Mean Girls has been painting Broadway pink since it hit the stage in late 2017. Now, after countless hilarious performances of the classic high school drama, the musical is getting a new Regina George, and she probably knows high school better than any of us.
That’s right, current queen bee, Taylor Louderman is currently taking a break while 19-year-old Renée Rapp has her first run as the leader of the plastics. But, if you’re a die-hard Taylor Louderman fan, don’t worry, she’ll be holding onto her roles as Regina until September 8. Renée will play the pretty-in-pink blonde until June 26 before returning officially starting September 10.
Renée is fresh out of high school, so going back to cafeteria drama, cliques, and wild social codes after just leaving them is probably a surprise. A lot of people aren’t surprised to find this talented teen taking this role, though. While she was in school, Renée balanced her high school career with her performance career. She acted in local theater productions and even wrote her own music. Her hard work paid off. In 2018, Renée won the Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actress.
Even though she’s taking on a role that has been played by icons from the start, Renée is trying to bring her own understanding of Mean Girls and the high school experience to her performance of the character. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Renée shared that Regina is a more complex character than viewers might think. “I wanted her intelligence to be something that was really glorified,” Renée said about her character. “There’s a lot to her. And [if I’m playing her] the whole time as this cruel human being, nobody’s going to want her to come back from being hit by a bus.”
Renée wants audiences to understand that Regina isn’t a flat bully-type character. She’s a person struggling to stay at the top of the delicate balance of high school drama, and she has made her moves with a purpose. From Regina’s approach to dieting to her understanding of what makes a person turn to meanness, it looks like Renée has a clear idea of what she wants Regina to be like on stage, and we can’t wait to see how she fits into the current lineup of outstanding Reginas.