1. Lea Michele
Plays Wendla, the female lead, star-crossed lover of Melchior.
Will be 21 in August. Raised in New York. Has been with the show for seven years—“since the start.” You may have also spotted her in Les Misérables, Ragtime, or Fiddler on the Roof. On the sex onstage: “To see kids in the audience that are the same age as we are still shocked by some of the stuff we do just goes to show that there’s something that’s going to affect everyone.” That diamond ring on her finger: “No, no, no. Not engaged. This is my mother’s ring. It’s three stones—for me, my mom, and my dad—and it reminds me of them when I’m here.” On her iPod: “Ms. Dolly. I’m such a dork, but I love Dolly Parton and I’m proud of it.”
7. Remy Zaken
Plays Thea, in pigtails.
Age 17. With the show for a year. From Weston, Connecticut, but has had an apartment here since November, when she got mono and her parents decided the commute was too much. Likes needlepoint. Shops at Abercrombie Kids—“I can’t fit into adult jeans, because I’m so small.” Favorite movie: “Mean Girls!” Memorable parental clash: “My favorite Website is Facebook. I’m on it all the time. My mom once threatened to block the site and I cried. Sad, I know.”