Filled with memorable songs and lively dances, “Legally Blonde The Musical” is an unlikely tale of self-discovery and transformation that manages to be hilarious, heartwarming and just plain fun. It comes to Spotlight Youth Theatre in Glendale May 26-June 11.
Audiences may be familiar with Elle Woods from the 2001 “Legally Blonde” movie starring Reese Witherspoon and based on the writings of Amanda Brown.
Elle appears to have it all, but when her boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, decides to attend Harvard Law School and dumps her so that he can get serious about his life, her own life changes dramatically. She manages to get admitted to Harvard, proving she’s no airhead, then travels from the sorority house to the halls of justice. Along the way she tackles snobbery, stereotypes and scandal and is transformed in the process.
Directing “Legally Blonde” are Mark 4man and Lynzee 4man. “We actually love directing together!” says Mark 4man. “Spotlight Youth Theatre gives us the opportunity once a year to be the full production team.”
In addition to co-directing, Mark music directs and Lynzee choreographs; they admit their collaboration sometimes occurs at unexpected times. “We’re able to talk about ideas for the show as we’re driving to and from rehearsals or even while housecleaning,” 4man says.
Spotlight has assembled an impressive cast for this production, starting with Addison Bowman as Elle Woods. Addison has had roles in numerous local shows, including that of Edwina in “Dear Edwina” for Greasepaint Youtheatre, Lucy in “13 the Musical” and Fantine in “Les Miserables: School Edition” for Theater Works, Ariel in “The Little Mermaid Jr.” for Scottsdale Desert Stages Theater and Spiker in “James and the Giant Peach” for Valley Youth Theatre. A few of her Spotlight roles include Annie in “Annie Jr.” and Rosalie Mullins in “School of Rock.” Addison is a sophomore at Sandra Day O’Connor High School in Phoenix.
Elle’s boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, is played by 18-year-old Jacob Herrera. Jacob studies vocal performance and music education at Glendale Community College and is a member of Pitches and Tones, an elite performance troupe for ages 12-19 at Spotlight. Most recently seen as Tulsa in “Gypsy” and Chad in “All Shook Up” for Desert Foothills Theater, Jacob has performed in a variety of community theater productions.
Lily Castle, a sophomore at Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix, is Paulette Buonufonte, the manicurist and confidante who helps Elle realize her potential. Some of her past roles include the lead in “Annie” for Musical Theatre of Anthem, Little Red Riding Hood in “Into the Woods” for Valley Youth Theatre, and Tracy Turnblad in “Hairspray” for Desert Foothills Theater. This is her first Spotlight show.
Sam Primack takes the role of Emmett Forrest, who also helps Elle realize her potential. Sam is a sophomore at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale. Besides appearing as Moritz in “Spring Awakening” for Spotlight (for which he won an ariZoni Award for Best Actor in a Major Role — Youth Musical), Sam has a long list of credits, including the role of Pugsley Addams in the national tour of “The Addams Family.”
Jeremy Bassham is Professor Callahan, his second role for Spotlight. He previously played Ned in Spotlight’s “School of Rock” and is a senior at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix who plans to attend Arizona State University this fall.
“Getting to work with these kids is a dream come true!” 4man adds. “Besides being super talented, the kids aren’t afraid to make acting choices. They really dig into their character, and as a director that’s one of the best things you can hope for. These kids work hard on and off the stage, and it’s so fun to get to watch them grow through the process.”
Spotlight recommends “Legally Blond The Musical” for ages 12 and up; parental guidance is suggested for mild adult content.
If you go: May 26-June 11; 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, additional 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays June 3 and 10. $15. Spotlight Youth Theatre, 10620 N. 43rd Ave., Glendale. 602-843-8318 or spotlightyouththeatre.org.