Come laugh, enjoy ‘Legally Blonde’

Published 12:02am Sunday, May 25, 2014

Greetings, Natchez and the Miss-Lou.

Natchez Little Theatre is proud to present for the conclusion of its successful 66th season, the hit Broadway musical comedy, “Legally Blonde,” based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the popular Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture. This production with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin and book by Heather Hach opened on Broadway at the Palace Theatre on April 29, 2007. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards and the London production won three Olivier Awards including best new musical.

“Legally Blonde” is the story of Elle Woods, a Delta Nu sorority girl at UCLA, who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend, Warner Huntington, III, who dumps her for the more serious, uptight east coast socialite, Vivienne Kensington. While at Harvard, Elle discovers how her knowledge of the law can help others, as she helps new friend and hair salon owner, Paulette get back her dog, Rufus, and successfully defends exercise queen, Brooke Wyndham, in a murder trial.

I am proud to direct such a talented group of actors, singers and dancers from our community, giving them a stage to show off their exceptional talent. Assisting me in this fast-paced production are Shemeka Ware as the show’s choreographer and Terrence Robinson as the musical director. Don Vesterse created the “Barbie” sets and, along with Stacey Carden, served as assistant director and stage manager.

Starring as Elle Woods is Natchez newcomer, Erica Condon, making her NLT debut. Erica is from Princeton, N.J., and graduated last spring from Elon University in North Carolina arriving in Natchez with Teach America to teach math at Ferriday High School. Her leading man is Natchez native, Tyler Brown, portraying Emmett Forrest, the Harvard Law School Grad and intern for Harvard Law Professor Callahan, portrayed wickedly by Al Walker in his NLT debut.

The cast has risen to the challenge of mounting a show filled with modern American music and dance. Completing this dedicated cast are Morgan Mizell as Paulette; Nance Hixon as Warner; Jordan Waller as Vivienne; Susannah Byrne Heatherly as Brooke; Alethea Shelton, Arden McMillin, Bailey Thompson, Kaytlyn Walker and Hannah Hargis as Delta Nus; along with Julie Emerick, Lee Dellinger, Michael Ware, Mary Jane Richards, Robbie Hargis, Judy Wiggins, Adrian Bernotti, Mike Thomas, Amanda Dill, Don Vesterse, Stacey Carden, Tam Winston, Terrence Robinson, Brittany Mitchell, Shemeka Ware, Tema Larry, and myself, as Elle’s dad. Bruiser Woods, Elle’s Chihuahua is played by Chili Heatherly, and Rufus, Paulette’s dog is played by Zoe Taylor.

This is the most contemporary American musical comedy NLT has produced in quite some time and will thrill young and old audiences alike. “Legally Blonde” runs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and closes at 2 p.m. Sunday with a matinee. All tickets are $20 for non-members of NLT and should be reserved by calling NLT at 601-442-2233, toll free at 1-877-440-2233 or guarantee your reservations by pre-purchasing them online at natcheztheatre.org as NLT has a history this season of selling out its musicals.

NLT will host a benefit/preview performance for its 2014 summer youth workshop with $15 tickets at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Available seating is limited for this performance.

Come support local talent and the performing arts at Mississippi’s oldest community theatre, celebrating 82 years of entertainment and a charitable non-profit organization. I hope to see you at Natchez Little Theatre for “Legally Blonde” and come enjoy our new 15-ton A/C unit in our auditorium!

 

Layne Taylor is the director of “Legally Blonde” and NLT artistic and executive director.