Pennsylvania’s own Tina Fey came back home to chat cheesesteaks, Upper Darby Summer Stage and, of course, her musical “Mean Girls.”
Fey, who is from Upper Darby, was at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia to promote ticket sales for the musical, which will be performed at the nearby Academy of Music Nov. 19 through Dec. 1 as part of the Kimmel Center’s Broadway Series.
Around a hundred people came out to see Fey chat with her lifelong friend Damian Holbrook (who is also the inspiration for the character of the same name in the movie “Mean Girls.”)
Here are our 10 takeaways from the event. Not included is how much she enjoyed doing Summer Stage as a child. Trust us, she liked being part of Upper Darby Summer Stage a lot.
‘Mean Girls’ is about being fearless. To quote Fey, the message is “to not be afraid to be yourself and be different. Also to not try to lift yourself up by tearing someone else down, because it’s a pointless endeavor.” She recalled how she first had that realization her self, as she was gossiping with friends about people she didn’t like and then was struck by what she was doing — just vomiting out poisonous words. She described her thought process as being like “Oh, I’m eating poison and I should just stop.”
Fey is active in the casting process. She even helped cast this tour. She found Mariah Rose Faith, who is playing Regina George in the tour, on YouTube. Faith was covering “Watch the World Burn.”
Lindsay Lohan has not seen ‘Mean Girls’ the musical. Neither has Rachel McAdams (who played queen bee Regina George). But a lot of the other original movie cast members have, including Jonathan Bennett (who played dreamboat Aaron Samuels) and Lacey Chabert (who played Regina’s lemming Gretchen Wieners).
She didn’t believe people when they said writing a musical takes 5 years. Fey shared that she assumed it’d be done in a matter of days — after all, she used to write for “Saturday Night Live.” Well, turns out it did take 5 years.
She’s not mad about the ‘sequel.’ “Mean Girls 2” was a TV film that came out in 2011. It was not good. Tina Fey may not be mad about it, but we are — as is Holbrook.
Fey thinks Philadelphia and its no-nonsense attitude shaped who she is as a writer. “I feel like everyone here has a strong bull [expletive] sensor, which I think makes for good comedy and good comedy writers,” she said. “It has definitely informed the kind of writer I am.”
Her Philadelphia team of choice is the Flyers. And that Philadelphia Magazine photo with Gritty dressed as her from the cover of her book “Bossypants?” She loved it.
She prefers Jim’s to Pat’s or Geno’s. Tina Fey isn’t the only celebrity with cheesesteak opinions though. Check out our list of celeb-recommended cheesesteak joints.
Scrapple? She digs it. But only once a year, she says. She orders it from Uncle Bill’s Pancake House in Cape May.
Tina Fey just learned what Hoagiefest is and she wants to be the Grand Marshal. Wawa, get on that stat.
“Mean Girls” the musical will be performed at the Academy of Music (240 S. Broad St., Philadelphia) Nov. 19 through Dec. 1. Tickets are currently on sale and an be purchased online at kimmelcenter.org, by calling 215-893-1999 or in person at the box office at the Kimmel Center. Ticket prices start at $20 and go up to $129. There are group discounts for groups of 10 or more, which can be purchased by calling 215-790-5883.
The Kimmel Center’s Broadway Series is robust this season. The season includes “Hamilton” Aug. 27-Nov. 17 at the Forrest Theatre, “Rent” Oct. 18-20, “Come From Away” Oct. 22-Nov. 3 and “The Spongebob Musical” Dec. 3-15.