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Amanda Mai stars as Elle Woods in Lyric Arts’ production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical.” (Photo by Sarah Grace Photography)

Lyric Arts Company of Anoka is bringing “Legally Blonde: The Musical” to the stage July 12 through Aug. 4.

Based on the well-loved 2001 movie and book of the same name, this high-energy musical follows the transformation of California sorority girl, Elle Woods (Amanda Mai), as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery, sexism and scandal in pursuit of her dreams.

“Although the book and film date back to 2001 and the musical is already over 10 years old, I would argue that Legally Blonde the Musical is even more relevant today than it was back when it was shiny and new ... and it’s fun,” Director Ben Thietje said.

After being dumped by her boyfriend Warner (Maxwell Emmett Ward) for Harvard Law School and a more serious girlfriend Vivienne (Natalie Dulka), Elle decides she will do anything to win him back, even if it means going to Harvard Law herself. While there, she struggles with peers, professors and her ex. But, with the help of her sorority sisters and Emmett (Armando Ronconi), a really cute teaching assistant, Elle defies expectations and beats her adversaries at their own game, all while staying true to her fabulous self.

The musical’s cast, which is one of Lyric Arts’ biggest in recent history, also includes Jaclyn Juola (Margot), Abbi Fern (Serena), Alexhannah Joson (Pilar), Amanda White (Paulette), Michael Dufault (Callahan), Maddy La Roche (Brooke), Emily Jabas (Enid), Bobby Gardner (Kyle), Lindsey Duoos Williams (Elle’s Mom), Riley LinDell (Elle’s Dad), Jami Snively (Kate), Maureen O’Malley (Gaelen), MacKenzie Campbell (Leilani), Brandon Cayetano (Padamadan), Zachary Hays (Pforzheimer), Kyle Szarzynski (Nikos), Ryan Lee (Lowell), Brandon Osero (Carlos), Leah Walk (Saleswoman) and Alexis Solheid (Delta Nu).

Amanda Mai said her character Elle Woods is a perfect example of a strong feminist.

“I love Elle Woods so much,” Mai said. “I think she’s such a good role model for young women who may feel trapped in what they’ve always been that they have the ability to grow and become someone they never thought was possible. Elle Woods really inspires people to follow their hidden potentials, and I think that message is especially important to women. I think she’s such a great role model. I like that Elle never loses her spunk in the process, and she’s victorious because she’s always true to herself.”

“Legally Blonde: The Musical” also stars rescue dogs Celeste and Yolanda as Bruiser and Rufus, respectively. These two dogs were fostered and trained by Aimee Mabie of Upstaged Theater Dogs. Both will be available for adoption after the run of the show is complete. People interested in adopting the dogs can learn more at each production.

Thietje said “Legally Blonde: the Musical” is filled with memorable songs that audiences will enjoy, including “Omigod You Guys,” “Bend and Snap,” “Take It Like a Man,” “The Harvard Variations” and “Legally Blonde.”

“The music is what really makes ‘Legally Blonde’ so fun,” Thietje said. “The music is so fun and catchy, and the lyrics are really smart and humorous.”

Thietje said the musical numbers in “Legally Blonde: The Musical” add to and streamline the story more than the film did.

“While the storyline is essentially the same, the music helps add more depth to the story that wasn’t there before,” he said. “Fans of the film will love this musical even more.”

The production team for the musical includes Thietje, music director Anthony J. Sofie, choreographer Lauri Kraft, stage manager Samson Perry, costumer Samantha Kuehn Staneart, scenic designer Chad Van Kekrix, lighting designer Adam Raine, prop designer Emma Davis and sound designer Paul Estby.

Mai said “Legally Blonde: The Musical” is a show people won’t want to miss. “This musical has so much heart, and it’s such a feel-good show,” she said.

“People will be surprised by this musical,” Thietje added. “Much like the character of Elle Woods, this musical often gets overlooked. People come in thinking it’s going to be this fluffy piece of musical theater when it actually has a lot of heart and it tackles a lot of important topics and Me Too parallels that are still relevant today.”

For more information on “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” visit lyricarts.org.

If you go:

What: “Legally Blonde: The Musical”When: 7:30 p.m. July 12-13, 19-20, 26-27 and Aug. 2-3; 7 p.m. July 18 and 25 and Aug. 1; and 2 p.m. July 14, 20-21, 27-28 and Aug. 3-4

Where: Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, 420 E. Main St., Anoka

Tickets: Prices range from $32 to $35 and can be purchased online or by calling the box office at 763-422-1838

 

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