Gibraltar Lightens Up for ‘Legally Blonde, the Musical’

Gibraltar students Shelby Kahr (playing Paulette) and Hope Copiskey (as Elle) act out a scene during a recent dress rehearsal for “Legally Blonde, the Musical.”

After bringing the delightful 1950 musical Guys and Dolls to the Door Community Auditorium stage last spring, Gibraltar School District’s theater department will do a complete 180-degree turnaround, catering to the current generation and culture with Legally Blonde, the Musical from April 24 – 26.

Under the direction of longtime Gibraltar musical director Lizz Thomas, assistant director Devin Thomas, and tech director Kurt Thomas, dozens of students and a handful of Gibraltar staff will assume roles in the contemporary musical based on the novel Legally Blonde (by Amanda Brown) and the 2001 film of the same name.

Legally Blonde, the Musical follows the story of sorority president Elle Woods who, after being dumped by her boyfriend, enrolls in Harvard Law School to win him back. In the process, she discovers how the law can be used to help others and puts her newfound skills to work, defending a workout queen in a murder trial and ultimately realizing her potential. The musical includes music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin.

The show debuted on Broadway in 2007 and went on to become a commercial and critical success, receiving seven Tony nominations and 10 Drama Desk nominations that year.

The two-act musical includes 16 energetic song-and-dance numbers and more sets than any other musical the Gibraltar stage has seen. The cast size is equally as impressive, with approximately 40 students and a handful of Gibraltar school staff taking on roles. The Thomases have also enjoyed help from Gibraltar alumni in the form of choreography, sound operation, logo design and costume organization.

Connor MacDonald (playing Emmett) belts out a tune while a Greek chorus looks on during a recent “Legally Blonde” rehearsal at Door Community Auditorium.

Although the piece is more modern than most that have graced the stages of the auditorium, both Lizz and Devin recognized the importance of bringing the positive message of transformation, potential and independence to Gibraltar.

“What brought me around to this was the message in the show,” Lizz Thomas said. “It’s somebody who makes the transformation, who finds herself and finds that she doesn’t have to rely on how she looks or being with a particular person. She learns that she has potential for greatness within herself, and I really like that message.”

Devin echoed those sentiments, stating that while the theater department isn’t attempting to break society’s norms, they do hope to open people’s perspective to new ideas with the show.

“She completely takes control of her life,” Devin said. “That’s ultimately why we wanted to go with this because it’s a great message for society right now, especially in a high school where norms are so binding at times.”

The musical is rated PG-13. Some language in the production may not be suitable for younger children. Parental guidance is advised.

Legally Blonde, The Musical will be performed at Door Community Auditorium, 3926 Hwy. 42 in Fish Creek, April 24 – 25 at 7pm and April 26 at 2pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. To reserve tickets, call 920.868.3284 ext. 265.