, and then she liked it a lot, and she sang over it. She used some of the melodies we put in there and then wrote these crazy lyrics about being a werewolf. And that's how it happened."
Shakira - She Wolf www.youtube.com
There's no where for Laura Benanti to go but up. After taking some time off Broadway to focus on her TV career (The Sound of Music Live!, Nashville, Supergirl, Law & Order: SVU), she is eyeing her grand return to the Broadway stage as Amalia in She Loves Me, opposite Zachary Levi (Georg). The show is now in previews and opens next month (March 17). It is presented by the Roundabout Theatre Company and directed by Scott Ellis. As she prepares for the limited-run, she admits she is approaching this production a little bit differently. "I am vocalizing even more than usual. My role in this show is the most vocally demanding I have ever done," she shares with Popdust in a recent email. "So I'm trying to get into great vocal shape and stay that way."
"I feel so grateful to be returning to Broadway in this show and in this role. I have missed being on stage so much. It feels like coming home," she says. "[This] music is just extraordinary. The lyrics are perfect."
Coming off recent stints on ABC's soapy drama Nashville and CBS' action-packed Supergirl, she jokes, "I don't think I'm applying any superhero or country star wisdom to this particular role," before adding, "honestly, they are such different experiences."
While She Loves Me only runs for a short time (through June), she reminds herself "that every single night, there is someone in the audience seeing a Broadway show for the first time. And I do it for them," she says.
Previously, Benanti has delivered intoxicating stage performances in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, Gypsy (for which she won the 2008 Tony Award for Outstanding featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Gypsy Rose Lee, opposite Patti LuPone), The Wedding Singer, Nine, Into the Woods, Swing! and The Sound of Music.
During her arc on Supergirl, she quickly became a fan favorite. Looking back, she considers defining her experience. "I loved my experience on [the show]. The producers, cast, and crew are such extraordinary people and hard workers. I miss them!" On her most memorable moment on the show, she says, "My [SPOILER] death scene was pretty memorable. You don't forget getting stabbed through the heart with a kryptonite sword!"
Shows like Supergirl and Netflix's Jessica Jones dare to refocus and redefine female roles away from stereotypes. "I think the more we see women in diverse roles that color outside of the traditional lines, the better. I celebrate the differences between men and women, and I'm gratified to see both of the aforementioned shows kicking ass...lady style," Benanti says. "Hopefully, [fans] enjoy themselves, and stop thinking about the fact that they are watching 'women super heroes' and just enjoy watching 'super heroes.'"
Musically, Benanti recently issued the hilarious and thoughtful I Like Musicals, with all proceeds benefiting VH1's Save the Music Foundation (learn more here) and the fight to keep music in public schools. "I was thinking about how much I love my life [with that song], and how I wish I could go back in time and tell my musical theater loving, nerd of a self that everything was gonna be ok," she says of the track (which you can purchase here). "Then I realized, I can't go back in time and tell myself, but maybe I can help some people who might be feeling that right now."
She adds, "[Musicals] are a true American art form. I love the idea that when the spoken word is no longer sufficient enough to communicate, we break into song or dance!"
Could fans expect a I Like Musicals music video in the future? "That's my dream!" she concedes.
Following 2014's Carrie Underwood-starring The Sound of Music Live! (in which Benanti portrayed Elsa Schräder), countless live musicals have sprung up across numerous networks, including Grease Live!, Peter Pan Live!, The Wiz and the impending Hairspray Live! (arriving this December). Benanti hopes My Fair Lady or Mary Poppins are next, "because...Julie Andrews." Duh.
[PHOTO CREDIT: Jeffrey Staab]