Community Players Goes Legally Blonde

by Bob McLaughlin, John Lieder, and Kristi Zimmerman
Oh My God! Community Players’ first musical of the 2015-2016 season is Legally Blonde, which has been described as a Cinderella story where Cinderella doesn’t get the prince, she gets smart.

Cinderella in this case is Elle Woods, a California girl who seems to have everything—she comes from money, she has a great sense of style, she’s president of her sorority, she’s blonde! She also has a broken heart, because her boyfriend has dumped her: he’s going to Harvard Law School in preparation for a great career in politics, and he needs, as he says, a Jackie, not a Marilyn. Elle manages to get into Harvard Law as well, and she heads to Cambridge determined to get her boyfriend back, and maybe learn some law.

Legally Blonde is based on a novel, by Amanda Brown, and the 2001 film, which starred Reese Witherspoon and was so successful it inspired two sequels. The musical opened at the Palace Theater in New York on April 29, 2007, with a book by Heather Hatch and music and lyrics by the husband and wife team of Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. The Broadway production featured Laura Bell Bundy, the original Amber in Hairspray, as Elle; Christian Borle, who has since won two Tony Awards; Andy Karl, who became Rocky on Broadway; and Kate Shindle, a former Miss America (and Miss Illinois) who is now president of Actors’ Equity. The 2009 London production won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Brett Cottone takes on this hilarious musical as director, with Rusty Russell as music director, Wendy Baugh as choreographer, Alan Wilson as producer, Jennifer Stevens as assistant director, and  Sally Baugh as assistant producer.

The youthful, talented and extremely energetic cast features Breeann Dawson (Elle Woods), Jacob Deters (Emmett Forrest), Aaron Wiessing (Warner Huntington III), Sharon Russell (Paulette Buonufonte), Kim Behrens Kaufman (Brooke Wyndam), Joe McDonald (Professor Callahan), Colleen Rice (Vivienne Kensington), Erica Watts (Margot), Felicia Jiardina (Pilar), Melissa Freese (Serena), Lisa Groves (Enid Hoopes), Alex Knightwright (Kyle), Cornelius (Bruiser the Dog) and Archer (Rufus the Dog).  Company members include: Kourtney Adams, Caroline Asplund, Wendy Baugh, Nick Benson, Billy Blue, Kallie Bundy, Anastasia Ferguson, Kyle Holliday, Brandon Hollowell, Aimee Kerber, Kylie Ashton Maurer, Vicky Morr, Tyler Morrow, Scott Myers, Maggie Paloucek, Chris Tervin, Austin Travis and Grace Winterland.

Rounding out the creative staff are Matt Hamack (lighting designer), Rich Plotkin (Sound Engineer), Ashley Moffitt (Costume Designer), Dorothy Mundy and Jay Hartzler (Props Designers), Judy Stroh and Jake Rathman (Stage Managers), Chris Terven and Brett Cottone (Scenic Design), Billy Blue and Vicky Morr (Dance Captains), Sally Baugh and Teri Grampp (House Managers), Chris Terven (Master Set Builder). Aaron Wiessing, Brett Cottone, Felicia Jiardina, Aimee Kerber and Breeann Dawson worked with Terven on set construction.

The pay-what-you-can Preview performance is November 5, with regular performances November 6-8, 12-15 & 19-22, 2015.


Photos by John Lieder