CCM continues its 2014-15 Mainstage Series this week with the upbeat musical, Legally Blonde.
Directed and choreographed by Professor of Musical Theatre Diane Lala with musical direction by second-year graduate student Craig Dalton, Legally Blonde makes its CCM debut Oct. 23 – Nov. 2 in Patricia Corbett Theater.
Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the MGM motion picture of the same name, Legally Blonde is a modern-day coming of age tale featuring perky and lovable sorority girl Elle Woods. Elle enrolls in Harvard Law School in an attempt to win back her lost love, Warner. In order for Elle to make it at Harvard she must prove to everyone, including herself, that she has what it takes. When her resolution is tested, Elle discovers what she is truly made of, surpassing her own wildest expectations and finding her inner strength and intelligence.
Guest artist Joe Leonard provides the scenic design for this musical movie adaptation. A 1989 graduate of CCM’s Department of Theatre Design and Production, Leonard’s vision for Legally Blonde was incredibly dynamic. This result is a set in which everything moves, flips, turns and flies. “The positive energy of Elle’s story is carried through to every element of the production,” Lala explains.
Legally Blonde features 16 memorable musical numbers by the Drama Desk and Tony Award nominated composer and lyricist team of Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, with a book by Heather Hach.
The role of Elle Woods is incredibly fun but is also very demanding. Because Elle appears in every scene of this high-energy musical, the role has been double cast and will be played by Sarah Bishop and Lawson Young, both senior musical theatre majors. Likewise, the role of Emmett will be played by senior Nathanial Irvin and junior Chris Collins-Pisano.
Legally Blonde also features two special performers who are brand new to the CCM stage. Jackson and Jilly will play the parts of Rufus and Bruiser, two of musical theatre’s most beloved dogs. Jilly is a Legally Blonde veteran, having played the part of Bruiser in Covedale Theater’s production of Legally Blonde last spring. Jackson is making his acting debut in this fun-filled production.
Legally Blonde is a lively musical romp with a touching lesson. Audiences will thoroughly enjoy this production and may even learn not to judge a book by its cover!
About Diane Lala
CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Diane Lala choreographed for Tulane University, Black Hills Playhouse, Loyola University, True Brew Theatre, NOLA, Indian Hills High School, Cincinnati Men’s Chorus and various regional and dinner theaters. Her choreography credits at CCM include Babes in Arms, Sweet Charity,The Wild Party, Oklahoma!, West Side Story and On the Town. Also at CCM, she was director/choreographer for Song and Dance, Under Construction andSongs for a New World. She taught summer workshop for Ballet Iowa and various jazz master classes in Kharkov, Ukraine. In 2003 she directed and choreographed CCM’s Musical Theatre students as well as Tom Wopat, John Schneider, Denyce Graves and Nick Clooney in the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra’s “Patriotic Broadway,” which was televised on PBS.
On stage, Lala has appeared as Velma Kelly in Chicago, Woman 2 in Songs for a New World, the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Morales in A Chorus Line, Anita in West Side Story and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. Nominated numerous times, Lala has received Big Easy Entertainment Awards in New Orleans and a Storer Boone Award for Best Choreography for Tulane Summer Lyric’s production of The Will Rogers’ Follies. She also received a Marquee Award for best actress in a musical for Chicago.
In addition, Lala is a certified Pilate’s instructor, studying directly with Romana Kryzanowska, a Joseph Pilates protégée. She is also an associate member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
About Joe Leonard
A 1989 graduate of CCM’s Theater Design and Production Department, Joe Leonard has designed shows for the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, LaComedia Dinner Theater, Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Carowinds, Great America and Canada’s Wonderland. His design credits include such shows as Into the Woods, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Pippin, Twelfth Night, One Flew Over the Cuckcoo’s Nest, A Christmas Carol, The Drowsy Chaperone, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Hairspray and Mary Poppins.
Leonard has used his training in a wide variety of mediums including theme park rides, exhibits, and graphic and architecture design work with companies such as Paramount Parks D+E, Herschend Family Entertainment and Walt Disney World. He designed the themed environments of Outer Limits: Flight of Fear, an indoor roller coaster and was the lead designer of the award-winning attraction, Star Trek: the Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton. Leonard has worked with a variety of production companies designing sets for special events and conventions like the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati.
In addition to live entertainment, Leonard has used his set design talents in the creation of museum exhibits including the current Jellyfish Exhibit at the Newport Aquarium, the fully automated Global Village Experience at Matthew 25 Ministries in Blue Ash and the traveling exhibit, Titanic: The Movie on Tour. Leonard is thrilled to return to the CCM Stage where his work was last seen in the 1989 productions of The House of Bernarda Alba and The Wonder Years for Hot Summer Nights.
- 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23
- 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24
- 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25
- 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26
- 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30
- 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31
- 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1
- 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati
Tickets to Legally Blonde are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID, with $12-$15 student rush tickets available for both of the Saturday matinees beginning at 1 p.m. on Oct. 25 and Nov. 1.
Customizable subscription packages are also available. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/legally-blonde-mainstage.
Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.
For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.
For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s
Mainstage Production Sponsor: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
Community Partner: ArtsWave
Legally Blonde: The Musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | http://www.MTIShows.com