“Legally Blonde, the Musical” is a fun show with catchy tunes and energetic dance numbers, say students who will perform it on the Milton High School auditorium stage this month.
Adding to the fun locally will be Milton Police Chief Scott Marquardt, who appears in the minor role of father of the lead character, Elle Woods.
“My husband can sing,” confided the show’s director, Julie Marquardt.
“Blonde” is the 2007 Broadway hit based on the 2001 movie comedy starring Reese Witherspoon. It opens Friday, Nov. 15, for one weekend only.
Also fun for the local crowd will be Milton math teacher Michael Dorn and several students’ parents as Harvard admissions panelists.
The show also features two local dogs, Daphne as Bruiser, Elle’s purse dog, and Peevo, who plays a hairdresser’s dog, Rufus.
Grace Ruggles, a sophomore, plays our hero Elle, who applies to Harvard Law School so she can try to win back a boyfriend.
People see Elle as the stereotypical dumb blonde, Ruggles said.
“She is a bit ditzy, but she’s actually insanely smart, and nobody realizes this until the end of Act 1,” Ruggles said.
“She’s so charismatic, and she cares so much for other people, and everybody judges her,” Ruggles said. “They really don’t think highly of her (until later).”
Through the struggle, Elle learns about herself and life, and she learns how to draw men’s gazes in the fun—if not very feminist—song “Bend and Snap,” sung by her best friend/hairdresser Paulette Buonufonte.
In the end, Elle realizes she is her own woman with her own dreams who can do what she needs to do, director Marquardt said.
“I think it gives a great message, especially to young ladies,” she said.
Marquardt said she is working with a strong cast, “a musical director’s dream.”
Sam Munger plays Emmet Forrest, a Harvard Law grad who becomes Elle’s friend and then something more.
Munger said the musical goes more deeply into the characters than the movie did.
“A lot of the story ties back to defying expectations people put on you and just making the most of your position, of where you are and who is surrounding you, doing your best with what you have and enjoying it, not regretting it and making the most of it,” Munger said.
Gracie Schoen, a senior, plays Paulette, the hairdresser who forms a friendship with Elle.
“Paulette is kind of the comic relief,” Schoen said.
She makes jokes out of everything, “I think honestly, to make herself feel better sometimes,” Schoen said.
“Blonde” follows three years of Milton musicals that are older than most students’ parents: “Bye, Bye Birdie” (debuted 1960), Hello Dolly” (1964) and “Oklahoma!” (1943).
Students seem to like doing one from the 21st century.
“It’s such a fun show. I feel like everybody in the audience can relate to at least one of these characters,” Ruggles said. “… The dancing is insane. It’s so much fun to do.”
“Even if you’ve seen the movie, if you come see the musical, it’ll be different enough to experience something new,” Marquardt said.