MoCo Arts High School Musical Theatre students will have you thinking pink when they present their production of “Legally Blonde JR.” on May 4 and 5 in The Founder’s Theatre at MoCo Art in Keene.
The fun and upbeat musical follows the adventures of a sorority girl named Elle Woods – a Gemini with a double Capricorn moon – who tries to win her ex-boyfriend back by earning a Harvard law degree. Featuring some big, energetic dance numbers, the show will be performed by MoCo students in grades 9-12.
“It’s been so fun to be able to work on this show with such energetic and supportive people,” said Eliza Holmes, a junior at Keene High School who is playing the role of Elle Woods in the show. “I’ve been lucky to be able to play the role of Elle — a sassy, determined young woman who does not let anyone bring her down.
“This show is full of funny lines, and I think the audience will not be able to contain their laughter!”
Delta Nu sorority president Elle Woods seems to have it all: good looks, a relationship with the “campus catch” and great taste in clothes. However, her life is turned upside-down when her boyfriend Warner dumps her in an attempt to start getting “serious” about his future and attend Harvard Law.
Determined to win him back, Elle uses a lot of hard work and some charm to get into Harvard Law so she can prove to Warner that she’s serious enough for him. Once at school, she is challenged by her peers, professors and her ex, but with the help of some new friends, Elle realizes her potential and sets out to prove herself to the world.
“The show has been so much fun to work on with these amazing young actors,” said Marty Hennum, artistic director of theatre and C.A.K.E. Summer Camp at MoCo, and director of MoCo’s high school musical. “Although at first glance, ‘Legally Blonde JR.’ may look a little silly and full of ‘fluff,’ the story presents a wonderful message about not judging a book by its cover. Beneath all of Elle’s pink accessories is a very smart and thoughtful woman.”
With a book by Heather Hach, music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, “Legally Blonde JR”. is based on the book by Amanda Brown and the hit Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy. “Legally Blonde the Musical” opened at Broadway’s Palace Theatre in April 2007, starring Laura Bell Bundy as the iconic Elle Woods.
“’Legally Blonde JR.’ is an abbreviated version of the Broadway show,” Hennum continued. “It will run about 90 minutes as opposed to the two-hour Broadway musical.”
Hennum went on to explain some of the unique challenges to this production, primarily because the story takes place in so many different places – from the USC campus to the hallowed halls of Harvard. “The show is technically challenging with so many different locations to think about,” she said. “Besides that, there are two dogs in the show. I’ve worked with live animals before — not a fan.”
She may opt for the plush variety this time around.
MoCo Arts’ High School Musical Theatre students will present “Legally Blonde JR.” Saturday, May 4, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 5, at 2 p.m. in The Founder’s Theatre at MoCo Arts, 40 Roxbury St. in Keene. Tickets are $14 for general admission and can be purchased at MoCo Arts, or by calling 357-2100. There is no dress code, but please don’t wear white after Labor Day.
“Legally Blonde JR.” (rated PG) is sponsored in part by Silver Direct and is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY, 10019. Phone: 212-541-4684; Fax: 212-397-4684; MTIShows.com For more information about this performance or about MoCo Arts, visit moco.org.