‘Legally Blonde’ at MHS

Marietta High School students will be channeling their inner blonde this weekend when the school puts on the music-packed “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” the book and movie-turned-Broadway show about a bubbly blonde who gets into Harvard Law School to try to win her ex-boyfriend back.

Curtains open for the school’s musical on Friday and the show continues throughout the weekend with a Saturday performance and a Sunday matinee.

The musical, which features a 45-member cast in a sing-songy version of the original story, is the sweet end to a production that cast, crew and directors have worked hard to put on despite the harsh weather of the winter.

“It follows closely with the storyline from the movie, but it’s highly infused with music with very little dialogue in comparison,” said director Elizabeth Thacker, who also serves as the vocal coach and choir director at MHS.

That story is the one of Elle Woods, a UCLA sorority sister with a lot of personality who follows her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School after he dumps her for not being “serious enough.”

The plot follows Elle’s journey to get into the country’s most prestigious law school and overcome the obstacles that come with blonde stereotypes.

“We wanted something fun for the kids to do,” Thacker said. “This has lots of female roles, which we wanted because we have a lot of women. This way we could include all of them.”

Thacker said though it is a prominently female cast, there are several key, strong male roles.

The cast is in the middle of a week of dress rehearsals before the show goes in front of an audience this weekend.

“We have been plagued by the snow,” Thacker said. “Last year we didn’t have any, but this year we felt like we were going to have a lot, so we started early.”

Thacker began casting in October and started running rehearsals in December to prepare for the bad weather.

Co-director and pit band coordinator J.D. Benson said this musical is a bit different from past ones.

“This is definitely more difficult than shows we’ve done in the past. There’s lot of key changes and lots of songs,” Benson said.

With a list of more than 20 songs, including cast favorites like “Legally Blonde Remix” and “Bend and Snap,” cast members said they are both excited and nervous for opening night.

“I’m not nervous yet. But right before the show I will be, but I know I’ll work it out,” said senior Carly Rankin, who plays Elle.

Rankin happens to be a brunette.

“It was a weird feeling, because I was one of the few who tried out who didn’t have ‘the look,'” Rankin said. “But I looked inside and found Elle for this.”

Rankin, who has been involved in drama productions throughout high school, has almost 20 songs to get down and perfected for her lead role.

Elle’s ex-boyfriend Warner is played by junior Tim Kelsey.

“I feel like I relate to him a lot,” said Kelsey, who has been in productions since he was seven. “And I’m ready for this.”

For those familiar with the 2001 movie, the plot line is relatively the same, with some differences. Paulette Bonafonte, the off-kilter woman Elle befriends while in Boston, has a larger role with a more pronounced plot line, played by senior Sarah Rauch.

“At first I didn’t think I could relate well to her character, but once I started studying the script that changed,” Rauch said. “I’m nervous, but seeing it all come together I think it’s going to do well.”

Seniors Rankin and Rauch, along with fellow actress Kirsten Goddard, who plays a power-feminist that clashes with Elle, agreed the production has brought their senior year full-circle.

“It is definitely bittersweet,” Goddard said. “But we’re all up here performing together and I’m excited.”

It can be reflected in the show, where Elle’s Harvard experience gives her a new outlook on life.

“She’s what people consider to be the typical blonde from Malibu but she turns out to be quite different,” Thacker said.”The moral of the story: Don’t judge a book by its cover.”