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MTHS Footlights Club rocks the stage with performance of ‘Legally Blonde’

The Monroe Township High School Footlights Club gave an outstanding performance of the spring musical “Legally Blonde” from April 26 to April 29, 2018.

“Legally Blonde” is a musical inspired by the novel of the same name by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film. Playwright Heather Hach and composers and lyricists Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin have carefully curated a musical full of love, hope, and revenge while telling the story of protagonist Elle Woods.

The story centers around Elle and her journey to impress ex-boyfriend Warner Huntington III by applying to Harvard University, and was beautifully brought to life by the Footlights Club through phenomenal acting and singing.

The musical consists of two acts with nine scenes in the first act and eight in the second. Throughout the scenes, various cast members made an appearance with detailed costumes and powerful voices. Even with a cast of 38 total students, everyone had their time to shine. Whether it was belting out a solo or keeping the rhythm to elaborate choreography, each member, lead or ensemble, proved themselves worthy of being on that stage.

In the opening scene, “Omigod You Guys,” senior Taylor Viana makes her first appearance as lead Elle Woods, alongside cast members Michelle Hammond, Shannon Leff, and Lindsey Tuen, who play Margot, Serena, and Pilar. The Delta Nu sisters also impress the audience with energetic choreography.

Freshman Justin Siochi then makes an appearance as Warner Huntington III in scene two, “Serious.” Starting off as a love song between Elle and Warner, Elle believes that he is going to propose to her. However, to the audience’s surprise, Warner breaks up with Elle, claiming she is too “blonde.” This scene ignites Elle’s desire to impress Warner by getting into Harvard University.

The rest of act one is spent taking the audience along with Elle applying and getting into Harvard, meeting ex-boyfriend Warner and soon-to-be-bestie, Paulette Buonfonte, played by Annabelle D’Aversa.

In act two, Elle is introduced to her client Brooke Wyndham, played by Ava Friedman, and her murder case. Elle is put in charge of this case, but when Harvard Law Professor Callahan, played by senior Ryan Acevedo, makes a move on Elle, she decides to go back to California and live her life “legally blonde.”

However, love interest Emmett Forrest, played by senior Brandon Simon, convinces Elle to continue with the murder trial and prove herself worthy in a melancholy duet between the two characters.

Elle eventually wins the trial and all is well amongst the characters. It is a cheerful and uplifting ending to a heartwarming story.

Throughout this act, the actors once again deliver in their acting, singing, and choreography in lively, energetic, and motivational numbers like “Bend and Snap,” “Gay or European?” and “Legally Blonde Remix.”

In the last scene and finale, the audience finally gets to see Elle graduate alongside her friends. Everyone gets the happy ending they deserve, especially Elle and Emmett, who finally share a kiss.

Throughout the scenes, three things remained consistent – the quality of acting and singing, scene-appropriate music, and elaborate choreography.

The consistency of acting and singing can only be the actors’ doing. Although they can be directed and advised as much as they need to be, it is ultimately up to them to put out a good performance. None of the actors on stage failed to deliver with both their acting and singing. One can only imagine the amount of practice and effort these students put into their performance.

Freshman Jordan Becker says, “Rehearsals were no doubt long, hard and exhausting. I learned a lot more about how to act and sing on stage than I ever knew before. But we all still managed to have fun.”

Every good play or movie is accompanied with a suitable soundtrack. It is what makes a play or movie what everyone knows it to be, and “Legally Blonde” most definitely does not lack in this area. Conductor and Musical Director Mr. Byrnes and the rest of the orchestra amplified all the different emotions of each scene with their musical ability.

Lastly, one can only acknowledge choreographer Candice Theinert for the elaborate choreography. Each move and gesture were well fitted for the scenes they were in, and added to the intricacy of the scenes.

Together the consistency of these three elements made for a performance worth watching.

Becker says, “All the effort we put into this performance was 100 percent worth it. I think we all did an incredible job, and I am so thankful that I was able to be apart of something so wonderful.”

The MTHS Footlights Club hosts a spring musical every year, and it is the last production of the whole year. Closing night can be an touching experience for everyone involved.

Freshman Jillian O’Connell says, “Closing night was super emotional. We all got super attached to each other and our parts. And then within a few hours it was all over, and our hard work was well worth it. It was like an end of an era.”

However, it is an especially emotional experience for seniors as it is the last performance of their Monroe Township High School career. With 13 seniors in the cast, many found closing night a sentimental moment, including fellow cast members and parents.

O’Connell says, “It was a emotional experience. . ., but it was made even more tear-jerking because the seniors were leaving us.”

If you’ve seen the spring musical “Legally Blonde,” how do you think it was? [Gallery not found]

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