STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — On Thursday, Nov. 15, Wagner College Theatre opens its Main Stage production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” with book by Heather Hach and music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin. The musical is based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the 2001 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon. The show runs Nov. 15-17, takes a break for Thanksgiving week, and has its concluding run Nov. 28 through Dec. 2.
“Legally Blonde” tells the story of Elle Woods, a bubbly sorority star and homecoming queen who doesn’t take “no” for an answer. When she has her heart broken by her boyfriend, Warner, Elle trades her love of shopping for studying and enrolls in Harvard Law School. As Elle tries to win Warner back, she experiences a few obstacles along the way, but learns that being true to oneself never goes out of style.
Making his directorial debut on the Main Stage will be former Wagner College adjunct theater professor Brian Patrick Murphy. After spending 2½ years as part of the first national tour of “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” Murphy has come to grips with the show’s message.
“What we realize is that it is a story about a person who is judged,” Murphy says. “It is a really heartfelt story that is told beautifully.”
While on tour, Murphy had the opportunity to work with Jerry Mitchell, a Tony Award-winning choreographer and the director of “Legally Blonde’s” Broadway production.
“Jerry Mitchell gave me his blessing — which rarely happens — to use everything he had created in his original Broadway show for Wagner College Theatre’s production,” Murphy says.
Wagner College’s show will be filled with just as much singing and dancing as the original musical. The multi-talented cast of 30 students features Elizabeth Miller as Elle Woods and seniors Max King, April Lavalle, Alison Dufford, Rhea Francani, Karin Bryeans, Aislinn Oliveri, Concetta Raineri, Meghan Morash, Amanda Snyder, Dave Resultan, Steven Babino and Seth Price.
William Berloni, a world-renowned animal trainer and Tony Award winner, will provide the chihuahua playing Elle Wood’s infamous pet, Bruiser. Berloni has provided animals of many species and sizes for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, motion pictures, television and commercials.
This lighthearted musical comedy is one that audiences of all ages will enjoy.
“Bottom line is: Have fun,” says Murphy. “You know it’s going to be silly, you know you’re going to laugh, but by the end of the show you are genuinely touched, and I think that is the most exciting part of this play.”
“Legally Blonde: The Musical” runs Nov. 14-17 and Nov. 28 through Dec. 2, with showtimes as below:
Tickets run from $16 to $27. For tickets to this show, or a season subscription, call the box office at 718-390-3259.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Wagner College Theatre has postponed the previously scheduled opening date of “Legally Blonde: The Musical” from Wednesday, Nov. 14 to Thursday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. Subscribers who have already purchased tickets for the Nov. 14 performance will be allowed to use them for a special preview to be staged that night — but there will be no further ticket sales for Nov. 14. If you have any further questions regarding the purchase of tickets, please contact the WCT Box Office at 718-390-3259.