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Drew Barrymore Rom-Com Never Been Kissed Gets a Queer Makeover Onstage 

Drew Barrymore Rom-Com Never Been Kissed Gets a Queer Makeover Onstage 

Never Been Kissed

Good Trouble's Emma Hunton directs a parody of the '90s rom-com that centers more diverse and queer storylines. 

Favorite flicks of the '90s and early aughts that mostly centered straight, white people have been getting musical parody versions that feature more diverse casts and queer storylines at Los Angeles's gem Rockwell Table and Stage for years now. And the latest rom-com to get the Rockwell treatment is 1999's Never Been Kissed, which starred Drew Barrymore as an investigative reporter who goes back to high school disguised as a student for a story about teen social structures. Barrymore played Josie Gellar, who not only gets a shot at the story but a second chance at being popular in high school since she lived with the moniker "Josie Grossie" the first time around.

The hilarious parody of the film features music ranging from Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" to the Smiths' "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" and stars Lana McKissack as Josie, Matt Shively (The Purge) as her brother Rob, who helps her infiltrate the popular clique, Nathan Moore as Sam, the dreamy English teacher on whom she develops a crush, and Erron Crawford as the popular guy Billy (who in this version appears to have some burgeoning awareness of his fluid sexual identity).

Rockwell regular and Good Trouble star Emma Hunton directs the show. And like she did with last summer's parody of A League of Their Own, Hunton ensures there is some queer representation. Beyond Billy's nods to his sexuality, there's a little love story that develops between L.A. Times colleagues Anita (Amanda Sechtman) and Gayle (played by Rockwell multi-alumna Natalie Masini, who has starred in Scissorhands and A League of Their Own). Once they reveal their attraction to one another, Anita and Gayle launch into a rendition of Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is."

Watch a snippet below.

"I'm so excited to tackle one of my favorite throwbacks, Never Been Kissed, and I can't wait for audiences to go back to high school with us," Hunton said in a release about the show. "Rockwell has a signature flair that hilariously writes a love letter to the material on stage every night, and I'm beyond honored to share our story of discovering what it means to be a woman with a voice that demands to be heard. It's gonna be ... totally Rufus"

Other songs featured in the show include Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Sixpence None the Richer's cover of "There She Goes," Oasis's "Wonderwall," and Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days."

Get tickets for Never Been Kissed: The Unauthorized Musical.

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Tracy E. Gilchrist