CRT's LEGALLY BLONDE Opens Tomorrow
Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) will present Legally Blonde the Musical onstage at the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theater beginning tomorrow, April 24, and continuing through May 4. The 2007 winner of London's Olivier Award for Best Musical, stars Courtney Hammond as the intelligent, self-assured and fashion conscious Elle Woods. For tickets and information, call 860-486-2113 and visit www.crt.uconn.edu.
The recipient of seven Tony nominations, Legally Blonde the Musical features a book by Heather Hach, music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin and is based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Motion Picture. The entertaining, fast-paced, and high-energy production is directed by Gerry McIntyre, winner of the 2013 CT Critics Circle Award for Best Choreography for CRT's production of Hairspray and features Nicole Lewis as Paulette Bonafonte and David Adkins as Professor Callahan.
Seriously blonde Elle Woods (Courtney Hammond) thinks she is about to become engaged to her Harvard Law School-bound boyfriend, Warner Huntington III but he has other plans and decides to break up with her because she's not serious enough. When Elle goes into a sulk her sorority sisters inspire her to follow her man to Harvard. Elle wins over the Harvard admission officers after revealing her true motivation: love. Elle soon discovers how much she's bitten off when she's kicked out of class the first day but she's is inspired to keep trying by her beautician Paulette (Nicole Lewis). Under the tutelage of frumpy teaching assistant Emmett Forrest (Colby Lewis), Elle triumphs when she lands a legal internship on the trial of the century under the renowned Professor Callahan (David Adkins). With some help from newfound friends and her Chihuahua Bruiser, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style. This all singing, all dancing romantic comedy is about knowing who you are and celebrating what you've got! The verdict? This much fun shouldn't be legal!
"I did not see Legally Blonde: The Musical on Broadway till the closing day. I didn't think it was my cup of tea - just silly, very pink and saccharin musical theatre. Now after seeing it, directing and choreographing it; I find I was wrong. It is a very witty, very pink and very inspiring musical. It is a modern day fairy tale. Our heroine Elle Woods breaks down stereotypes, discovers female empowerment and finds true love. There is no doubting the infectious fun running through this musical! Legally Blonde proves it's more than just a guilty pleasure!" said director Gerry McIntyre.
The full creative potential of UConn's Puppet Arts program will also be on display in the show. The production's two dogs, Elle's Chihuahua "Bruiser" and Paulette's bulldog "Rufus" will be original puppets designed by MFA candidate Carianne Huff.
"When I began designing the dog puppets, Gerry McIntyre and I had discussed making them as realistic as possible. This meant realism in the craftsmanship as well as the manipulation. It's was a great challenge designing and building mechanisms that can be easily controlled with as little overt movement as possible from the actor. Our goal is to create the illusion that the dogs have a life of their own by limiting the exposure of the actors' involvement manipulating the puppets. I am confident that the fabrication and execution will be successful in convincing the audience that the dogs have a life of their own," said Carianne Huff, who is designing and building multiple puppets, each designed for different interactions with their actors throughout the show.
Photo by Gerry Goodstein