by Stephen Dafoe
It’s been a novel, a feature movie, and a Broadway play, and this week it is Morinville Community High School’s (MCHS) latest theatrical production.
Legally Blonde performed its opening night to a packed audience at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre Wednesday night and has two more shows Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m.
Following on last year’s highly-successful production of Newsies, MCHS drama teacher and director Vanessa King said picking a show each year is challenging because there are many elements to consider.
In choosing a show, King looks at potential cast size and composition, vocal range and choreographic ability, as well as a show that provides as many roles as possible.
Once again this year, King served in the role of director, and Riley Quinn took on the part of music director.
This year’s production, with a cast of 28, was predominantly female and saw outstanding performances from all involved.
The lead role of Elle Woods was competently performed by Dalice Brown, as were the performances of Tristan Hilman as Emmett, Alana Mathieu as Vivienne, Kaleb Imgrund-Harvey as Warner, William Luger as Professor Callahan, Jillian Andrews as Brooke, and
Avery Pelletier, Amy Begg, Janessa Piche, Karsyn Richardson, Madden Coules, Isabella Harding, Avry Thomson, Alexis Wallace, Vaeh Dale, London Wood, Brianna Farough, Lauren Andrews, Katie Fingler, Clara Wessel were all excellent in their supporting roles.
Other cast members who played exceptional singular and multiple roles were Ellie Tatti, Finn Deveau, Mia Sullivan, Jay-Cee White-Arcand, Olivia St-Onge, Sophie Allard, Benji Allain and Elizabeth Nelson.
During Wednesday night’s intermission, King applauded her cast and the audience that had come to see them.
“It feels amazing. The energy of the cast is great, but this audience is outstanding,” King said. I can hear them from the mezzanine, just cheering midway through songs. That kind of energy is what live theatre is all about. We’re so happy.”
Auditions were in mid-September, and rehearsals started five days later. Auditions took up two hours daily after school, with the occasional eight-hour push on weekends. Professional development Days saw five-hour choreography-building sessions with the production’s choreography team.
The months of effort showed Wednesday night in a flawless performance that drew cheers and applause through the two acts and a standing ovation after the show.
The musical stage version of the 2001 Reese Witherspoon film offered some differences, including a stronger message of female empowerment. Despite the story being carried mainly through song, those who attended would recognize many lines made famous by Witherspoon that pop up in the script.
Tickets for Thursday and Friday’s show are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets are available at MCHS, Morinville Sobeys and The Flower
Doors for each day’s performance open at 6:30 p.m. The show starts at 7 p.m.
Below is a gallery of photos from Wednesday night’s show: