BY: JULIA SALKIN
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by this flawless casting! To celebrate the coronation of Broadway’s newest, blondest villain, Broadway Spin presents everything you need to know about up-and-comer Renee Rapp.
1. She’s 19 years old.
Yes, 19. At an age when most of us were just trying to make it through finals, Rapp will be leading a show on the Great White Way.
2. She won a “Jimmy Award.”
Rapp was the Best Actress winner at the 2018 National High School Musical Theatre Awards, also known as the “Jimmy Awards.” Rapp’s performance of “When It All Falls Down” from Chaplin secured her the Best Actress award at the Jimmys. Chaplin ran for 24 previews and 135 performances in the 2012-2013 season, and earned Rob McClure a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.
Rapp joins 2018 Best Actor winner Andrew Barth Feldman (currently starring in the title role of Dear Evan Hansen) in the growing list of Jimmy Awards nominees and winners currently performing in Broadway productions. Rapp will play opposite 2010 Jimmy Awards winner Kyle Selig, who originated the role of Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls.
3. She starts RIGHT AWAY!
Though her longterm engagement officially launches when Louderman departs on September 8th, Rapp will step in for a brief engagement from June 7th-26th, while Louderman takes a leave of absence. Meanwhile, Louderman, who received a Tony nomination last year for her portrayal of Queen Bee Regina George, can be seen in the upcoming CBS comedy pilot The Emperor of Malibu, from Crazy Rich Asians writer Kevin Kwan and David Sangalli.
4. Tina Fey has her back.
On Tuesday morning, Rapp was introduced as the new Regina by Mean Girls book writer Tina Fey on The Today Show. “It’s hard to imagine anyone can replace the great Taylor Louderman,” Fey said in a statement, “but just like high school, when one Queen Bee graduates, a new one spreads her wings. I think Reneé Rapp has everything it takes to thrill and terrify us all! I can’t wait to see her do this.”
5. She’s already a seasoned NYC performer — and counts Ben Platt amongst her BFFS (well, her friends).
6. She had plans before Broadway came calling.
Originally from Charlotte, NC, Rapp is a graduate of Charlotte Northwest School of the Arts. She had planned to attend Texas State University this fall, to study Musical Theatre.
Rapp joins the Broadway cast of Mean Girls led by Erika Henningsen as Cady Heron, Krystina Alabado as Gretchen Wieners, Kate Rockwell as Karen Smith, Barrett Wilbert Weed as Janis Sarkisian, Grey Henson as Damian Hubbard, Jennifer Simard as Mrs. Heron/Ms. Norbury/Mrs. George, Kyle Selig as Aaron Samuels, Cheech Manohar as Kevin Gnapoor and Rick Younger as Mr. Duvall. The cast also includes Stephanie Lynn Bissonnette, Maria Briggs, Collins Conley, DeMarius R. Copes, Kevin Cosculluela, Ashley De La Rosa, Devon Hadsell, Curtis Holland, Myles McHale, Chris Medlin, Brittany Nicholas, Becca Petersen, Brendon Stimson, Christine Shepard, Jake Swain, Riza Takahashi, Daryl Tofa, Danielle Wade, Bria Jené Williams, Gianna Yanelli and Iain Young.