Asked whether she thought the rest of the "Legally Blonde" ensemble may be resentful of Hanks' quick rise to fame, Gardner said if anything, they will probably appreciate the press the MTV exposure will give the musical.
"The cast is sophisticated and smart enough to know that this is how things are done nowadays," said Gardner. "And it helps draw attention to the show, which is a good thing for all of them."
And attention is certainly what Hanks and the rest of the cast received at the debut – screaming and cheering audience members almost muffled the lead's voice during her first song of the night.
During a champagne toast after the performance, "Legally Blonde" director Jerry Mitchell raised his glass to his new heroine.
"You had big pumps to fill," said Mitchell, referring to the classic patent leather pink heels Hanks wears for much of the show, "but you did it."