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‘Mean Girls’ musical actor says fans can expect film’s iconic lines and more

Grey Henson plays the “Mean Girls” musical’s Damian Hubbard.

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The "Mean Girls" Broadway production stars Barrett Wilbert Weed (Janis Sarkisian), Erika Henningsen (Cady Heron) and Grey Henson (Damian Hubbard). Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Grey Henson is the “Mean Girls” musical’s Damian Hubbard, aka Janis and Cady’s “too gay to function” BFF … but that’s only okay when they say it.

The actor, who made his Broadway debut in the Tony-winning “Book of Mormon,” has already seen first-hand the significance behind his latest role, being hit by a flood of pink-wearing fans during the production’s D.C. run last fall.

“I had multiple Damians come up to me to say, ‘it was so lovely to see someone like me represented on stage in a positive way,’” Henson, 27, says.

His “Mean Girls” character isn’t in the core clique -- aka the Plastics led by Regina George (Taylor Louderman), Gretchen Weiners (Ashley Park), Karen Smith (Kate Rockwell) and newest member Cady Heron (Erika Henningsen). But, that’s precisely what makes him so relatable to the Tina Fey-created script’s fans.

“I think the movie and the musical are a timeless high school encapsulated experience,” he says. “I watched it at least once a month growing up with my best friends. It was the first time I’d seen an openly gay character my age on screen.”

Henson, who grew up in Georgia and moved to Manhattan four years ago, says he’s watched the movie about 45 times to date (who hasn’t?!), so landing the fetch role was nothing short of a dream come true.

Spending his high school years at a theater school down south, Henson recalled avoiding the whole real-life “mean girl” saga by simply being a friendly face around campus. He was even crowned his school’s prom king. Still, he saw much of himself reflected in the character he now gets to portray on stage.

“I was always amazed, and still am, by his confidence. I think it’s great to see someone who’s as unapologetically himself as he is,” he says. “I related to it in a way I never thought I would to something … You don’t often see gay men on screen that don’t have chiseled bodies and multiple boyfriends.”

Along with being a “non-cookie-cutter” representation of the LGBTQ community, the character is beloved for his iconic lines like “She doesn’t even go here!” and “You go, Glen Coco!”

And, yes, those wannabe Plastic-pleasing moments and more will pop up in the Broadway show.

“My favorite line is definitely, ‘she doesn’t even go here!’ When I say it on stage, I don’t even have to put any work into that moment because it’s like people are waiting for it,” he says. “I’m wearing a blue hoodie and you can feel the room be like, ‘when’s he gonna say it?’”

The “Mean Girls” musical balances enough of the old stuff fans love with “new and improved” dialogue that will surprise. In the production, Henson spends all of his stage time alongside the angsty Janis (Barrett Wilbert Weed), which is most fitting. His scenes involve several dance numbers, including a new tap scene added for the New York City run.

Now in previews, “Mean Girls” officially opens at the August Wilson Theatre theater on April 8. Fans who don’t have tickets can try to nab discounted seats through the daily ticket lottery at meangirlsonbroadway.com/lottery. Or, drop by the box office wearing pink at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays to pick up two $42.50 tickets.

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