BWW TV: Backstage at Legally Blonde
Natalie Joy Johnson takes BroadwayWorld.com behind the scenes "Backstage at Blonde", the young singer and actress is making her Broadway debut in the hit musical Legally Blonde. As the cast celebrates the show's continued success, Natalie shares the inside scoop on what it means to be a 'Blonde' on Broadway.
The musical opened on Broadway at the Palace Theatre (1564 Broadway, between 46th and 47th Streets) on April 29, 2007 following preview performances that began on April 3, 2007. At the helm of the creative team of Legally Blonde is Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, who makes his Broadway directorial debut and also choreographs. Music and lyrics are by both Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin, and the book is by Heather Hach. James Sampliner serves as music director.
On Monday, June 2, 2008, MTV premiered the reality show "Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods" to find a talented singer/ actress/ dancer to take over for Broadway star and Tony Nominated current lead Laura Bell Bundy. The eight episode series (currently airing on Mondays at 10PM EST) provides a genuine glimpse into what it takes to headline a musical as the contestants receive direction from and ace challenges provided by Legally Blonde The Musical's creative team. Hosted by Haylie Duff (Hairspray on Broadway) with special guest appearances by Broadway cast members, creatives and vocal coach Seth Rudetsky, the show's judges are casting director Bernard Telsey; Legally Blonde The Musical's Tony Award nominated book writer Heather Hach; and original Broadway cast member of Legally Blonde The Musical Paul Canaan. The judges and Jerry Mitchell - not America - will decide who the next "Elle Woods" will be. The reality show represents the musical's second venture with MTV. In the fall of 2007, MTV aired Legally Blonde The Musical in its entirety to stellar ratings and was subsequently nominated for two 2007-2008 Daytime Emmy Awards.
Joining Laura Bell Bundy (through July 20th) in the cast, are Christian Borle as Emmett, Orfeh as Paulette, Richard H. Blake as Warner, Kate Shindle as Vivienne, Nicolette Hart as Brooke, and Michael Rupert as Professor Callahan. Also featured in the cast are: Tracy Jai Edwards, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Kate Rockwell,Natalie Joy Johnson, Nathan Balser, April Berry, Paul Canaan, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Amber Efé, Tiffany Engen, Stephanie Fittro, Gaelen Gilliland, Jason Gillman, Becky Gulsvig, Manuel Herrera,Andy Karl, Nick Kenkel, Rusty Mowery, Emily Padgett, Kevin Pariseau, Jody Reynard, Matthew Risch, Bryce Ryness and Dani Spieler.
Legally Blonde THE MUSICAL earned seven 2007 Tony Award nominations, ten 2007 Drama Desk Award Nominations, a 2007 Outer Critics Circle Award and the chorus of the musical was honored by Actors' Equity Association's Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs (ACCA) with the first ever ACCA Award. The musical also ranked in the top ten list of the most requested Ticketmaster "Arts & Theatre Events" for 2007.
Natalie Joy Johnson is making her Broadway debut as Enid Hoopes, the law school lesbian, in Legally Blonde the Musical. Other NY credits include bare: a pop opera (Nadia), But I'm a Cheerleader (Sinead), Joy (Kegan), and the national tour of Godspell (Bless The Lord). Her concert act, Natalie Joy Johnson with Our Lady J and the Pink Champagne Orchestra featuring the Bubblies has been selling out shows at Joe's Pub, Ars Nova, and the Cutting Room. www.nataliejoyjohnson.com
The Legally Blonde Original Cast Recording is produced by Grammy and Oscar winner Joel Moss, Sh-K-Boom / Ghostlight Records President Kurt Deutsch, composers/lyricists Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin, and Executive Produced by Kurt Deutsch and Bill Rosenfield. www.sh-k-boom.com
Legally Blonde is produced on Broadway by Hal Luftig, Fox Theatricals and Dori Berinstein, in association with MGM Onstage, Darcie Denkert and Dean Stolber.
All tickets ($121.50-$41.50) can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 212-307-4100, or in person at the Palace Theatre box office, 1564 Broadway. The performance schedule is Wednesday - Saturday at 8pm, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and Sunday at 7pm.
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From This Author Eddie Varley