A screen still from ‘Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.’ (YouTube)
The girls are back, time after time! Romy and Michele: The Musical, a new production based off of the iconic 1997 buddy comedy Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, will receive an industry presentation on October 14 and 15 at New 42 Studios in New York City. The musical originally appeared at 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle in 2017, but since then, the production has undergone significant libretto changes and cast new performers in principal roles.
Robin Schiff, the original film’s screenwriter, pens then book for this musical adaptation. Gwendolyn Sanford and Brandon Jay (“Orange Is the New Black”) have written a new score inspired by pop songs of the 1980s and 1990s. Peggy Hickey (Anastasia) choreographs the workshop, and Scott Pask (Waitress, Mean Girls) is on board for scenic design. The workshop is directed by Kristin Hanggi (Rock of Ages).
The workshop next week will star new cast members including Brittney Johnson as Romy, Leana Rae Concepcion as Michele, Jordan Kai Burnett as Heather Mooney, Michael Starr as Billy Christianson, Chad Burris as Toby Walters, Telly Leung as Sandy Frink, and Tess Soltau as Christie Masters. The ensemble will include Zuri Washington, Erin Ramirez, Anju Cloud, Shea Gomez, Shina Ann Morris, Sissy Bell, Louis Williams Jr., Sam Hamashima, and Jorrel Javier.
The original Romy and Michele film starred Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow in the titular roles; Janeane Garofalo and Tony Award winner Alan Cumming appeared as well. The plot revolves around two 28-year-old women who appear to have not achieved much success in life and decide to invent fake careers to impress former classmates at their ten-year high school reunion. The characters are taken from the stage play Ladies Room, which also featured Kudrow.
Whether the presentation will lead to another regional run or a Broadway transfer is still to be determined.