Keizertimes. (Salem, Or.) 1979-current, January 23, 2015, Image 14

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Christopher Adrian Rodriguez, Callista
Zoppi and Jesse Harrington declare their
intentions, in song, as new students at
Harvard University Law School.
The sisters of Delta Nu hold vigil
for Elle Woods after a planned
engagement goes awry.
Friday, January 23, at 7:00 pm
Saturday, January 24 at 1:30 pm & 7:00 pm
Thursday, January 29, at 7:00 pm
Friday, January 30, at 7:00 pm
Saturday, January 31 at 1:30 pm & 7:00 pm
Legally Blonde opens at McNary
Of the Keizertimes
A young woman and her dog follow the
former’s ex-fi ance to Harvard University Law
School in hope of reclaiming his heart, only to
discover that she might be a victim of others’
Add in a little song, a lot of dance, stir and
you’ve got Legally Blonde: The Musical, which
premiered Thursday, Jan. 22, at McNary
High School. The play’s run continues with
performances Jan. 23 and 24, and Jan. 30
through 31. Matinees are slated for 1:30 p.m.
each Saturday of the run. Admission is $10 and
$7 for seniors and children under 12.
“The biggest thing is just the fun of the play.
The songs are uptempo with awesome dance
numbers. The choreographer has really been
pushing us in the dancing,” said Julia Fegles, a
McNary senior who plays the starring role of
Elle Woods. “My challenge is trying to take an
iconic role and still add in something of myself.”
While the plot of the play mostly follows the
the movie – starring Reese Witherspoon – of
the same name, the expanded version allows for
more fully-realized characters, Fegles said.
“The relationship between Emmett and Elle
is much more developed and you get to see
much more of Paulette, who gets a little more
depth,” she said.
Elle’s two love interests in the story are
brought to life by a pair of McNary sophomores,
Ryan Cowan and Ashton Thomas.
Cowan plays Warner Huntington III, Elle’s
ex-fi ance and the stereotypical Ivy League frat
“I feel like it’s a way to express yourself from
a different point of view and Warner is pretty
much a tool and super-conceited,” said Cowan.
Thomas’ role, do-gooder law student
Emmett, is also a departure from his roles as
a freshman at McNary, a megalomaniac in
Urinetown and a sprite in The Tempest.
“Emmett is so normal, and I think that he’s
been the harder role to play,” Thomas said.
Both Cowan and Thomas come from
musical, more than acting, backgrounds and
said the falling back on those skills helped them
through preparation.
“The singing part comes more naturally and,
whenever those moments hit I know exactly
what I’m doing and the vocal infl ection and the
facial gestures to go along with them,” Thomas
said. He added that working with the play’s
music director Kent Wilson has been helpful.
Cowan said most of his feedback from
director Dallas Myers and castmates boiled
down to two words: be meaner.
“Mr. Myers has really helped by holding my
hand through the acting parts,” Cowan said.
The play includes two canine cast members.
A Yorkie plays Elle’s dog Bruiser. Emma Blanco’s
french bulldog, Bilbo, takes on the mantle of
Rufus, the dog of a hairdresser who befriends
Blanco plays Elle’s archnemesis, and Warner’s
rekindled fl ame, Vivienne, but Bilbo was big on
the internet long before making his stage debut.
“I would post pictures of him on Instagram.
The minute you do and add the hashtag ‘dog,’
you get like 20 likes from other dogs with their
own accounts,” Blanco said.
Among the human members of the cast,
many talked about how exhausting the roles are
given how they play into stereotypes.
“After the end of the fi rst act, I’m exhausted,”
said Keilah Hernandez, who plays Margo one
of the three main sorority girls.
She said inhabiting the expectations that
come with the roles proved more diffi cult
“ My challenge is trying
to take an iconic role
and still add in
something of myself.”
— Julia Fegles, Elle Woods
than anyone
“Everyone thinks that
teenage girls are good at danc-
ing, but there are a lot of sug-
gestive dances in this play,” Her-
nandez said. “When it came to
those parts, the choreographer
wanted us to be sexier, but we had
to go backstage and fi gure it out.
It took us forever to get it, but it’s
so much fun to bring out that
part of ourselves.”
Above: Morgan Raymond (right) tutors Julia Fegles’ Elle Woods through
her law school entry exam. Above right: Emma Blanco is less-than-
impressed with her new classmate at Harvard. Lower left: Ryan Cowan,
as Warner Huntington III, declares his lack of interest in engagement to
Elle. Lower right: John Bryant, as a law professor, sings to his students
about needing to be cutthroat in their chosen fi eld.
All photos by
Eric A. Howald
of the Keizertimes