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Wilson’s version of “Legally Blonde” should be on Broadway


I am a “Legally Blonde” fanatic. I’ve probably watched the movie about 25 times, and it never gets old; it’s a classic. The storyline is a basic one–a girl is an underdog, and in the end, she blows everyone away with her awesomeness and rises to the top. Wilson decided to do the show based off of the Broadway musical, and I promised myself I would not go to see it. I transferred to Wilson when I was a Sophomore, and I’ve heard about the musicals they put on; some were a hit and some were a miss. I was skeptical about going because I didn’t want to see Wilson students demolish the plot of my favorite movie. But after many days of friends begging me to see it with them, I went this past Friday. But I promised myself I wouldn’t like it. I guess promises are meant to be broken.

This is my first Wilson musical, so I had no idea what to expect. Surprisingly, the process of getting into the show can be a bit overwhelming for first-time audience members. A table, probably surrounded by about 60 people, stands in the very front of the auditorium entrance, selling tickets. I wouldn’t call it a line to buy tickets; more like a huge group of people pushing to get their ticket so they can stand in line. I don’t know who I handed my money off to or who gave me a ticket, I couldn’t see and I couldn’t care less. I just wanted to hurry up and buy one so I could stand in the never ending line of people trying to get in. The line stretched from the auditorium doors to the bathroom on the second floor, but surprisingly it moves pretty fast. We got in, got the only seats available in the back of the auditorium, and waited for the show to start.

First thing’s first: Joey Schulman (who plays the main character, Elle Woods) is a Wilson acting legend. Her portrayal of the bubbly and fashionable Woods was spot on, from the heartbreak of Warner Huntington III (played by Elliott Diner) breaking up with her to the hilarious “Bend…and Snap!” dance moves. To top it off, this girl can sing! She hit high notes that I could never imagine hitting, even on a good day. It looked like she wasn’t even trying; acting just came naturally to her. From now on-no matter what play Wilson puts on-if she’s acting in it, I’m there.

But let’s not dance around the supporting actors either, who played just a big a role as Schulman. I talked to Marney Harris, a fellow Junior, and actress in the play. “This is my third Wilson musical, but I’ve been doing my school’s musicals for years,” she says (she played Enid Hoopes). “She [Hoopes] is an outspoken feminist, lesbian, and Harvard student who at first, hates Elle, but slowly warms up to her.”In my opinion, Harris portrayed Hoopes perfectly. It’s clear all the actors had some kind of connection to the character they played, and that kind of dedication is not something you see every day.

Kudos to the Stage Crew! Often, Journalists praise those in front of the camera and forget to mention those behind the scenes, but I’d like to take time to thank the directors, choreographers, stage managers (shoutout to Athena Swaider!), lighting assistants, sound crew, and all others who were behind the scenes and helped with the production of Legally Blonde. Without their help, there would literally be no musical. The lighting was absolutely perfect; there was a beautiful mix of pink, blues, reds, and oranges that captured every member in the audience’s eyes. Every prop on stage matched what was happening in the play, and even all the way in the back of the room, I could clearly see every bit of detail and hard work that was put into the incredible set and costume design. And don’t even get me started on the whimsical and spectacular dancers! I don’t know how they did it, but every dancer was coordinated, they knew their placement, and it looked like everyone did the correct dance moves. Everyone looked very rehearsed, as they should. “The amount of rehearsal that was called for was significantly more than previous years”, says Harris. It looks like it-I was surprised to hear that rehearsal for the play took a few months because everyone knew their part, memorized their lines, and stayed in sync.

The one spiteful thing in the play was the volume of the mics. Sometimes, I could not hear what the actors were saying because the volume was too low. In some parts, it took away from the musical because there was dialogue that I could hear audience members in the front laugh at, but members in the back were not because we could not hear what the actors were saying. That said, it was still a great start to Wilson’s theater season. I’m excited to see what Wilson produces next. I would give this play a 9.5/10 because other than the sound difficulties, Wilson deserves it. For those that missed it, considering going to the next one because the love for the plays is evident in the actor’s attitudes. “I’m definitely planning on doing the play next year,” says Harris, “because they’re always a lot of fun and the work really pays off.”

 

PHOTO BY JACKSON FOX-BLAND

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