BWW Interview: LEGALLY BLONDE at The Pinewood Bowl In Lincoln
I have never been to the Pinewood Bowl in Lincoln, Nebraska. Lincoln, our neighbor to the west, is a short 40 minute drive from Omaha on a good day. When the Huskers are playing, that is another story.
The Pinewood Bowl amphitheater has roots back to 1928 with the gifting of the land by John F. Harris and design by architect Ernst H. Herminghouse. In the 1940's, the Pinewood Bowl became the site of Sunday night Singfests for servicemen stationed in Lincoln. Since 1949, the Pinewood Bowl has mounted a production each year, bringing the total to 71 shows.
This Thursday, July 12, number 72, LEGALLY BLONDE will take the stage.
Directing the show is Courtney Piccoli, a Mayor's Arts Award-winning Director/Choreographer who has been directing shows for the Pinewood Bowl for 14 years.
LEGALLY BLONDE the musical is based on the 2001 film and novel by Amanda Brown. It follows Elle Woods, a sorority girl who is dumped by her upper class boyfriend Warner. In a surprise reaction to this unhappy turn of events, Elle decides to go to Harvard Law School accompanied by her little dog and her suitcases of pink clothing. She ends up defending Brooke Wyndham, an exercise celebrity, in a murder trial. The results are worth waiting for.
Playing the blonde, but not as flighty as you might think, sorority girl is Carly Ann Moore, a Musical Theatre major at Oklahoma City University and veteran of the Pinewood Bowl.
Carly appeared in an earlier production of HAIRSPRAY and has returned to play the lead. I spoke with Carly last week about her background and her role in the show.
Tell me a little bit about yourself?
I went to Pius X high school in Lincoln. I kind of grew up doing community theater at the Lincoln Community Playhouse and Stage Theatre in Hickman and of course, Pinewood Bowl. And I did theatre arts in high school. I think I started around the age of ten. And then I got the bug. I'm now about to be a senior at Oklahoma City University where I am a Musical Theatre major. It's known for its theatre, music and dance. (Kristin Chenoweth is a notable alumnus of OCU.)
I come home during the summers. It's nice to get away and relax and do some community theatre. Last year I did BIG FISH at the Stage Theatre. This year I could not pass up LEGALLY BLONDE.
I'm very excited that I get to come back and do the show with people that I love so much.
What are your aspirations?
The easiest thing to say is just to perform and make money doing it. I'm really not picky. I would be okay doing a cruise ship contract or a national tour or finding a regional theatre somewhere in the country that would pay. Or just moving to New York. Whatever happens first. I will just go wherever someone will have me.
Steve Pearson, Marketing Producer for LEGALLY BLONDE at the Pinewood Bowl gave me some additional insight on actors who had performed at the Pinewood Bowl and went on to professional success. Samantha Ware (Glee, BOOK OF MORMON), Sam Hartley (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST), and Con O'Shea Creel (WHITE CHRISTMAS, MARY POPPINS) are three.
I interviewed Con O'Shea Creel when he was touring with MARY POPPINS. He used to perform at the Pinewood Bowl and you are both alumni of the same high school. Do you know him?
I don't know him personally. But funny enough, when I was auditioning for colleges, i went to NYC to audition for a few schools there. I was auditioning for OU and he was at the table. I was like, "Oh hi! I went to your same high school." We talked for awhile afterward. Although I didn't end up going to OU, we're still friends on Facebook. It's just the smallest world.
I assume you've seen LEGALLY BLONDE once, if not several times.
Yes, I have. I've seen the movie several times. For the Broadway musical they did that MTV recording a long time ago and it's on YouTube. I've seen that countless times.
What do you enjoy most about being in LEGALLY BLONDE?
I tend to like things that are funny. I love playing comedic roles. A few years ago I was Fiona in a production of SHREK. That I just would love to do over and over. I get to be a princess and a troll all in one show.
What do you think is this production of LEGALLY BLONDE's strongest selling point?
First of all, our cast is truly incredible. I'm surrounded by so many people supporting me in every way, both talent wise and they're so friendly. Everyone's so funny. Everyone is working so hard to put on the best possible show. Just come and see what we have been working on.
I really think we are about to put on a really fantastic show. It's upbeat and fun. The music, the dance numbers are incredible just because Courtney is an incredible choreographer and director. And of course, we have two real dogs! They can't be missed!
John F. Harris is quoted as saying, "I hope it (Pioneers Park) will be the source of much pleasure to many..." I suspect he would be pleased.
Headshot of Carly Photo Credit: Adriana Tomeu
Production Photos (Carly Ann Moore, Sam Ninegar): Courtesy of the Pinewood Bowl