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Interview: Kyla Stone & Patti Murin Give an Inside Look Into Starring as 'Elle' and 'Paulette' in LEGALLY BLONDE at The Muny

Interview: Kyla Stone & Patti Murin Give an Inside Look Into Starring as 'Elle' and 'Paulette' in LEGALLY BLONDE at The Muny

Stone and Murin discuss the rehearsal process, working with dogs on stage, their favorite parts about their characters, and much more.

The Muny's production of Legally Blonde The Musical beings performances tonight, July 25! Directed by Maggie Burrows, choreographed by William Carlos Angulo, with associate chorographer Shanita Talmor, assistant choreographer UJ Mangune and music direction by Lon Hoyt, the production is set to run through July 31, 2022.

Legally Blonde The Musical stars Kyla Stone (Elle Woods), Fergie L. Phillipe (Emmett Forrest), Patti Murin (Paulette), Sean Allan Krill (Professor Callahan), Hayley Podschun (Brooke Wyndham), Kelsey Anne Brown (Margot), Gabi Campo (Serena), Kerri George (Enid), Khailah Johnson (Pilar) and Dan Tracy (Warner Huntington III) are Olivia Kaufmann (Vivienne Kensington), Mackenzie Bell (Standby for Paulette and Brooke Wyndham), Gregory Lee Rodriguez (Standby for Emmett Forrest) and Dave Schoonover (Standby for Professor Callahan).

BroadwayWorld spoke with Kyla Stone and Patti Murin about the rehearsal process, working with dogs on stage, their favorite parts about their characters, performing at The Muny, and much more.

Kyla, how does it feel to be starring as Elle Woods in The Muny's production of Legally Blonde?

Kyla: An absolute whirlwind and so surreal! I remember watching The Search for Elle Woods when I was younger and being so invested in who was going to win. Also being absolutely enthralled by the MTV live recording, which was right around the time when they introduced DVRs and I had that bad boy on ours for YEARS and would just watch it religiously. This show already means so much to me because it truly was a benchmark in my younger years, and then to get to share this experience with our amazing company -and very soon with Muny audiences! Elle is also a character that resonates with so many people in her resilience, and also in her discovery of self-love and self-worth. She gets to go on this immense journey and find that there is power in staying true to yourself and helping others.

Patti, what were your first thoughts when you learned you would be playing Paulette in The Muny's Legally Blonde?

Patti: I was so excited for a new kind of challenge in my stage career, in a story that I've loved since the movie came out 21 years ago. It's been so much fun to reinvent Paulette, since I could never even ATTEMPT to be either Jennifer Coolidge or Orfeh.

Patti, you are returning to The Muny, but Kyla, this is your first production with The Muny! How does it feel for you both to be a part of this production?

Patti: After the last few years, this is my proper return to the stage since Frozen, and to do it at The Muny, my home away from home, has been so comfortable and joyful.

Kyla: I was legitimately counting down the days until I got here. Everyone in the theatre community talks about performing at The Muny and what an amazing and magical space it is to perform in, so I was already super excited to begin with. There's already something really special about performing outdoors and let me tell you, when we got to walk onstage on our first day of rehearsal I could already feel that Muny magic. I think also just getting the chance to play a character that I have wanted to play since I was little and to get to do it at THE MUNY?! Feels so unreal and is the perfect place to celebrate a show that I love so much.

What has the preparation and rehearsal process been like for you both?

Kyla: I must shout out tiny human me for being obsessed with the soundtrack and learning everyone's parts. I don't know if young Kyla knew she'd be playing Elle one day, but her capacity to pick up lyrics saved me on a good chunk of memorization. I also was very fortunate to have a layoff from touring in Anastasia to sit down, print out my script, and get to work on tracking Elle's journey and how her motivations and goals change as we progress in the musical.

The rehearsal process was so electrifying. I mean it when I say I am truly blessed to work with Maggie, Lon, and William who are building this show with us and support all our strengths and are rooting for every single person on that stage. I also am in complete awe of our ensemble and swings- they picked up choreography faster than the speed of light, learned music like nobody's business, and also juggle so many different characters all while supporting this story.

Patti: In true Muny style, fast and furious! Ten days to put up an entire show is not a lot, and I am in awe of Kyla and our ensemble, who have never ending amounts of choreography and music and costume changes to learn. I'm only in a few numbers, so I was able to watch a lot of the rehearsals, and watching this team work just never gets old.

What are your favorite things about each of these characters?

Patti: I love that Paulette is so vulnerable, but is still able to have a positive outlook for the people she cares about.

Kyla: I have always been drawn to Elle's kindness and her ability to raise others and let them shine. She is so unapologetic about being herself, throws herself into a goal without any hesitation, and we both just happen to love pink! She is also one of our first #girlbosses that doesn't get ahead by tearing other people, especially other women, down, and I am so excited for young people to get to see that represented onstage. I also have to give mad love and kudos to Reese Witherspoon, because she created a character that feels so honest and genuine and universal. Anyone and everyone can be Elle Woods and I hope my interpretation reflects that same joy and optimism that she carries herself with.

Do you have a favorite moment or song in the show?

Kyla: It's so hard to pick just one! I will say, I find myself in love with the moments when I get to share the stage with Fergie, Patti, and Sean and watch them do their thing. They are true artists, so personable, and truly TRULY out of this world human beings that I feel very fortunate to work with. I am also in love with Elle's iconic entrance into Harvard with Bruiser. My Bruiser, Ricky, is the sweetest 8-pound chihuahua and knows the show better than anyone. He has been giving me the most adorable, unplanned face licks to me in that scene and I get the giggles every time it happens.

Patti: I've never worked with a dog onstage before, and I am having THE BEST time working with Myrtle, the bulldog who plays Rufus. She is perhaps the most professional actress on this stage.

What would you like to say to audience members who are planning to come and see The Muny's Legally Blonde?

Patti: DO IT! It's an instant shot of endorphins, but it's also a gorgeous story about falling in love with and being true to yourself.

Kyla: Be prepared to have an absolute blast! I hope that people fall in love with our interpretation of these iconic characters, find themselves grooving in their seats, and just ready to feel all the feels. You are in for some awesome surprises, mind-blowing choreography, and a company that is pouring a lot of pink (and heart) into this beloved show.

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