‘Legally Blonde’ kicks off theater department’s season

Baylor Theatre Logo FTWBy Taylor Rexrode
Copy Editor

Note: See the entire Baylor Theatre 2013-2014 season at the end of the article.

Baylor Theatre has been perfecting its bend and snap for “Legally Blonde,” the delightfully-ditzy first production of the 2013-2014 season.

Baylor’s production of the smash Broadway musical has not been adapted from the original script, said Dr. Stan Denman, chairman of the theater department and director of “Legally Blonde.”

The story revolves around Elle Woods, a vain and seemingly airheaded sorority girl determined to win back her hunky ex-boyfriend, Warner, by getting into Harvard Law School. According to Denman, Woods evolves into a person of integrity whose story empowers women.

“It’s sort of the opposite of what you see in ‘Grease,’” Denman said. “In ‘Grease,’ you see Sandy and she’s giving up all her virtue to get the guy. In ‘Legally Blonde,’ Elle Woods discovers what it means to be a person of worth and intelligence and then the guy comes for her and she says, ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ As the father of two daughters, that’s important to me to send messages of empowerment for women.”

Like the 2001 film adaptation and the novel by Amanda Brown, “Legally Blonde” as a Baylor Theatre production will contain mature content. Denman warned the musical may not be appropriate for children,” but it’s not by any means raunchy.

“One of the things we try to do here is if we just do ‘Oklahoma!’ and ‘The Sound of Music,’ we begin to live in what I like to call a ‘Christian ghetto,’” Denman said. “We never deal with real-world issues. You have to show the fallen before you can show the redeemed. You have to be able to show what is being redeemed, what needs to be sanctified.”

Music and dance rehearsals began Aug. 19 for the 33-member cast. Gulf Breeze, Fla., senior Sarah Beard, portraying leading lady Woods, said she feels nervous about her performance.

“I hit a high note, and it ends the whole Act One,” Beard said. “It’s this built-up moment that Elle goes through, and it’s kind of a change in her life so I think that moment, making sure I have enough stamina and enough breath…that is what I am most nervous for.”

With eight-hour daily practices leading up to the start of school, Beard said what she called “’Legally Blonde’ Boot Camp” will help her and the cast feels prepared for opening night. For Beard, channeling the complexity of her character is an important part of her rehearsals.

“There’s times where she seems ditzy, but she is actually really intelligent. I aspire to be a lot like her. She has a lot of depth, and I definitely want to play with that when I’m performing,” Beard said.

There are specific parts in the show still available for Baylor students. Denman said the show needs four to six percussionists to perform in a portion of the show involving a marching band. Performances will interfere with home football games so non-Baylor University Golden Wave Band percussionists are preferred. Those interested should contact Denman at stan_denman@baylor.edu or call the Baylor Theatre Ticket Office at 254-710-1865.

Showings for “Legally Blonde” will be from Sept. 25 through Oct. 6 in Jones Theatre. Individual tickets will be on sale starting Sept. 10 for $18. Students can purchase tickets for $15 with a student ID.

Season tickets, covering all five of Baylor Theatre’s productions, are also available to students and the general public. Regular season tickets are $75 and students pay $65 with a student ID. Season ticket holders can pick up their tickets for “Legally Blonde” said starting Sept. 3.

Students can purchase tickets from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Theatre Box Office in the Hooper Schaefer Fine Arts Student. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.baylor.edu/theatre.

Click the title of the Baylor Theatre production for more information.

  • Legally BlondeOpen or Close


    Music & Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe & Nell Benjamin
    Book by Heather Hach
    Based on the novel by Amanda Brown & the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture

    Directed by Stan Denman
    Vocal & Musical Direction by Melissa Johnson and Guilherme Almeida

    September 25-28, October 2-5 at 7:30 pm
    September 29, October 6 at 2:00 pm
    Jones Theatre

  • Shipwrecked!Open or Close


    By Donald Margulies

    Directed by John Michael Sefel

    November 19-23 at 7:30 pm
    November 23 & 24 at 2:00 pm
    Mabee Theatre


  • Dead Man’s Cell PhoneOpen or Close


    By Sarah Ruhl

    Directed by Steven Pounders

    February 11-15 at 7:30 pm
    February 15 & 16 at 2:00 pm
    Mabee Theatre


  • The Learned LadiesOpen or Close


    By Moliere
    Translated into English verse by Richard Wilbur

    Directed by David Jortner

    March 25-29 at 7:30 pm
    March 29 & 30 at 2:00 pm
    Jones Theatre


  • The Arabian NightsOpen or Close


    By Mary Zimmerman
    Adapted from The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night

    Directed by Lisa Denman

    April 29 & 30, May 1-3 at 7:30 pm
    May 3 & 4 at 2:00 pm
    Mabee Theatre