The Oakland University theatre department is going “blonde.”
“Legally Blonde” is an original Broadway musical based on the novel written by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon.
According to director Dave Campbell, “Legally Blonde” is a true “pop” musical with traditional musical style and with flares of pop culture.
Campbell is a guest director who was hired specifically to direct this show.
The story and the cast
Legally Blonde tells the story of a sorority girl, Elle Woods, whose attempts to win back her ex-boyfriend, Warner, lead her to Harvard Law School. While there, she learns she can use her knowledge to help others and defends fellow sorority sister, Brooke Wyndham, in a twisted murder trial.
Melissa Perry, a junior majoring in theatre, will play Elle Woods. This is the first musical at OU Perry has been cast in.
“This whole experience has been fast-paced and challenging, but it really pushes us as students and a cast,” Perry said.
While in high school at Walled Lake, Perry played Maria in “West Side Story,” and Cosette in “Les Misérables.” Before joining the theater program, Perry majored in Music Education to please her parents.
“They wanted me to get a real job, but all I want to do is perform,” Perry said. “I did not have their support at first.”
Perry has since been able to pull her parents on board and knows she has their love and support.
For Emily Stys, a senior playing Brooke Wyndham, “Legally Blonde” will be her last show out of many at OU. Her previous productions with the university include “Much Ado about Nothing,” “Company” and “Spring Awakening.”
Stys grew up singing and dancing but began her acting career between sixth and seventh grade at a summer musical theater program. She continued on the stage at Romeo High School, performing in “Anything Goes” and “Into the Woods.”
According to a fellow theater major, Emily Mitchell, Wyndham is the perfect role for Stys.
Stys is the dance captain for this musical, which means she has to know all of the choreography for every part. She hopes this will prepare her for a future in musical theater.
“The variety of skills require sheer physical endurance to execute a show like this prepares the cast for cutting-edge new musicals,” Campbell said.
After graduation, Stys plans to move to New York, begin auditioning and hopes to land a role like Wyndham on Broadway.
Preparing for “Legally Blonde”
The cast has been rehearing together since December, and increased rehearsals to everyday in January.
With increased preparation, cast members are ready and excited for the show.
“I get excited before opening night of every show but we’ve rehearsed so much that I know there is nothing to be nervous about,” Stys said.
Tickets can be purchased at the Varner Box office or by contacting the Box Office at 248-370-4578. Space is limited in the theater, so it is recommended to call in advance if you would like tickets.