Former Northwest School of the Arts student Reneé Rapp will take on the starring role of Regina George in the Broadway musical “Mean Girls.”
The 19-year-old joined “Mean Girls” creator Tina Fey on “The Today Show” on Tuesday morning to make the announcement. During the show, Fey praised Rapp, saying, “We had these auditions to find the next generation of people. And Reneé came in and we were like, ‘Ohhh, that’s it.’ “
Rapp’s star has quickly been on the rise.
Just last year, she won best actress in the Charlotte-area high school theater competition, the Blumeys, named for host Blumenthal Performing Arts. That win sent her to the national high school theater awards program, the Jimmys, which she also won.
On its Twitter feed, “Mean Girls” announced, “Her name is Reneé Rapp and she is a massive deal.”
And the Blumenthal promptly tweeted its congratulations to Rapp for “landing the Broadway role of a lifetime!”
Fey wrote the hit 2004 “Mean Girls” movie starring Lindsay Lohan as Cady, who was navigating the halls of high school presided over by Rachel McAdams as queen bee Regina, leader of “the Plastics” clique.
The Broadway production launched last year.
On The Today Show, Rapp said she has been a longtime fan of the movie, and playing Regina felt “pretty surreal.”
On Broadway, Rapp will replace Taylor Louderman as Regina.
Rapp will appear in the show from June 7-26 before taking over the role fulltime on Sept. 10, according to Playbill.com.
In a statement, “Mean Girls” producer Lorne Michaels said, “We believe (Rapp) will be a force to be reckoned with as our new Regina George,” Broadwayworld.com reported.
Last year, Rapp won a Blumey Award for her portrayal of Sandra in “Big Fish.” She recently told the Observer, “(The Blumeys) completely changed my path. I thought I was going to go to college and wasn’t sure that I would ever pursue theater. But after the Blumeys came the Jimmys, and shortly after that I had an agent and was getting work in New York.”
Rapp will soon be in New York City alongside another Blumey winner, Eva Noblezada, who also parlayed her work at the Jimmys into Broadway success. She is up for her second Tony Award starring in “Hadestown.”