By Jillian Haguisan
The OBHS Fine and Performing Arts Department performed its annual musical over the first weekend of March. For the 2018-2019 production, the OBHS cast, directed and choreographed by Ms. Teriann Chiappardi, and produced by Mr. Anthony Femino, performed Legally Blonde The Musical.
Legally Blonde The Musical is based on the original novel by Amanda Brown and the popular film adaptation, both of which share the name Legally Blonde. The musical tells the story of Elle Woods, played by senior Kayleigh Crawford, a sorority President majoring in Fashion Merchandising. After her boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, an aspiring lawyer played by Jayce Cody, dumps her for not being serious enough, she decides to enroll at Harvard Law School in order to reclaim his love. However, when she arrives, almost all of her colleagues demean her. Despite setbacks, Elle ultimately proves to everyone that she is more than just another dumb blonde, and she realizes her true potential as a professional lawyer.
Unlike previous years, where production spanned between Winter and Spring, this year’s musical started in the Fall and ended in the Winter. Tryouts for the musical began in late November, and rehearsals started a week later. As the date of the musical came closer, the students worked harder and longer. During the last few weeks before production, the cast and crew rehearsed every day for hours.
While the musical could not exist without performers, it would also not be as successful as it was without the stage crew. Sophomore Maria McKevitt, who worked mainly on the stage lights, said, “I only had four days [working with the lights], and four hours for each day. I had to learn very quickly, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s also a lot of fun,” she stated.
Along with working the lights and microphones, the stage crew built the props and background sets. Their role was imperative to ensuring that the musical went as smoothly as possible.
In addition to the cast and stage crew, the orchestra, conducted by Ms. Brenda Murphy, also worked diligently to make the musical as perfect as it could be.
“The music was very hard - the synchronization of the lights with the cast was also a really big challenge,” confessed senior Thomas Coor, the bassoonist. “We all had a few mistakes, but overall the show has been a huge success, and I’m upset that it's over.”
The pit band met as many times as possible, and during Tech Week, rehearsals lasted from three to five hours.
The cast consisted of over thirty students ranging from grades 7-12, many being newcomers. “The cast was really welcoming and really nice,” stated freshman Mary Vera.
Not all of the newcomers were 9th graders, though; some of the lead roles were played by seniors, many of whom have never performed before. “I did not expect myself to be in a major role,” expressed Jayce Cody, who played Warner Huntington III. “I was doing it for fun, but I’m glad that I got the opportunity.”
Kayleigh Crawford, who played the main role, Elle Woods, has been a part of the OBHS musicals since she was a sophomore. While she wasn’t completely certain that she would land the part, she stated, “I was definitely hoping that my experience would help me get the lead role… [Being the lead] was one of the best experiences of my life, and I will always remember it.”
Other lead roles included Vivienne Kensington, played by senior Sarah Conway, Emmett Forrest, played by senior Benjamin Rivera, Professor Callahan, played by senior Kevin Hart, and Paulette Buonofuonte, played by senior Giavanna Gerken.
Despite the difficult, time-consuming work, it all paid off in the end. Sophie Mejia, a junior and one of the trumpeters in the pit band, commented, “Just knowing that we went through the process of trying to make it as best as we could, I think that’s all that counts.”
Overall, the cast, stage crew, and pit worked extremely hard to make this musical come alive. Congratulations to everyone involved with Legally Blonde The Musical!
*Photos courtesy of Mr. Keith Kowalsky