This weekend, Toll Gate High School’s Drama Club presents their production of the Broadway musical, “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” a show based on the movie and book of the same name.
With performances on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Robert J. Shapiro Cultural Arts Center at Toll Gate, the Drama Club will tell the story of Elle Woods, a superficial, sorority girl from California who follows her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law School to win him back. But along the way, Woods learns she may just be more than the pretty blonde everyone thinks she is.
Drama Club advisor and Toll Gate social studies teacher Tim Hayes said students in Drama Club selected the musical earlier in the school year. They narrowed down the possibilities to the top three, and after a club vote, “Legally Blonde” came out on top.
“It’s a really fun show. Some of the dialogue is really comedic,” said Hayes. “It’s the story of someone going from superficial to reaching their goals and getting respect for their abilities as opposed to their looks or their social status.”
The cast features 25 Toll Gate students, including Gianna Cormier as Elle Woods.
The rest of the cast includes Szabolcs Kiss (Emmett Forrest), Tom Luongo (Warner Huntington III), Jacob Rosenberg (Professor Callahan), Madison Leon (Paulette Bonafante), Hannah Rudolph (Brooke Wyndham, grandmaster), Natasha Granger (Enid Hoops, Kate), Amanda Gardner (Vivienne Kensington), Makayla Kotkofski (Serena), Eliana Stein (Margot), Takashi Lill (Kyle), Shannen Mclelland (Chutney Wyndham, Winthrop, Erin Schultz), Emily Pacheco (Lowell, Nikos, Dewey, Whitney), Danielle King (Padamadan, D.A. Joyce Riley), Meghan Hanley (Carlos, store manager), Sarah Coutu (Mommy Woods), Adrine Lill (judge, perfume girl), Arielle Guertin (D.A. Joyce Riley), Ryan Gray (waiter, pilot, guard), Jaime Legault (Rufus), and Molly Raposa (TV reporter).
Raposa is also directing the show, with support from a behind-the-scenes and tech crew of 15 fellow students: Elice Roy, Jacky Rhaney, Steph Pham, Karren Yuan, Allison Graves, Jaime Legault, Alicia Censabella, Julia Sharma-Mathias, Amanda Lawrence, Ariel Guertin, Sarah Coutu, Jaime Allstrom, Tyler Madden, Jason Toole and Austin Williams.
This is Hayes’ first year as advisor to the club, and said they have been preparing since early November.
“The last month we’ve been pretty intensive with preparation,” said Hayes.
He said a $1,000 grant from the Robert J. Shapiro Fund for Warwick Schools was a huge assist, enabling the club to rent cordless microphones for the show. As requested by the Shapiro Fund board, a number of tickets are being available for free to the Pilgrim Senior Center.
The show is a musical, and the students will show off their vocal skills.
“We have some pretty talented singers and we get to show them off,” said Hayes. “It’s a Broadway show and it mirrors the movie really well.”
That said, the film is rated PG-13, and Hayes would give the performance the same rating, as some of the lines may be inappropriate for younger children.
“It’s not far off from the tone of the movie,” said Hayes.
Hayes said other schools have done productions of this show in recent years, but Hayes said his students are very excited to put their spin on it.
“Other than the stress of organizing it this week, they’re having fun with it,” said Hayes.
Tickets for Toll Gate’s production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical” this Friday and Saturday are $10 at the door. The production was partially supported by the Robert J. Shapiro Fund for Warwick Schools.